Learning a Lot About Stamps
To most people, stamp collecting is merely a hobby. Something that would keep the mind off from everyday stresses. But how do stamps differ? How are they produced? How can one differ from another? These are questions that an inexperienced collector couldn't answer. They have the philatelists to thank for.
These philatelists are the people who analyzes and scrutinize stamps may it be for revenue or mail purposes. This involves the study of its pattern, production and its usage after being issued.
Many associate philatelists with stamp collectors, even though they are two unique activities. For example, to a stamp collector chooses to acquire rare specimen of stamps and set it up in their album without minding their origin or their purpose. On the contrary, philatelists will examine exceptionally rare stamps with no expectation whatsoever to keep copies of them.
Philately originated from scrutinizing a stack of stamps that may look the same, but when examined further, difference between the paper used, watermarks set in the paper, the distinction of color shades, their perforations, and yet, another long list of differences.
There are different types of philately. First is the technical philately. It is the examination of the technical qualities of stamp manufacture and stamp classification. This comprises the study of the preliminary course of designing, paper used, the method of printing, gum application, the separation, stamp overprints and forensic study, which deals with the detection of stamp forgeries.
Second is topical philately which deals with what is illustrated on stamps. There are countless subjects available however the popular ones are of people, maps, birds, insects, ships, and yes, even stamps on stamps! What is interesting with this subject is that it includes the study of the mistakes in design made.
Third is the postal history which focuses on the usage of stamps on mails. This includes the careful analysis of post offices, post marks, the postal authorities and the means by which the mails are transported, with the rout of choice and delivery.
Fourth is the Cinderella philately which is the study of items that give the impression of being a stamp but aren't really stamps. Examples are Seals made available for Easter, propaganda labels, and a whole lot more.