Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Stampy Love Affair

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I came across this riddle some time back: “What travels around the world but always stays in the corner?” The answer to that question is: “Stamps”. Well, that is not entirely true in this era of the modernised world as no longer are stamps used collectively on letters and postcards. Come on – it is the era of chop and post.

As you should know, collecting stamps is a very popular hobby, although its popularity is dying day by day. People have been collecting stamps for roughly 160 years to put it to perspective. Those who are stamp collectors are known as ‘philatelists’ in stamp terminology whilst stamps and its by-products are classified as ‘philatelic items’.

Quoting Wikipedia.com, “Stamp collectors are an important source of revenue for some small countries who create limited runs of elaborate stamps designed mainly to be bought by stamp collectors. The hundreds of countries, each producing scores of different stamps each year, resulted in 400,000 types of stamp by 2000. Annual world output averages about 10,000 types.”

Although the exact person or year as to when stamps were first created, the timeframe is roughly around year 1835-1840. At first, these stamps were meant only to cover postage costs. But sooner than later, people started developing an art of collecting it, and before long, it was a hobby. Stamps ranging from those days fetch upwards of millions of dollars during auctions.

I am an avid stamp collector, or at least I used to be one. I have quite a commendable collection as I have stamps from wide and afar coming from different time-spans. I used to be very ‘into’ stamp collecting a few years back but now as I am growing up, I have toned down. That doesn’t mean though that I don’t care about stamps at all now.

Collecting stamps probably runs in my family’s blood. My grandfather used to collect stamps when he was young, and my father and his brothers inherited the same hobby from my grandfather. Now, I and my cousins continue that tradition.

Most of the local Malaysian stamps that I have in my collection are all from my father, my aunty from New Zealand, another aunty from the UK and a few other people. I am more serious to the unused (mint) stamps and first-day covers collections although I have a few albums of used postage stamps.

Here, I have compiled some pictures on the array of stamps that I have in my collection and have described the different types of stamp and its related products that you may come across.. Do have a look at them and click the pictures to ENLARGE.

My stamp album. I keep the stamps in a special black sheet that makes the stamps last long and the are two layers of plastic protection. To the left are stamps from Malaysia whilst to the right are stamps from other parts of the world.

This is a souvenir stamp sheet that is usually printed out on special occasions. This particular one features the winning faces of the Australian athletes from the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

This is a miniature sheet. Usually, the stamp value of a miniature sheet is higher than that of a normal stamp. However, this cannot be used for postage purposes as it is for the sole purpose of collecting only.

This is what is called a first day cover. In most countries, this special envolope bearing a unique chop is only available on the first day of the release of new stamps.

This Lord of the Rings first day cover is my all-time favourite. It has become a very rare collectors item and one piece of this can fetch upwards of RM150 if I were to sell (of course not!) .

This is a stamp sheet. The stamps are still attached to their original source and have not been torn as of yet. A stamp sheet usually contains stamps of the same denominations.

This is a stamp booklet. In Malaysia, there are only 2-3 stamps booklets published each year. This particular stamp booklet commemorates the initiation of the 1Malaysia initiative.

Some King Kong, Disney, Singapore F1, Olympic sports, Changi Airport and Motorbike stamps from my album.

Another shot from my album featuring 100 years of FIFA and England's Ashes triumph over Australia among others.

That is it from me for now. I can go on putting countless other pics but I guess this will do the trick. So, do you also collect stamps? If not, then what are your hobbies? Do leave a comment to share your thoughts.


~Live Life~ said...

I once collected stamps when I was very young...you have quite a good collection of stamps! I like the Lord of The Rings one...where did you get that?

Hmm...my hobby...mostly playing sports like table tennis, soccer, badminton, basketball...anything that is fun to play!

Apple said...

hey i used to collect stamps too. used n unused. i hv a mini album of it. ahahah. still keeping as memoriessss :D

ur collection is AWESOME! :D

fiona06 said...

I used to collect stamps as well~ But I stopped as I was getting older -.-"

pls visit my blog :)


Himmat Singh said...

Live Life:
Yes. I really like the Lord of the Rings stamps. I got that one from aunty who is residing in New Zealand.\

Yea...stamps can double up as memories as when you look at them after a long time, you feel good. Thanks.\

Maybe you stopped because you were getting the same old stamps from the letters time and time again. WIll visit you.\

Nick said...

hehehe =) setem ya =) i used to collect'em last time too =) hehehe

Adrian JY Chow said...

it reminds me of my childhood.. i used to collect them.. anyway nice write-up LOL

Girllyen 'TM' said...

It's a good hobby I have some collection but as I get busy with works, I left the hobby behind already..

Himmat Singh said...

nice to know u used to collect em.

many children used to collect stamps, but not now I guess.

It is definitely a good hobby but yea being busy can hinder one from colleecting stamps.

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