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Stamp Collecting can be an interesting and Remunerative Hobby

By Randy Collins Subscribe to RSS | January 4th 2012 | Views:

The United States Postal Service was started way back in 1775. Prior to that messages and parcels were hand delivered or by a courier. It was normal practice to forward communications through friends and merchants who would be travelling constantly and the messages were passed between the colonies. There was larger traffic between the colonists and England. When the quantum of mail increased it was time to start an organized postal service. Thus was born the first postal service and it operated out of a Tavern in Boston which became the official repository of mail to and from overseas. Coffee houses and taverns were the preferred mail drops in England and the practice got carried over to the US. Set post routes were operated within colonies and the trail between New York and Boston came to be called Boston Post Road, which is today's U.S. Route 1.

Before postage stamps were introduced, the normal practice was for the recipient of the letter to pay the cost of postage and not the sender of the mail. The inconvenience it caused to the postal service was too great to be ignored. The mailman had to collect the exact postage cost for each delivery and this hampered the delivery, and to make matters worse, many people refused to accept mail as they were unsure of the contents and did not want to pay for trash.

It was private enterprise that hit upon the brilliant concept of using postage stamps to overcome the inconvenience and make the service more efficient. A new carrier service called "City Despatch Post" commenced operations in New York City with the new concept. The cost of the adhesive stamp was 3¢and it bore an amateurish drawing of George Washington which would be worth a few hundred thousand dollars today. A few months after it was founded, the "City Despatch Post" was sold to the U.S. Government and was renamed the "United States City Despatch Post" . This resulted in uniform (mostly reduced) rates being applied throughout the nation and to facilitate easier collection of mail, vantage places were selected to place mail boxes where people could simply drop their mail.P

hilately or the study of postal history and stamps is a hobby that could be quite remunerative as well. There are collectors who are always on the lookout for rare stamps and are willing to pay more than the market price which is never remains fixed. There are some stamps that are so rare that they are found only in museums and are priceless. Though there is no set method of arriving at a value for a particular stamp there are certain basic features that contribute to the increase in value. There could have been a misprint that could have been noticed just after release and would have been stopped immediately. The few that were released would have had a tremendous increase in value just by virtue of the small numbers available. Age also is considered a factor and certain stamps that are almost old enough to be the firsts are considered to be priceless.

The Swedish Treskilling Yellow that was issued in 1855 is believed to be the only surviving misprint. This most valuable object by weight was last believed to be sold for £970,000 in 1993 in Geneva, to a syndicate of unknown buyers who bid over the telephone. The current value is pegged at anywhere in the range of £1.7 million. The rare piece was however, displayed in public at the London festival of stamps in 2010. The important thing is that however small or big a collection, rare postage stamps need to be well protected, preferably by ADT Alarm Systems.

Randy Collins - About Author:
Randy Collins is a freelance writer and has a passion for philately and keenly traces the history of rare stamps and firmly believes that such valuable property needs to be effectively protected with ADT Alarm Systems.

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