It is not known whether the decision of the British post office to switch to pre-payment of postage was influenced by this true story. In any case, it was the British who introduced the world’s first postage stamp in 1840. The stamp depicted Queen Victoria’s profile against a dark background, had the denomination of one penny, and was known as Penny Black.
South Africa has also contributed a world’s “first” as far as the stamps are concerned. South Africa was the first African country to issue a stamp. That happened in 1853. But what makes this stamp special is its design. The Cape Triangular was the world’s first triangular stamp. Thank to its exceptional design, it is still regarded as a classic in the stamp collecting world.
It is not known when the first stamp collector appeared, but it was probably around the time the fist stamp saw the light of the day. In any case, stamp collecting took off quickly to become one of the most popular hobbies practiced all around the world. Stamp collectors can be found in all the sections of the population, among kings and school kids alike.
Many have tried to explain why people collect stamps. However, the question should really be - why not collect stamps? After all, you can collect stamps at no cost. They come in your mail every day. Once you start carefully separating those pretty colourful rectangles from the envelopes and arranging them in an album, there is no stopping. Sooner or later you will end up as a regular visitor to the bidorbuy Stamps category, selling your duplicates and buying the ones you simply must have in order to complete your collection.
You may choose to collect stamps the traditional way by the countries. If you are more interested in the design of the stamps, a topical (or thematic) collection will probably suit you better. Some stamp collectors are specialists: they want to have as many copies as possible of just one stamp issue or just one type of stamp. Others will collect every stamp they see.
The most important thing about stamp collecting is to enjoy it. Although some people regard stamps as investments, similar to art or antique items, the real worth of stamps lies in the emotional value they have for their collectors.
If you have to think of stamps in terms of a cash price, do remember that older does not necessarily mean more valuable. Penny Black, the world’s first postage stamp, is still readily available and can be purchased at relatively affordable prices.