The art of stamp collecting breathes a new life to professional wanting to relax after a tiresome day at work and students looking for playful ways to learn history and geography. Stamps are valuable not only for its postal purposes. The technical name of stamp collecting is Philately, which describes the important role of stamps in daily lives. Most people became interested in collecting the stamps due to their colorful tiny pieces of paper. The time period between 1840 and 1940 is referred as the classical period of stamp collecting. The stamps that are issued regularly are called definitive stamps. These are general stamps for usage of postal service. Another category is the commemorative postage stamps. They are slightly bigger in size than the definitive stamps. These stamps are used to commemorate national events and notable persons. They are available only for a limited period of time.
Some stamps are issued specially for highlighting annual events like holidays. These are the Christmas stamps, Easter stamps, etc. The stamps with fancy objects that look like stamps but have no postage value are called Cinderella stamps. The most expensive stamps to collect are the stamps with error. The error may be production mistakes which make them unique. The collection of stamps that were previously attached on mail is called used postage stamp collecting. A stamp is said to be used or cancelled when there is a stamp cancellation mark on it. The stamp collectors can also have fun collecting like postal stationery, postcards and first day covers. Some may be interested in subjects like railway mail collecting, wartime mail collecting, aero-philately, or sea mail collecting. The stamp collectors must have the knowledge on the postage stamp identification for classifying the stamps properly. Even though stamps are small pieces of paper, the art of stamp collecting makes one feel good about themselves.