How to get the greatest beauty from your stamp collection
How to get the most benefit and satisfaction from your stamp collection. Again, the perforations are often important. Those are the little bits that stick out all round the edge, where the stamp has been torn away from its neighbours on the sheet. You can get a perforation gauge from your stamp dealer, often for nothing, and with it test the perforations of your stamps, then reading up what your catalogue tells you about them.
Stamps are, as we have said before, beautiful things. You really need a magnifying glass in order to see their beauty. Many stamps are engraved, that is, the design is cut into metal plates and the “cuts” pick up the printing ink and transfer it to the paper. Nowadays many stamps are printed using vast modern digital printing equipment, and you get an entirely different type of picture.
You may collect types of subjects, such as natural history stamps, portrait stamps, historical stamps, and so on. Many countries issue from time to time commemorative stamps, thus honoring their great people, or special events, or even to further good charitable causes. For instance, I see in my album that Italy has in this way honored Volta, one of the pioneers of electricity, St. Francis, and many other famous people. France has shown Cartier the explorer, Hugo the writer, Pasteur the scientist, Joan of Arc, Cardinal Richelieu, and so on, while Germany gives us Beethoven, Goethe, Schiller, Bach, Kant the philosopher, Handel and many others.