Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Monthly Report: KNS Reaches Out and Grows

We are concluding our second successful month of providing parents, mentors and organizations the stamps and information necessary to launch their kids into the Hobby of Kings: stamp collecting. A big thanks again to
Lt. Col. Don from The Stamp Collecting Roundup
and Alex at The Stamp Collectors Corner

Yesterday KNS sent out its 50th starter-kit as well as outfitting an entire elementary classroom for stamp instruction and an entire troupe of 12 Boy Scouts. We also donated stamps to Stamps for the Wounded and Canadian Guide Dogs. KNS is considering an exciting proposal to assist a children's hospital ward.

KNS will continue to creatively reach out and meet the needs of individuals, parents, mentors and organizations that seek to interest children in stamp collecting. We have received a number of suggestions which serve to remind us of how many people surf and watch the Net these days. While I sincerely thank and have thanked each one for their wonderful idea I ask that you consider KNS cannot be everything to everyone nor do we ever intend to make that a goal.

I like the simple niche we always knew was present: parents, mentors and organizations in need of a basic boost to inspire them to get kids interested in stamp collecting, divert their attention from the technologically-confusing world, and bring them back to a place where art, history, science, geography and saving things of value is no longer a "geek phenomena" mocked on sitcoms and radio shows.

I would like to also thank everyone for the kind comments and compliments. My family and I are very pleased that our vision of assisting parents to help their children with stamp collecting is taking place right before our very eyes. And last, these starter-kits are really free. We do not solicit donations of any kind from anyone. If you want to donate used stamps, cut from envelopes, please send them to the organizations I listed on the site. They need and welcome such help.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Emergence of Ebay: Stamp Buyer Be Glad

The emergence of Ebay has been nothing short of an international phenomena. It's actually one of the few internet companies to survive the internet bubble implosion that wiped out billions of dollars and cast out thousands of tekkies into the unemployment lines of the 90's.

In a nutshell: How Ebay survived

Ebay permits anyone with a computer, digital camera and a product to place it online and potentially sell it in days, hours or minutes. The product can be new or a used item you found around the house, garage or attic. Some people actually go to yardsales and buy for pennies on the dollar and sell for dollars via auction. You can auction your item to the highest bidder via the auction process or outright sell it at a fixed higher price.

Impact on the stamping community

Ebay's influence on the stamping community is enormous; at any given day nearly 20,000 stamp-related auctions take place, making stamping the most active of any of its numerous detailed non-stamp categories. The Internet in general and Ebay in specific are directly responsible for resurrecting a worldwide hobby once perceived on the decline in America. It unites stamping communites, dealers, clubs, and organizations like nothing in the history of stamp collecting. Not all change is bad. Not all progress is at the expense of something else.

Advantages beginner collectors receive from Ebay

Virtually the same as the advanced collector. The specialization of sub-categories easily permits the beginner collector to zero in on the exact item they require be it, a stockbook, stamp album, stamp tongs, magnifier glass, stamp hinges, stamp mounts, etc. In many instances it might be less expensive to buy from an auction site (Ebay or one of the above listed) than from a stamp store or hobby shop. This is not guaranteed if you have the time and opportunity for comparison shopping between the (inter) Net and a (stamp) Store--definitely do so. Another great advantage is the advent of Paypal, a separate service (but now owned by Ebay) which enables you to pay the auction costs via credit credit or checking account quickly and safely. Paypal offers guaranteed money back if fraud occurs or item damaged or never shipped

By Accident and Design

The sub-categories for stamps on Ebay are the most extensive on any auction site on the Internet by virtual of it being the oldest and biggest. This feature is not only useful for beginning collectors in purchasing items but also in learning what entities produced stamps, what continent, language, etc. By accident and design the item arrangement serves as an educational resource as well as the descriptions many dealers/sellers decide to include with the auction. You can cut and paste this information on word doc and save it for your files. It comes in handy later for identification and cataloging.

Purchasing Stamps and Stamp Supplies

For the beginner collector who hasn't decided on a certain country or countries, theme, topic, etc. purchasing stamps on Ebay is very easy if you keep these tips in mind.

Buy in Lots (200, 500 or 1000) By purchasing in this manner you get a wide selection to study and help you decide what you want to collect. Or maybe you want to collect them all.

Postage and Handling: Handling charges are rare, but postage is another matter. It varies geographically depending on where the dealer lives and where you live. Note where the dealer resides from, if is in a foreign country you have to decide if the auction is worth your time (could take couple of weeks to receive it) to the extra cost of international postage. The cool advantage is often these dealers include their country's stamps on the envelope for you to cut, soak and save. U.S. dealers on the other hand can sometimes offer postage higher than necessary as a way to increase their profits. It really shouldn't cost any more than $3 to $4 for postage for a lot of 500 stamps. There are many auctions taking place so choose wisely by price of stamps, price of postage and geographical location (if time is of the essence.)

Stockbooks and Stamp Albums

Unlike the minor weight of stamps, hinges and mounts, stockbooks and stamp albums are heavier items and shipping charges can be nearly a third of the cost (for albums) and nearly a half (for stockbooks) of the item being shipped. Which is one of the reasons why I recommend people comparison shop if they have a stamp store in their community. You might save some serious postage. If the Internet is your only recourse then you should compare between auctions at Ebay and/or between Ebay competitors.

***NOTE: For the purposes of full disclosure, I am not a dealer nor have I ever sold anything on Ebay, but I have bought plenty for my personal stamp collection and therefore can easily testify to the experiences spelled out in this article. While we do not endorse any product or service (since we are not paid nor accept advertising) this site in good conscience will strongly recommend something of good value to its readers but not without also naming alternatives and competitors. The following are main competitors to the auction service Ebay---feel free to use them instead of or in conjunction with the subject of this blog article.

Amazon and Overstock also have their own auction platforms.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Fellowship of Stamping: Building Trust

The primary purpose of KNS (Kids Need Stamps) is to foster fellowship through stamp collecting by assisting parents and mentors with the tools necessary to kick-start this fascinating journey. While it's easy (and I don't mind doing it) to bash the modern distractions of video games, computer toys, and ipods---the deeper truth is more complex: we are parents must be engaged in our child's lives regardless of their past times. Without this positive attitude the superior educational value of stamp collecting is certain to fall short of its real impact.

Fellowship Stamping elicits wonder, knowledge, curiosity, and above all, an ample amount of joy due to the geniality of verbal communication, physical care taking of precious objects and the emotional satisfaction of building something new. Collections are built new; yet also fruitful relationships. I am a firm believer in attributing child behavior to the amount of time parents devote towards their kids well-being. There is a cause and effect. I've heard all the excuses and seen all the guilt-gifts parents often buy their kids, but in the very end, if you cannot devote the time in this dangerous day and age, your kid might wind up doing time.

I'm not trying to be a stamp collecting Dr. Phil but we must reconsider a great deal of what we have cast aside in this society in the past 30 years. The reduction of gym classes is connected to higher rates of child obesity. The easy availability of soda, candy and snacks has increased juvenile diabetes. The major crackdown in drugs and alcohol has definitely decreased those horrors but what have we allowed to replace them: television, video games, digital music and a distorted value of money is equally bad--it just takes longer to see the results, i.e. teenage years or worse still when they grow up and mimic parental neglect.

Kids need more attention these days than ever before; we can easily combat the poor role models by operating the opposite way and we can counter the lousy values out there with good values if we are prepared to stick to family activities that reinforce communication, truth, respect and love. Stamp collecting is one of those special activities that transcend the mere title of hobby because it harkens back to the old days when a parent, a sunlit room and a box of stamps were more important than all the fancy gadgets in the universe. We can have that again.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Impact of the Internet on Stamp Collecting

The impact of the Internet on stamp collecting is nothing less than -----enormous. Over the past few years and even past few weeks I have had verbal discussions and emails with friends, associates and admirers (a few not so admiring, oops) about this very subject. Generation X collectors, like myself, know the Internet resuscitated stamp collecting. By the mid-80's you couldn't find a stamp store in your community unless you lived in a major city. Stamp Shows were a once-in-a-year event often miles away from your home. That's a heck of a trip and a long wait to buy some supplies, stamps in lots, and trade shop talk with experienced dealers and collectors. To make things worse book stores stopped carrying stamp magazines making it harder to establish mail contact with stamp supply companies, stamp clubs, etc., etc. Thank God, for the local library which still carried hobby magazines of all types. For all intents and purposes stamp collecting went underground, refusing to die, but also unable to challenge the Age of PacMan

This is where people in the stamp industry get upset. Many would prefer to believe stamp show and stamp clubs kept everything going until the Internet came along. But I was there at shows where dealers outnumbered collectors and clubs where free beer couldn't get someone in the door. In my opinion the Internet saved stamp collecting from oblivion and made it exciting and educational again. Here are the reasons why:


it keeps people connected, you can send stamp images, word informational attachments in minutes sometimes seconds---really helps with tough questions on id's, watermark issues

World Wide Web:

the major companies got on board and their sites now offer more products and information and then their former printer catalogs--a lot of free stuff too---what a switch!

Software Downloads:

Software programs are the newest product in stamp collecting to come along in years and the most exciting. For US collectors the Scott software program is the best to track every stamp in your collection by image, value, date, year, --just incredible and easy. Plus there are dozens of generic programs for basic collecting and you can provide your own images.


It's impact on stamp collecting is monumental. Between its thousands of stamp auctions and fixed stores, Ebay has brought stamp collecting to the forefront of hobbies again by simply reintroducing it to the public at prices that wont scare away the uninitiated. It also helps that you get to see the stamp, product, etc., and have a decent description. I have always said once stamping was revived the marketplace would correct the past obscene prices of the business side of collecting and level it off for past, present and future collectors; thus preserving the passion of philately without going broke in the process.

Irony and Snailmail:

Past detractors of computers and Internet used to lament about how technology would reduce people contact and possibly formal letter writing and postal mail services (i.e. snailmail).

1st point: a poor public perception of stamp collecting and stamp shows few and far between did a fine job of reducing people contact.

2nd point: the reduction of formal letter writing was on the decline years before email came along in fact email was increasing writing by people in general, many write letters on computers, print them and then mail it.

3rd point: computers and the Internet did not reduce postal mail services in fact it increased them by many fold. I get dozens of stamps from stamp shipments, friends and relatives from the mail which first starts off as an email.

The impact of the Internet on stamp collecting is significant and continues to expand in many different directions. There are sites where you can create your own stamps for actual postage using your own designs and photos. The horizons are unlimited and benefit stamp collecting in the most incredible ways, you can now actually visit the country you are collecting on the Internet and see amazing photos. But like anything of heartfelt value we must not succumb to rewriting history because the world changed and we didn't. At least this time we did and we as a global stamping community are reaping the rewards of a journey that must last to the next generation. If we do our jobs right and teach the hobby with love and respect the next generation will figure out how to take it to the next level.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Stamp Albums, Hinges and Mounts

Stamp Albums: United States

Over time the beginning collector might outgrow their stockbook and seek to start a more established home for their multitude of stamps. Collectors choosing the United States as their preference must select one of the many brands of Stamp Albums (Minkus, Whitman/Harris, Scott, etc.) currently sold on the market. The three mentioned in the brackets are the biggest and oldest of the official U.S. stamp albums and each bring a unique characteristic to the Hobby of Kings.

Minkus and Scott albums have neat descriptions about each stamp and Harris has more keener illustrations than most out there. There are plenty of other album brands out there; most are generic in nature with B&W photos, if any, and usually no descriptions. While we do not endorse any products in particular I can honestly say you will be better served with the time-tested major album brands quoted above.

Some of you might be fortunate to live in a community with a stamp/coin store. In the days before Internet stamp stores were numerous and the best place to go to purchase stamps and supplies. I still remember taking the train from NJ and buying stamps with my grandfather and father at Gimbels in NY which was a major department store. Today, if you are watching your budget, you are better to shop around at Ebay, the direct brand sites and the stamp store. You will save on shipping costs at the community store versus Ebay provided the price is competitive.

World Stamp Albums are very expensive and very large in volume. It could take 6 large loose leaf styled albums just to cover the planet of stamp collecting. I know stamp collectors of 50 years who still don't even have 1/4th of them filled. I would not recommend going this route. Stick to the stockbooks on stamps from around the world, if two or three countries strike your fancy, you can buy world supplement (pages) that contain your chosen country for an affordable price. Buy an inexpensive loose left binder and you are set to collect.

Hinges and Mounts: Ways and Means

Hinges are very small glassine wedges made to stick to the back of stamps and the stamp album page. My general rule is: only use them for used stamps. Actually, you can use them for any stamp of any condition. It all depends on personal taste. You can use hinges on stamps and then slip the entire stamp page in a plastic clear page protector. (Note: collectors used to separate pages from the album and hole punch them for a 3 ring binder. )

Mounts are stamp protectors that slip over the stamp and stick to the album via an glue adhesive. My general rule is: only use them for unused stamps are stamps of exceptional used value or maybe sentimental reasons. Mounts or as we used to call them "jackets" are very helpful but pricey items that shouldn't be wasted on just any old stamp. Actually, you can use them for whatever you want just be ready to pay the price. If you try to mount 100 stamps or more you'll discover it costs more than the album. Best to survey what you need and plan accordingly.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Little Delicate Things: Stamps and Souls

Stamps like good wives are delicate things we often take for granted. (Shame on us.) Apparently so is regional stability in the Black Sea. (Shame on them.) While I don't mean to make light of marital or diplomatic relations, territorial conflicts, past and present, have the potential to reshape the world and the world of stamp collecting. Winners may emerge as new countries such as (Georgia & Kosovo) while losers (Rhodesia & South West Africa) might wind up having a new name and identity like Zimbabwe and Namibia.

Any international stamp collector worth their salt delves into the history, culture, politics, religion and geography out of sheer curiosity. Who are these people? Where did this place come from? What does this or that mean? Questions and answers make for broader knowledge yet also complete the collector as a genuine citizen of the world. Name another hobby that fits a such a wide bill of qualities and I will test it to the ends of the earth. This is the Hobby of Kings.

Sometimes we take Freedom for granted. It is being challenged and chastised by radicals and regimes who seek to rule by murder and myth. Lives are touched and changed forever by social movements bent on taking, preserving or destroying tracts of geography imprinted on those little delicate things we call stamps. As much as we love and cherish stamps we also pray democratic countries are not extinguished by dragons once thought slayed.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Next Step: Stockbooks and Tongs

The next step once you have received your starter-kit of stamps is to obtain a stockbook, which is basically a black stamp album. Depending on the maker, the pre-made types are manufactured through KA-BE, Lighthouse, PARAT, Stanley Gibbons, Supersafe, Prinz Scott, G & K, each might have a white backing on the pages or black blackground. Each page will have slots, 8, 7, 6, 5, accomodating a vast number of sizes of the stamps. Obtaining of the these stockbooks is easy through the websites of various dealers or through Ebay. The average cost is about $20.

The second type of stockbook is the one you can create with vario pages. These pages set up with various sizes of stamps, blocks, sheets, etc. can be purchased for as little as $6 and have multiple holes for 3 or 4 ring binders that can be purchased in the office section of any large store. For less than half the cost of a pre-made you can put together your own stockbook. Vario pages are best purchased at Ebay. The page quality is all the same just the shipping price will be different and that is what you should factor when ordering. The Vario chart is too big to be pictured here but there is only a few the starting collector can actually use anyhow. The Vario page 6S, 7S & 8S are best for the starting collector. The number is how many horizonal rungs each page contains, the more rungs the smaller the space between. For larger stamps 8S is good and for much smaller thumbnail stamps, 6S is sufficient. The full Chart is available as an informational segment attachment upon request. Ebay stores and dealers usually have the chart available on their sites as well.

The next item necessary is called "tongs." A picture above shows what they look like--almost like a flat headed tweezer. The purpose is to keep the oil from your hands and fingers from tranferring upon the stamp; thus reducing its lifespan. The nickle-plated ones work perfectly fine. Shouldn't cost you any more than $4 for a pair. They now sell gold-plated ones but honestly you don't need them. I am still using the same tongs my father gave me 35 years ago.

The new collector must keep in mind that everything he/she needs for their collecting purposes are not available in any regular stores out there. If you are lucky to have a stamp store nearby, you might find their prices are far higher than the combine price and shipping of most anything on Ebay.
The most important lesson here is to get what you basically need to protect, store and enjoy the stamps. Folks out there easily get carried away with expensive and unnecessary supplies that in my opinion are not only a waste of money but also reduces a person's budget which should be spent on getting more stamps.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Trading Links, Members, Information

Trading Links: (Nix on the Commercial Stuff)

I have been gettting a number of invites to trade links with what I must call commercial stamp sites. After investigation I have concluded trading links with these sites would not be in line with our non-sponsorship position. We take no ads nor endorse products. Our members would be exposed to higher priced items in exchange for a link buried in the bowels of these flashy sites. Sorry, not worth it. All links included below are either sites with no products for sale or with significant free information about stamps and collecting clearly marked for easy navigation. The key is not to get lost in the whole muck of other people's agendas. My vision is practical and simple: help parents help their children appreciate stamps in the most inexpensive manner.

More Members: (Need Your Comments)

We have signed up (metaphorically speaking) more members and starter-kits are out in the mail. Please don't forget to request the informational segment attachments to help with translations and definitions. Thanks for the nice compliments via email but please consider using the comments section of the blog articles and let other people know how you feel. Thanks. And keep spreading the word.

More Information: (Albums, Stockbooks, Supplies and Ebay)

As more members are requesting starter-kits, the need now shifts to produce a blog segments on stamp albums and stamp stockbooks. Stay tuned this weekend. Also there will be a segment on buying stamps and supplies. I will be focusing on the advantages of Ebay auctions and stores versus other direct locations for materials. I will list them all and you can decide what is best for your needs and your budget.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Starter-Kits and Information Segment Attachments

We continue to send out starter-kits to inquiring parents and resourceful individuals. I would like to welcome Don Schilling from Stamp Collecting Roundup, (see link below!) an incredible site full of articles and links to the most diverse line-up of stamp collecting people on the planet. Thanks for your support. Also, new to the family, Mike Marx, a teacher who is recommitting to the craft of stamp collecting and teaching a class this fall. Kids Need Stamps have supplied his entire group of 30 students with stamps. You guys are an inspiration. Thanks for being out there.

The following informational segments are available in word.doc attachments that will sent upon request. This keeps postage to the minimum.

Major Lists

Cross Country Index --- (4 pages) conversion list that links old country names with new names, i.e., Siam—Thailand

Postage Art Emblems --- (3 pages) includes common symbols used in postage stamps, good for identification purposes

Basic Dictionary of Stamp Terms ---- (6 pages) an excellent grounding in stamp collecting terminology

Basic Country Name Translation List --- (5 pages) essential list to assist new collectors when dealing with international stamps

Specialized Lists

SE Asian Ideograms---- helps with asian ideograms on stamps

Indian Alphabet ---helps with Indian feudal states stamps

Cyrillic & Greek ---helps with Russian, Armenian and Greek isles

U.S. Glossary of Philatelic Terms –only list stamp terminology used in American collecting

Advanced Philatelic Glossary – (18 pages) super extensive

Bogus Issue List --- lists stamps that are frauds

If I have violated any copyright, referred to a web site or item inaccurately, failed to give proper credit, or erred in any way, it is unintentional. Please let me know, and I'll correct it.
Some of these segments are original by yours truly but in some instances I have amended, added or formally updated existing lists from Lee's Listopedia which is a fascinating site of international scope that remains inactive and hasn't been updated since 1999. Emails haven't been returned. As always anything I provide is free of charge.

Monday, August 4, 2008

In the Light: Improving The Image of Stamp Collecting

I'm always a bit miffed when I hear worship stories about people who collect teacups, dolls from Japan, baseball cards, dead insects, etc, but when it comes to stamp collecting---suddenly it's too corny, nerdy, cerebral, brainy, old-fashioned, and the terrible list goes on. These days you can collect the weirdest things on the planet Earth (micro-meteorites!) and get more respect than the time-honored, #1 hobby in the world: STAMP COLLECTING. Folks, we definitely need a serious stamp-collecting image overhaul.

Part of the problem, and new parents will encounter this, is the stubborn stereotype that insists stamp collecting is a senior citizen past time of no consequence. Yes, there are senior citizens who engage in the hobby, many certified experts, but a majority of collectors internationally are younger people. The two biggest contributors to the image problem of stamp collecting in the United State is first, the Hollywood movie and television industry which has portrayed stamp collecting in a negative light for decades. Too much of this slandering has to do with the corporate tie-ins most film studios have with big-name board game makers and then later video games. They don't like the competition. Second, the US Government itself, which doesn't do enough to spread the positive word of stamp collecting to its younger-age public. A number of countries, Denmark and Greece are perfect examples, spend time and money to promote stamps and collecting in the public school system. It shouldn't be a surprise to Americans that the international student body scores higher on geography tests due to the early introduction of the world's numerous stamp issues.

I am saddened to report some collectors have bought into the stereotypical image and can be heard mocking a hobby they have spent decades belaboring in the dark. And this is the key to their self-mockery, they collect in secret, often not sharing their joy with friends or relatives, until it becomes a hidden habit of embarrassment. Last I checked, cigarettes and drugs, taken in secret were considered hidden habits of shame; not a noble educational hobby. And it is this counter-logical nonsense that slowly twists in our society into pushing people hide the good and promote the bad.

Everyone says their hobby is the sport of kings: golf, horse racing, chess, etc, yet it is Stamp Collecting that is aptly called the King of Hobbies and the Hobby of Kings. You cannot tell much about a nation or culture from its golf players or horse races or chess sets. The same cannot be said about stamps. You can learn much about a nation's values, priorities and qualities or lack there of (consider the Nazi stamps) through the art and language of its colorful stamps. These facts are indisputable and add to a long historical line of proud and joyous achievements found in those small patches of colour and ink we call stamps. Why hide it?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Teaching Environment: Clubs and Classrooms

The teaching environment for stamp collecting is by default a mentorship program. Meaning parents are a secondary support system. The true measure of success for stamp students solely rests with mentors insuring follow-up support from parents and stamp-peers. The basic definition of support from parents is positive encouragement and the procurement of necessary supplies to continue the hobby. The bonding of stamp-peers is also a valuable tool to assist the collector in approaching stamps in an non-academic setting. The trading of both stamps and ideas is a natural development of peer-bonding and becomes a prime catalyst to full engagement for stamp student to graduate to stamp collector.

Clubs and Classrooms are the best and most likely locations for the teaching environment of stamp collecting. Yet these traditional settings actually hold different approaches to how stamp collecting is presented to a student body. Take notice of the following:

Classrooms: Due to the academic setting of a school atmosphere--the mentor is a licensed teacher and will likely tailor their stamp teaching to topics, subjects, events, geographical locations, cultures, etc. that might be elements of normal classroom instruction or discussion. The good example would be a history teacher rolling out stamps that contain famous historical figures or battles or locations that he/her can expound upon in greater detail.

Clubs: Clubs are normally based out of libraries, community centers and churches and are either free-form and can simply focus on stamp collecting in the most basic manner: how to find stamps, how to mount stamps, how to id stamps, etc., or completely theme-oriented on one country such as Italy or topical like stamps with airplanes, birds, cars, etc. The club setting permits more time for students than a classroom, but this isn't always an advantage over classrooms since clubs tend to have more experienced participants who often add to the instruction.

Kids Need Stamps stand ready to help teachers and mentors, clubs and classrooms with stamps for every interested student. The informational segment attachments are an excellent resource to guide students in understanding the vast world releasing stamps to preserve their art, heroes, culture, religion and even athletic achievments. While the core ambition of Kids Need Stamps is to be clearinghouse of cost-free assistance to further one-on-one stamp instruction between parent and child--we recognize this ideal is always possible and wish to lend a caring hand to stamp teaching mentors from every walk of life.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Parental Connecting Through Stamp Collecting

There are too many distractions today. Video games have replaced board games. Special effects have replaced visiting carnvials. Computers have replaced books. In numerous instances the modern world has eroded the special connection parents should have with their children.

I'm not a fuddy-duddy luddite railing against the machine. Just a parent and an observor who has distinctly noticed that when I played with my son in the park or playground--we strengthened our connection far deeper than when we watched television shows or joined in computer games.

This same basic notion surrounds the hobby of stamp collecting. Collecting stimulates the curiosity and permits parents and children to engage in intellectual challenges that builds bonds of trust and respect. It keeps parents "in the moment," guaranteeing nothing or no one can say they weren't there present and scratching their heads over a foreign destination (Albania) or international event (Olympics.)
In the coming entries we will explore the craft, fun and value of stamp collecting that is sure to transcend mere collecting and become another tremendous tool to teach our children history, geography, and last but not least ---our enduring love for their well-being.