Elementary Knowledge Of Philately

Story of the Post:

Postal services in today's world are regarded and accepted as matter of routine expectation. Posting and recieving of letters has become a part of our daily lives. The postalServices have evolved into their present state of perfection over a long period. these had their origin in the basic necessity of rulers to maintain communications between different parts of their empires. Initially the post was a privilege reserved for kings and emperors alone. Today the Post office servers even the humblest citizen.

What is Philately?

The collection and study of postage stamps is called 'Philately'. The term 'Philately' is a combination of the Greek words 'Philos'(meaning 'font of') and 'telos' (meaning 'exemption from tax').

Birth of Philately:

The earliest known stamp collector was a young English lady who had the unusual hobby of covering haer dressing-room with cancelled Postage Stamps. And she is believed to have collected no less then 16,000 stamps in pursuit of her strange fancy. In 174, she inserted an advertisement in 'London Times' requesting the readers to send her as many stamps as they could. the craze for collecting stamps began thus and spread rapidly thereafter. Gradually, such unsystematic and haphazard attempts gave way to careful and methodical collection of stamps.

Birth of the Postage Stamps:

Till the Postage Stamp was introduced, prepayment of Postage was indicated by hand struck stamps known as Bishop-mark, named after Henry Bishop, Postmaster General of Great Britain. In India, it was in all probability first introduced in Calcutta Post Office in January 1774, when Warren Hastings allowed carriage of mails of private East India Company's Postal Network. Small copper tickets or token were generally the medium for payment of Postage, which was withdrawn by the Government on 14th September, 1784.

Sir Rowland Hill(1795-1879) introduced the Penny Postage stamps in england on 6th May,1840. First Postage Stamps issued in India were in 1852 in the province of Sind under the Bombay Presidency. after 13 years of the use of postage stamps in England, the Government decided to extend their use in India. In 1853, the first design was prepared i the Mint at Calcutta and the Stamps were issued in July 1854. The India security Press was set up at Nasik in Maharastra state in 1925 and the multi-coloured postage stamps have been printed at Nasik since then. The stamps are today by photogravure process.

Indian Postage stamps:

India was the first country in the commonwealth to issue airmail stamps in 1929. The first stamp after indepdence was issued on 15th December 1947 in grey green colour depicting the lion capital of Ashoka pillar and carrying the inscription "Jai Hind". Since then, India has been issuing definitive as well as commemorative stamps. Issuing of definitive series on themes relevant to the country's heritage and progress in various fields like Agricultural and Rural Developement etc. has commenced from 1979. Lots of commemorative stamps have been issued in hOnour of President of India, Prime Ministers, eminent Indians from the annals of India's struggle for freedom as well as from the field of literature, art, culture, education,science etc. Many foreigners of International eminance have also been honoured through Indian stamps. Special stamps highlighting India's cultural Heritage, flora and fauna and various other aspects of national life have been issued from time to time. Indian postage Stamps, during more than a century-old history, ahve carved a secure niche for themeselves in the world of Philately.

Specific Collection of Stamps:

"What to collect" and " How to collect" are the problems faced by all beginners. With the steady popularity of stamps and the expansion of Postal Services and consequent increase in Postal traffic, more than 3 lakhs postage stamps have already been issued by the countries of the world and annualy six to seven thousand stamps are issued on an average. It has, therefore, become impossible today to have a complete world collection.A slective collection on a particular theme of a particular country or regiopn is considered more practical country or region is considered more practical now-a-days. It is better to decide what one wishes to collect before he actually starts collecting stamps.

Thematic collections are very popular today. In this class a collector may confine himself to acquiring stamps pertaining to a subject or theme of his choice. themes may be divided into land, sea birds game birds and birds of prey. Likewise for stamps concerning "India Post Independane", it would be best for beginners to start with collection of all or any stamps issued sfter 15th August, 1947.

How to collect Stamps:

Start your collection by simply accumulating stamps. At the beginning it is better to collect used up stamps. One may also arrange to obtain from friends and relatives. Nobody should try to remove stampsa by peeling them off the enevelope to be cut with care leaving wide margin around it and to be soaked in water for sometime and after the stamp comes off, it should be brought out. One may also add to his collection by exchanging useful stamps with other collectors or friends. the best way to get foreghin stamps, is to establish contacts with pen-friends abroad.

New stamps are available at Philatelic Bureau, Philatelic counter and from other Head Post Offices and some selected Sub-post offices in the country. these are available on the day of release of the stamp. One amy also open a Deposit Account with initial deposit of 200/- (rs. Two hundred only) at the nearest Philatelic Bureau fpr supply of new stamps, first day covers and information folders, as soon as these are brought out. In Orisssa Postal Circle, we have Philatelic Bureaux at Bhubaneswar GPO and Cuttack GPO and

The Philatelic Counters at:

Angul HO Aska HO
Athagarh HO Balasore HO
Bargarh HO Baripada HO
Bhadrak HO BhanjanagarHO
BhawanipatnaHO Bolangir HO
BerhampurHO ChandinichowkHO
ChhatrapurHO DhenkanalHO
JagatsinghpurHO Jaipur HO
Jaypore(k)HO Jaleswar HO
JharsugudaHO KendraparaHO
KeonjharagarhHO Khurda HO
Koraput HO Nayagarh HO
ParalakhemundiHO Phulbani HO
Puri HO Rayagada HO
Rourkela HO RairangpurHO
Sundararh HO Sambalpur HO
Uditnagar HO

How to Preserve stamps ?

Stamps must be mounted on album of standard size (the most widely used size is 22 * 29 cm) with the help of peelable stamp hings. Loose-leaf albums are preferable. It is best for the beginner to avoid buying an album in which stampa are to be mounted on both sides of the page, because in such cases, there is always the danger of the stamps getting detached, torn or damaged everytime the album is opened. Blank pages for the albums are available with most stamp dealers, the dost varying between Rs.15.00 and 50.00 per hundred leaves depending on their quality.

Stamps should never be pasted with gum lest the stamps and the album pages get spoiled. Always use the stamps hinges for mounting the stamps , so that whenever necessray, they can be detached easily from album pages without danmaging either the stamp or the page. Hinges are not at all expensive. It is always better to buy better quality hinges. Use a pair of tongs to handle the stamps instead of picking them up or handling them with fingers.

Mounting Of stamps:

Before mounting the stamps, you would need a packet of hinges and a pair of tongs. Never use gum or adhesive tape for mounting stamps. Hinges are available with flat strips which are gummed on one side. The hinges are to be folded in such a way that the adhesive is on the outside. These are not to be folded in the middle but towards on end so that one of the folds is longer that th eother. The short end is to be stuck on to the reverse of the stamp and longer one on the page of the album.

he foremust thing is the removal of the used stamps from the cover on which they are stuck and then to wash away the gum. Before doing this, sort out your collection. Don't hesitate to discard bad and damages stamps. Place the good ones in a tray of cold water and allow them to soak for a few minutes. Then separate them gently from the paper. While soaking, the ink on some stamps may run. Such stamps should be soaked separately.Pick up the detached stamps with tongs and put them, face down, on a clean paper to dry. Sometimes, as the stamps dry they will tend to curl. When completely dry, flatten the stamps by placing them in a book for few hours. your stamps are now ready to be mounted. Now sort your stamps and lay them out on the pages in the same order in which you plan to mount them. Fold a hinge to about one-third of its length and apply the short end to the top of the back of the stamp. After affixing the hinge lightly and place the stamp at the appropriate place you have choosen for it on the album page. Press down on the stamp gently & leave it in place.

Lay Out of Stamps:

Album pages are devided into small squares like a graph paper . By counting the squares, you can easily space out the stamps suitably. A small write-up against each stamp will be necessary . It should give such of the datails which would not be available on the stamp itself, such as the date of issue, the occasion for the issue, water mark, perforations, the name of the artists, designer and printer and the type of paper used, the write up should be brief and should not in any case overshadow the stamp itself.

In preparing the lay-out of apage in the album it must be ensured that the pages are neither overcrowded with stamps nor cluttered with write-ups. There should be a balance between the two. The write up should be completed before sticking the stamps. Black ink ought to be used for the write-up so that the pages present a uniformly neat appearance.

Process Of Mounting:

The method for the proper use of tweezer and the correct way of the folding the hinge to mount the stamp is an essential part for the knowledge of the beginners.

Application Form for opening a philately deposite account