What Are Stamp Collectors Called?


Stamp collecting is one of the world's most popular hobbies, enjoyed by millions of people around the world. The hobby has been around since the first postage stamp was produced in 1840 and is supported by many websites, shows, catalogs, albums and reference books.


  • The study of stamps and postal materials is called philately, which comes from the Greek words "philos," meaning friend, and "ateleia," meaning deliverance. Stamp collectors are called philatelists.


  • Stamp collecting came about shortly after the world's first stamp, the Penny Black, was issued by Great Britain in 1840. Young people began collecting stamps in the middle 1800s and adults gradually began collecting as well, as more stamps came on the market and more countries began issuing stamps.


  • There are two primary groups of stamp collectors: those who collect used stamps and those who collect unused stamps. Within those two groups are themetic philatelists, who limit their collections to a single country or theme.

By the Numbers

  • More than 200 countries currently produce postage stamps. The American Philatelic Society has more than 44,000 members in 100 countries. Estimates as to the total number of stamp collectors worldwide vary widely, but according to the Cyberstamps website there are 20 million collectors in the United States alone.

Rarest and Most Valuable Stamps

  • According to the American Philatelic Society, the world's three rarest and most valuable stamps, based on history, scarcity and recent auction or sales prices, are the Sweden 3 skilling 1857 Banco Yellow, valued at approximately $2,000,000; Post Office Mauritus 1d and 2d 1847, with the 1d and 2d valued at $500,000 used and the 1d at $1,100,000 unused; and the Hawaiian Islands 1851 2-cent Missionary, worth $660,000 unused and $200,000 used.


Promoted By Zergnet



You May Also Like

  • How Much Are Canadian Postal Stamps Worth?

    Canadian postal stamps date back to 1851 when the three-pence Beaver Stamp was designed by Sir Sandford Fleming. The Beaver Stamp was...

  • Information on Stamps

    Postage stamps are sticky paper tiles that serve as an indicator that a fee for postal services has been paid. Stamps are...

  • What Are Tax Stamps?

    Tax stamps were released by the United States as receipts for taxes and fees paid. Classified as "revenue" stamps, as opposed to...

  • How to Sell a Stamp Collection

    Perhaps you have recently come into possession of an unwanted stamp collection. Perhaps you lost interest in the hobby. Instead of just...

  • List of Valuable Stamps for Collectors

    The value of a rare stamp is determined by several factors. Rarity is the first criterion for value, followed by the presence...

Related Searches

Check It Out

How to Build and Grow a Salad Garden On Your Balcony

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!