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Stamp Collecting Fundamentals: Seven-Session On-Demand Course

Become an APS member and enjoy up to 50% off the cost of content on the C3a Learning Platform

To join the American Philatelic Society, go to:  https://stamps.org/join-now

Course Description:

Stamp Collecting Fundamentals is a practical course designed to familiarize beginning adult collectors with the world’s most popular hobby.  Lessons include tips and techniques especially for new collectors.  Captivating images and stories drawn from the vast collections of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Postal Museum are used throughout the seven lessons (totaling 5 and 1/2 hours of content).

During this course you will learn to:

  1. Understand a variety of collecting terms
  2. Use simple collecting tools
  3. Distinguish between three types of printing processes
  4. Discover a variety of ways to acquire stamps for your collection
  5. Identify aspects of counterfeits, fakes, forgeries and fantasies
  6. Preserve your collection for future generations of philatelists
  7. Find resources online and in print to increase your philatelic knowledge

Lesson Descriptions:

Session 1 (Lesson 1) Topics:  (68 minutes)

The Myth of Completeness, Deciding What to Collect, Types of Collections, Stamp Design & Production

Session 2 (Lessons 2 & 3) Topics:  (Lesson 2 - 31 minutes; Lesson 3 - 52 minutes)

Printing Characteristics & How to Identify Them, Distinguishing Between Engraved, Lithography & Topography, Color in Stamps, Color Detecting Tools, Ways to Acquire Stamps

Session 3 (Lessons 4 & 5) Topics:  (Lesson 4 - 52 minutes; Lesson 5 - 42 minutes)

Fakes, Forgeries, Fantasies, Facsimilies  - Characteristics & Examples, Using a UV Light, Luminescent Tagging, Condition Issues

Session 4 (Lessons 6 & 7) Topics:  (Lesson 6 - 54 minutes; Lesson 7 - 29 minutes)

Keeping Your Collection Healthy, Philatelic Organizations - Clubs, Associations, Societies, Other Areas of Philately, Research - Learning More About the Items in Your Collection

Instructor:  Danial Piazza, Chief Curator of Philately, Smithsonian National Postal Museum

This course was recorded October, 2021.

Cost:  APS Member $25/Non-Member $50