Helping Young Stamp Collectors to get Started

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I've Still got Unanswered Questions - Where can I get More Help?

You can send an email to The Sage with your questions and problems. If he can help he will - and if he can't he'll try and put you in touch with someone who can.


Sometimes stamps are printed with the
adjoining stamp upside-down. Collectors
call them tete-beche from the
French, meaning 'head to tail',
(pronounced 'tayt beh-sh').
These South Africa stamps were issued in
1927 and come from booklets of stamps that
were wrongly cut from larger sheets when
being manufactured.

We've listed a few useful websites on the next page, but the best way to learn is from experienced collectors. Ask if your school has got a stamp club, and if it has join it. There are about 400 local stamp clubs and societies for adults in the United Kingdom, and some have special Junior Sections. You can also read the stamp magazines at your local library. You will find lots of interesting articles in them about many of the subjects that we haven't even mentioned in these brief notes. The main magazines published monthly in the United Kingdom are -

Stamp Magazine
Gibbons Stamp Monthly,
Stamp & Coin Mart

But if you are under 18 always get the permission of your parents
before you reply to any advertisements you see in the magazines.


Many countries have changed their names over the years. We list some below that will help you to identify the countries that have issued stamps with names different from the ones they are now using.

Aden changed its name to South Arabian Federation in 1965
Basutoland has been Lesotho since 1966
Bechuanaland changed to Botswana in 1966
British East Africa became Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika in 1903
(See also under Tanganyika below)
British Guiana became Guyana in 1966
British Honduras has been called Belize since 1973
Burma has been Myanmar since 1991
Cambodia became Kampuchea in 1980
Ceylon has been called Sri Lanka since 1972
Congo became Zaire in 1971
Ellice Islands have been Tuvalu since 1976
Gilbert Islands changed to Kiribati in 1979
Gold Coast has been known as Ghana since 1957
New Hebrides became Vanuatu in 1980
North Borneo has been Sabah since 1964
Nyasaland changed to Malawi in 1964
Persia has been called Iran since 1935
Rhodesia (Northern) has been known as Zambia since 1964
Rhodesia (Southern) has been Zimbabwe since 1978
Part of Ruanda-Urundi became Burundi in 1962
Siam was renamed Thailand in 1949
South West Africa became Namibia in 1990
Tanganyika and Zanzibar combined to become Tanzania in 1965
Upper Volta became Burkina Faso in 1984

There are also many territories and colonies that issued stamps before they combined to make larger countries. For example you will find stamps issued by Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, which are now parts of Canada, and by Tasmania, and Victoria that are parts of Australia. In Europe, Germany and Italy were divided into smaller states before they united to become larger countries.

A good knowledge of geography will help you identify the countries from which these earlier 'territorial' stamps came from.

You will also find it interesting to discover the history behind the way countries have developed. Alaska, was originally part of Russia, but in 1867 the United States purchased it for $7,200,000 - about 2 cents an acre! Since then large gold and oil deposits have been discovered in Alaska, making it one of the best land deals of all time.

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