An Introduction to Stamp Collecting

Why collect stamps?

Since the Penny Black, the first pre-paid postage stamp, was issued in 1840, people have found delight and wonder in stamp collecting. As miniature windows into the world, stamps introduce collectors to art, culture, history, science, geography, and so much more.

Stamps from the U.S. Postal Service® are a record of American life, showcasing the people, places, events, and activities that shape our shared national identity. Whether you love superheroes or space exploration, music legends or landscapes, cats or the Civil War, there’s a stamp that captures your unique interest.

Collecting and studying stamps, also known as philately, can be a lifetime hobby: Whether you’re 8 or 88, stamp collecting is fun and educational, and you can begin without making a big investment of money or time.