If you want a hobby with a mark of distinction, stamp collecting (otherwise known as philately) has the seal of approval from famous faces from around the world and throughout history, including Charlie Chaplain, John Lennon, and Amelia Earhart. You could call this the "hobby of kings," as King George V and Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, Prince Rainier III of Monaco, and even U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt were keen collectors. Adding your mark to the long list of famous philatelists is easy by searching for old stamps, rare stamp sets, and commemorative issues on eBay.
Stamp collecting involves a vast subject matter, and it is possible to get involved by collecting inexpensive, used world stamps with cancellation marks on them, or unused commemorative stamps. First Day Covers are a fun option, as they are a combination of a new stamp on a card or envelope, cancelled on the day the stamp went into circulation. At the more valuable end of the scale are old stamps that have a significant value, such as the first pre-paid stamp, the Penny Black, issued in Great Britain in 1840.
With so many stamps available, and so much to learn, it is a good idea to do plenty of research on the subject, so you know what to look out for. Fortunately, sellers on eBay have a wide selection of new and used books and price guides to assist you in starting a collection or expanding into the more valuable market.
Postage stamps are colourful and interesting, and look attractive in picture frames; however, it is important to ensure you do not display them in direct sunlight, which causes the stamps to fade and yellow. Storing stamps in folders, sleeves, or stamp albums is a viable alternative, and helps to preserve the quality of each piece as you build or expand a collection of postage stamps that has historical interest and aesthetic beauty.