Hello utopia, and welcome to Stampboards. For people new to the hobby, it is an overwhelming subject. Even to we oldtimers it is, because there is so much involved - some people will devote 20 years or more just studying a single stamp issue, and it's possible varieties.
You have several options in evaluating and learning about what you have, but up front, if it is the potential value of the collection interests you, you need to know that between 90-95% of all stamps even early 20th Century ones and a lot of 19th Century ones still sell for pennies or less each.
1. Most libraries carry very recent catalogues, and you can research the subject yourself. Even 10 year old catalogues are still pretty accurate as to price for more common material, as prices have barely moved in that time. In your case it would be the Scott catalogue series.
Countries are listed alphabetically, in date issue order, and some detail and specific pricing information is given for pretty well every stamp ever issued.
If you take this option, and are primarily interested in a value for the collection, please be aware that the minimum catalogue value of $US0.20 is a "handling" fee, and not the value of the stamp. Most 20 cent stamps are virtually worthless.
2. You can check your phone book for stamp dealers, and take your album to one or more for evaluation - virtually every dealer who still has a shop front will give you a legitimate opinion as to the collection, and an appraisal for a small fee.
3. You can post some pictures here on Stampboards of some of your material and people will give you legitimate advice as to roughly what you have, and (subject to condition which cannot be confirmed without physical inspection of the stamps) a reasonable approximation of how interesting the items are and what they may be worth.
Most of the close up photos here are scanned rather than photographed, and most members here use photobucket to transfer the pictures from PC to the Board. I would recommend at this point however that you do not remove anything from the album for scanning. You needs to be very careful and know exactly what you are doing to avoid potential damage to the stamps.
4. Hindenburg covers are pretty popular, but not all that rare, but what you have sounds like a very attractive piece.
5. If you intend to keep and expand on the collection, you can make collecting as simple or as complicated as you like, as your interests grow and diversify.
Some people just accumulate different stamps (me for example), some people study them intensely. Others collect on a theme (animals, insects, boy scouts - whatever grabs their interest). Others still look at the history behind the stamp, or the events behind the reason for issuing it. It is a very individual hobby, and what you make of it is up to you as an individual.
It's fun, so enjoy.
Geelong, VFA Premiers 1878, 1879, 1800, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1886, AFL Premiers 1925, 1931, 1937, 1951, 1952, 1963, 2007, 2009, 2011, .
Last edited by fromdownunder on Mon Feb 11, 2008 00:26:12 am, edited 1 time in total.