I've collected coins for a few years and I've always liked miniature artwork and history. So I decided to try some stamp collecting. I love the artwork and history of stamps too.
The world of stamps has so much to explore and I am climbing a steep learning curve right now. My interests are pretty varied, but here's my main collecting themes right now.
I like the history of 19th century definitive stamps. I don't know if I can recognize all of the different types, but it sure has been fun to learn about the stamp-making process.
I like the 1869 pictorials. Great history and value there. Of course, I try to get some of these all in used condition, but I like looking at fancy cancels too.
Of course, I am also collecting the Columbus and Trans-Mississippi stamps in used condition as well. Again, I like the stories they tell.
As for 20th century, I really do like the commemorative stamps. I've also been collecting a lot of covers with the FDC cancels to augment the theme on the stamp.
As for foreign stamps, I like Latin America and the Canal Zone themes. I also like history of Teddy Roosevelt getting the Panama Canal open. TR been a favorite President of mine since he also advocated redesign of all of the coins of his era, so we have a lot of coins and stamps to collect because of him. In studying about stamps, I read that his cousin FDR was an avid collector of stamps and provided input to stamp designs during his administration as well.
In more modern stamps, I am also fascinated by seemingly common Liberty series and Americana series stamps that have so much variety to collect.
As to the hobby itself, I am truly amazed at the volatility of prices with condition. I am familiar with condition vs. value from the coin world, but in stamps, this volatility seems extreme. For example, the difference between VF, F, and VG in the Scott Specialized Catalogue is astounding. Several hundreds of dollars difference between values for seemingly minor differences in the stamps. I also see nice looking stamps on eBay
selling for 20% or less of Scott catalogue value. It has taken me some time to digest this and see what is going on. But that's part of the fun.
I am willing to accept faults and hinges on expensive stamps if it will save me a few hundred dollars. I collect for enjoyment, so if I like looking at the stamp, that's value for me.
Well, that's my introduction. I am impressed by the knowledge and support of this collecting community and I hope to be a part of it.
Have fun collecting.