The Penny Black was the very first British postage stamp issued in 1840 with a picture showing a young Queen Victoria. Today the Penny Black is a much sought after stamp by collectors who are often willing to pay up to £200 for a used stamp depending upon the condition. Stamp collecting is a very popular hobby enjoyed by young and old alike and collectors will try to find rare stamps (Briefmarken) from all over the world. One very well known rare postage stamp is the Inverted Jenny which was issued in 1918 with the image of the Curtiss JN-4 airplane in the middle. Unfortunately the design was printed upside down making this stamp one of the most expensive collectors stamp ever.
Today stamps can be issued throughout the year to celebrate different occasions. At Christmas the picture of the stamps on sale will change to represent the Christmas festival and may have pictures of Angels, the Virgin Mary with Baby Jesus, Shepherds, the Three Kings or maybe Snowmen, Reindeers, Father Christmas or Christmas Trees. Photographs have been used throughout the years on stamps to encourage buying stamps (Briefmarkenankauf) and photographs of Kings, Queens, popular landmarks and events have very often been used. Photographs in stamps often used to show images of wildlife and country scenes, much like poster print photos and other nature inspired designs.
Buying stamps is necessary for anybody wanting to post letters and parcels and is a postal system which is used all over the world. Photographs are used on Commemorative stamps which will only be on sale for a short period of time to remember an anniversary. For anyone wanting to collect stamps as a hobby all that is needed is a stamp album where the stamps can be hinge-mounted or a stock book with clear plastic pockets. Stamps can then be saved from different countries and swopped with other stamp collectors.