This title features: a full-colour global directory of the world's greatest stamps, including photographs of over 3000 stamps from more than 200 countries; a thorough introduction to the evolution of the adhesive stamp and other philatelic material allows the beginner or experienced enthusiast to understand both the history and value of their collection; the stories behind the flaws, incidents and propaganda that created some of the world's most collectable stamps; and, step-by-step instructions on mounting stamps for display and preserving their condition, with examples of useful tools and accessories. This is the ultimate guide to embarking on, and getting the very most out, the world's most popular hobby, with countless examples of and stories about rare, vivid and historical stamps spanning almost two centuries, plus advice on price and guidance about acquisition. The global directory of stamps from more than 200 countries will inspire readers to collect their own. Read some of the fascinating stories behind the world's most sought-after stamps, from the famous commemoratives of American presidents to issues from some of the most remote post offices in the world. Stamps trace the character and history of the country from which they originate, and this encyclopedic visual directory is a stunning account of some of the most bizarre, colourful and poignant examples ever created.