There has to be some "excitement", or at least "temptation" as well.
When you have a copy of a stamp/coin/note, and you're satisfied, fine with me.
But for me, the whole idea of collecting doesn't stop there.
In fact, it just started.
I would suggest each starter to buy a lot.
It doesn't have to be 'expensive', but it has to be enough to become tempting to investigate.
I use a 3-digit system to qualify my stamps.
The first number (here X) stands for the perforation (or the margins for unperforated stamps)
The second number (here Y) stands for the centering
The last digit (Z) stands for the gum quality - or cancelation for used stamps
Each number is a scale from 5 to 0 (with 5 for the highest quality - 0 for the lowest).
In total a scale of 216 levels (555 to 000).
It's obvious that stamps labeled with 000 are more or less worhtless, and '555' stamps are ready to be shown in exhibitions.
"5" is for perfect perforated stamps, all teeth are present, even the corners are there.
|5 Y Z|
"3" is for good stamps, perforation is nerly perfect, at first sight no teeth missing,
some might be a bit shorter
|4 Y Z and 3 Y Z|
"1" is for stamps with several shortened teeth, torn teeth or missing teeth
"0" more teeth are missing
|2 Y Z 1 Y Z 0 Y Z|
How about specific perforations?
For unperforated stamps, the so called 'perché en lignes' ...
Here it's a bit more difficult to determinate the quatlity of the 'perforation, but again, the better the quality, the better the qualification you can give.
Again, a good stock to select from and some good samples of each type will help a lot.
to be continued...