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gabriel 1

Stamp Collecting

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gabriel 1

I recently received an e-mail in which a collector voiced his disgust at low prices received for some Union material which is fairly common but has a decent catalogue value. The question is, "Why collect such items if the re-sale value is a fraction of the catalogue price"?


My response to this is as follows: (only my opinion)


There are various categories of collectors:

1. The collector that collects because he/she enjoys the hobby and is not concerned about financial gain. This collector buys material because of it's historical significance. The collector does not need huge sums of money in order to add to their collection, the collection is still attractive and something to be proud of. This collector is usually passionate about the hobby and is an asset to the Philatelic world.


2. The collector that collects as an investment, it does not matter what the material is as long as the re-sale yields good financial profits. The only danger with this is that often good collections are broken up and sold seperately thus destroying what originally went into it. It could be argued that this is also a good thing as it gives others the opportunity to aquire items not usually for sale.


3. The specialist who concentrates on specific fields eg Boer War or a specific period of time. These collectors will pay large sums of money for single items. The emphasis is not on quantity but on the quality of the item. These collectors spend hours on research, buy reference material, do extensive write-ups on items and are extremely passionate about what they collect. History is usually very important to this collector and this is reflected in the collection. This collector although he/she could get good money for the collection as it will most definately contain scarce items, would prefer that the collection remain intact and in the family, often a dream that cannot be achieved.


4. Thematics, very popular and good for young collectors just getting started. The collector is interested in Birds, for example and collects stamps with birds on them from all over the world. The stamp world has accomodated the Thematic collector very well as there are 100's of fields to collect and enough material available for those interested.


Philately does not start and end with 'stamps', there are:

First Day Covers

Postal History

Post cards


Revenue documents




Stamps can be broken down into many categories as well.

And I am sure I have missed a few.


I am no expert on the field, just passionate about my hobby and getting other people to share in the experience.


Participate in this experience, ask questions on the forum, no matter how simple you may think the question is, we all wondered about it at some or other stage.


Happy collecting



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