Roosevelt, the philatelist in chief, often shown in official White House photographs with a magnifying glass, viewing his collection. Before hours wasted on video games and other ephemeral pleasures, the hobby transfixed and transported youngsters.
Stamp errors explained
Stamps were the adhesive coins of the realm, a way to learn geography, history and politics. Every high school had its stamp club. I never joined one, but I did earn the stamp collecting merit badge in Boy Scouts thankfully, the badge still exists , and I amassed a sizable collection from various sources. On my own, I pursued new domestic issues, sending a stamped self-addressed envelope to post offices of issue. Even the United Nations issued stamps, which could be sent only from the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan, and I collected them, too.
There were stamp shows and dealers who would advertise in the back pages of comic books.
Stamp collecting could be addictive, and for many in my generation it was. But there comes a time to let go of childish things, and the stamps, plate blocks and first-day covers I collected in the s had sat in a box in the basement for too many years, unlooked at, unattended to, low-hanging fruit in my efforts to downsize.
So off I went, with my collection, first to Maryland Stamps and Coins, open for 42 years and among the dwindling number of businesses still serving a dying hobby. There I learned the sad truth: There is no longer a market for the collection I once so greatly valued.
Collectors are passing on at an alarming rate; the average collector, I was told, is 65 to 70 years old.
There was a time when the Inverted Jenny stamp was a household name; though examples continue to fetch seven figures at auction, how many people have even heard of it? The society has 28, members today, compared with 56, two decades years ago — a 50 percent drop in 20 years, and prospects are not good.
The Maryland stamp dealer had no commercial use for my collection. But, he said, I could donate them to Stamps for the Wounded, a veterans organization. Hence, while their interest in stamps may actually increase as an interest in retirement, their willingness to invest significant amounts in higher priced stamps will be limited.
5 Stamps You Should Invest in Today
The other group making up the high end of philately are investment buyers. Based on the price movements in high-end stamps, it seems that this is a segment of the market that is growing rapidly in value if not in numbers of participants. Our analysis has shown that the more expensive a stamp is, the more rapidly it tends to appreciate. It's not a universal rule, but more reliable than depending on a companies management or good fortune.
Provenance is the cachet that provides something tangible, but with no utility value, to command a high price because it gives the owner pride and the sense that he has made a good investment.
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Provenance can also be creating such as by building an award winning exhibit or publishing a history or catalog. In any case, stamp investors represent a critical element in the survival of philately because they are willing to buy stamps in multiple quantities, not just one or two to complete a collection.
Alex Rogolsky (Author of A Guide to Philatelic Investing)
It's an acquired trait and the secret sauce true collectors relish. As a lifetime investor in postage stamps, I've wr Share to facebook Share to twitter Share to linkedin We are all familiar with the decades long debate about the future of philately or lack thereof.
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