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Why Do You Collect What You Collect?

 
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1178 Posts
Posted 02/08/2019   10:25 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Climber Steve to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My interests parallel Coastwatcher somewhat. Since the end of 1989, I've made 8 trips to Tanzania, and into Kenya on many of those trips. Hence, an interest in British East Africa, with German East Africa in the holding pattern. Have been climbing in Mexico a couple times, and discovered the fascinating world of Mexican stamps about 10 years ago. I'm part Polish and have been there several times mostly for hiking. So........

In the mid 1970s, out of college and working, I discovered the 1914-1926 Ceres issues of the Portuguese colonies; got away from the area in the late 1970s; and "re-discovered' it in the late 1980s. Have gone strong ever since. I've traveled to Portuguese areas only in the last 5-6 years. Have been to Portugal twice; going again this year; and to Macau in late 2014.
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Edited by Climber Steve - 02/08/2019 10:28 am
Pillar Of The Community
United States
4333 Posts
Posted 02/08/2019   11:11 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add floortrader to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I collected as a youngster, I first had the 25 cent album and slowly moved up to a $3.00 Discover album ,in High School I got a paper route and made $20.00 a month . I put half of that into stamps as a worldwide collector .
During High School ,I made two purchases of U.S. Stamps the first at a local stamp store . It was a big purchase {$30.00} it was all at half catalog because "he was helping me build a good collection " ,years later I discovered each stamp was damaged or had thins or damaged perforations . The second purchase was a special request to a New York famous stamp dealer for $100.00 in used U.S. and what I got again was seconds and the best stamp cataloged $5.00.

After college and a few years away from collecting and now making pockets full of money and nothing to spend it on . I seen a ad for COMPEX stamp show in Chicago . Then decided to renew my interest in worldwide stamp collecting because it was fun in my youth .

Since I was doing good trading Commodity Markets, I decided to put extra money in stamps so some day when things got hard and I needed money I would have my stamps to sell . Well things never got bad for 50 years but I kept buying and boy did I buy just for entertainment .Now retired and still working on my worldwide collection.

Some day I will have a decent size stamp collection .
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Edited by floortrader - 02/08/2019 6:01 pm
Valued Member
Canada
384 Posts
Posted 02/08/2019   11:30 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gmot to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
For me, it's a mix of what I inherited and my interests. While I find postal history interesting, I've primarily interested in stamps that have significant artistic and/or historical relevance to me. So I like mint, although don't care about gum condition - it's how it looks on the front that's important. I"m also a completionist and software dev, so tracking/inventorying my stamps is part of the fun too.

Canada because its what I collected as a child (and still have my original Harris album) and where I live. So when I returned to collecting recently, it was natural to begin there. Provinces I'm also interested in, but only really Newfoundland, not the other ones. It helps greatly that the Newfoundland and classic Canadian stamps are generally very well designed and attractive. I collect up to 1999 as my cutoff since I don't like very much modern stamp issuing practices. Working on getting all nice mint copies (within financial reality) for entire period, around 98% there.

Germany and all German-related (up to mid-1960s primarily) as that was my father's focus. Particularly Berlin, but between him and my two grandfathers' collections, I received a large accumulation of classic German. So that's been a great education and the variety of colonies, eras, occupied territories, post-war occupations, all fascinating. This will be never ending, as I'm not looking to spend much money on this, more organizing what I have and filling in inexpensive gaps.

Classic worldwide up to 1960 but more focused on up to 1949. This is bulk of what my one grandfather collected, and he passed on many bulging Scott internationals & much loose material. So that's been a great discovery process, almost overwhelming in scope, just to inventory and understand what's all there. Loads of fun! Once I got a sense of what's all there, I decided to focus on the strongest areas of those first - that's been French African colonies and classic Balkans (e.g. Montenegro, Bosnia, Fiume...)

Where I'm focusing now is French African colonies - very attractive stamps and enjoying that immensely. Currently moving those into Palo albums and filling holes. Next year, once I've filled in gaps to what budget allows, will move onto another area where there's a good collection already, perhaps one of the European countries like Belgium or Denmark.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
4333 Posts
Posted 02/08/2019   6:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add floortrader to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Should of also added since retiring my goal is to get stamps from countries that are mostly missing in other people's worldwide collections .Try to buy those countries that rarely come up for auction .
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Valued Member
United States
56 Posts
Posted 02/09/2019   01:36 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add msdot281 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My grandfather gave me my first U.S. stamp album, with a number of miscellaneous used stamps already placed in it, so my initial collecting was used U.S.

I lost interest for a number of years, but got interested again once I got into my 30's. A co-worker had given me an international album, with a lot of German stamps, since his wife was from Germany. After that, I began shopping at a stamp store in Colorado and bought a number of great mint stamps. Some of these, such as a set of beautiful butterfly stamps from the Chinese People's Republic (Scott Nos. 661 - 680) that I paid $12 for in the early 1980's and which is now worth, according to the 2014 Scott catalog, $525.00. So, I considered that to be pretty good investment. However, that isn't why I bought the stamps - it was because they were butterflies and I love butterflies on stamps. I have a 6 volume collection thus far. I signed up for new issues and have some absolutely beautiful butterfly stamps from all over the world.

In the early 1990's, a friend gave me her grandmother's stamp collection, being 4 huge Minkus Master Global stamp albums, with virtually all mint stamps, together with a U.S. album with all mint stamps. With such great bases to work from, I now collect almost everything that comes across my path. I have such great friends! Another friend recently gave me 5 volumes of 1st day covers, plus a large volume celebrating the philatelic history of the Civil War.

I love history, geography and beautiful stamps, so this is the greatest hobby in the world for me! Now I just need to find someone who wants to inherit this collection upon my demise, preferably a young person who is avidly interested in the hobby. Still looking!
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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
1141 Posts
Posted 02/09/2019   02:01 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'm glad this thread has grown legs. Wonderful to read what inspires us

I neglected to mention my English postal history collecting. Half of what I have is pre-stamp and the other half is 1d reds on cover and 1d pink envelopes.

The attraction is two-fold. I just love the place (and can't wait to go there again) and most of my ancestry is English although I can claim a 'full set' (English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh).
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Pillar Of The Community
Learn More...
United States
2430 Posts
Posted 02/09/2019   06:15 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I started with US as I had collected off and on for many years but the costs to acquire older stamps was going up. I balked at spending that much money for a stamp or pay almost $20 for a new supplement. I went with Mystic for US back in the late 90s.

I had showed some interest in Malaysia / Singapore after I traveled to the area often. This expanded to British empire so that is my focus now. You can get lots of nice engraved stamps (better than most US) inexpensively.

There has been two critical events that spurred this on - the Internet and Steiner pages. I would never have spent that much money on a traditional album like Scott. The Internet gives a 24x7 stamp club with forums like this and many ways to acquire stamps (not just eBay).
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Al
Edited by angore - 02/09/2019 06:18 am
Valued Member
United States
182 Posts
Posted 02/09/2019   12:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add howell1018 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I began collecting to impress girls. Alright, that's a lie. As a matter of fact my wife married despite the fact that I collected stamps. The real reason I collect (U.S.) was that when I was 7 my best friend Steven told me we were going to, so I did. Steven gave it up after about a year and 60 years later I'm still at it. When I got to my early 30's I suddenly realized I could afford a lot of stamps (Columbians and Trans-Missippi for example) that I had never even seen to that point much less owned. My first big purchase after years of inactivity was a White Plains Souvenir Sheet (Scott 630).
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Valued Member
United States
409 Posts
Posted 02/09/2019   12:23 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add funcitypapa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Coastwatcher: I tried to send you a personal email but your profile indicates you do notwant to receive email. I enjoyed you posting about the various collecting interest you have. I noted your mention of the Coastwatchers and reference to JFK. As it happens, I collect presidential manuscripts. You don't see many items where JFK references this part of his life, but it so happens that I have a May 1963 JFK White House letter signed wherein he mentions New Guinea, the AIF and the coastwatchers. Please send me an email if you would like to see an image of it
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Edited by funcitypapa - 02/09/2019 12:27 pm
Valued Member
United States
59 Posts
Posted 02/09/2019   1:45 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add moneil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I primarily collect U.S. I don't typically collect plate blocks, full sheets, souvenir sheets, booklets, FDC's, but if it is a stamp l like aesthetically or I have a connection with its topic I'll try to collect the "whole grouping". This protocol applies to foreign stamps also.

I'm not really a dedicated foreign stamp collector, but if a non-US stamp comes my way (someone saves them for me from their overseas mail or I bid on a collection on eBay) I'll identify and mount it. I do have a large collection of Colombia up through the 1970's (I was in the Peace Corps there) and I'll probably start filling in the gaps.

Otherwise my non-US interest is mostly topical. I've collected cows on stamps for a long time as I worked my whole life with dairy and beef cows. If I see a Kennedy stamp at a show I may pick it up but I don't have want list I'm hunting for. Franklin or Eleanor Roosevelt are stamp topics I do look for, and I was surprised how popular they were for stamp commemoration outside the U.S. Bicycles on stamps are a recent topical interest (I ride, and I work with a program that collects bikes to ship to West Africa). In the last six months I have a new job as a First Aid & CPR instructor for the American Red Cross and I've started collecting that topic also.
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Valued Member
United Kingdom
20 Posts
Posted 02/10/2019   06:04 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Mark1973 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I started off wanting to complete a GB collection 1d black QV to the next set of QE stamps.

completed about 90% and got hooked on Victoria stamps, which grew to victoria commonwealth.

Now its expanded to fiscals,revenues,telegraph ect

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Valued Member
United States
168 Posts
Posted 02/10/2019   12:55 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Coastwatcher to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
funcitypapa....Thank you for your wonderful offer. I would love to see the document but, unfortunately, I tried sending you a message and it wouldn't allow me because I don't yet have 50 posts. This is undoubtedly the reason you could not message me.

Edit: I now have 50 posts and have messaged you.
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Edited by Coastwatcher - 02/10/2019 10:18 pm
Valued Member
Ireland
153 Posts
Posted 02/10/2019   2:03 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add FitzjamesHorse to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Circa 1962, it began with a pre-printed stamp album.
From 1970, I began to concentrate on Ireland. About 2001, I gave up (too many new issues) and returned to the world of collecting stamps in 2012.
Why Ireland?
Well I am Irish. I tend to think of a one-nation stamp album as being a "Greatest Hits" album. History, Art, Sport, Landscapes, Music, Flora, Fauna etc...it is all there in a very simplified form.
I think some of us just have a "collecting gene". So unwittingly I expanded into coins, postcards, phonecards, bubblegum cards etc.
My wife thinks I am a "hoarder" but a "hoarder" is a fire risk.
In Stamp Collecting I take Ireland seriously and the rest of the world with the same juvenile enthusiasm that I had in 1962. This is a form of BALANCE, which keeps me almost sane.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
683 Posts
Posted 02/10/2019   3:42 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add erilaz to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I think some of us just have a "collecting gene". So unwittingly I expanded into coins, postcards, phonecards, bubblegum cards etc.

I certainly have that gene! I have some of each of the types of collectibles you've named, though some I collect more seriously than others. I only have a small accumulation of phonecards, for example: a handful of used ones from my trip to Germany and England in 1992, a few Japanese ones of topical interest (circa 2000), and a couple of the earliest ones, from Austria in the late 1880s. As for bubblegum cards, I finally completed my set of Topps Charlie's Angels cards just a couple of years ago. That is to say, I completed my American set; my Canadian set is still incomplete....

But I collect a lot of other stuff, too. Records and CDs by favorite musical artists (some to excruciatingly completist levels), translations of favorite books (even if I can't read a single word of the language), cereal boxes, Japanese idol photos and photobooks, magazines with Winona Ryder on the cover... and the list goes on.
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Edited by erilaz - 02/10/2019 3:42 pm
Pillar Of The Community
Australia
1141 Posts
Posted 02/10/2019   4:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I agree on the gene theory. I have some coins and postcards and a lot of cigarette & bubblegum cards.


Quote:
In Stamp Collecting I take Ireland seriously and the rest of the world with the same juvenile enthusiasm that I had in 1962. This is a form of BALANCE, which keeps me almost sane.


I can really relate to this. Vital to have some balance, helps with the BANK balance too!!
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