When selecting an area to collect or choosing to refine an existing collection it is OK to take an approach that provides maximum benefit for yourself. This is not a selfish approach, in view of the actual benefits available:
- Mental Health – In our modern society, with the pace of life and onslaught of information, the benefit of a healthy diversion should not be underestimated. Stamp collecting is one of many pastimes that satisfies the need for collecting and learning, whilst providing a window or respite from the pace of modern society. For those suffering from symptoms of depression or anxiety the ‘grounding’ effect of stamp collecting is significant.
- Historic or Geographic Interest – Stamp collecting is a great way to gain historical or geographical context to human endeavour, including: Reigns, Wars, Olympics, events etc. A love of learning, in particular history, is a common theme of all types of collectors. Stamps represent moments in history and are a great aid to capturing knowledge and learnings.
- Thematic Interest – For the more visual collector stamps of certain themes can bring alive passions and interests: eg. Cats, Butterflies, Birds, Disney, Olympics etc. Within the collection the thematic interest can be enhanced by layout, headings and supplementary information. A scrapbooking approach can be quite acceptable – it’s your collection.
- Social Activity – Being social beings, we benefit from a sense of community and common interest. Ideally, maximum benefit is gained by joining a social club such as a stamp club where common interests can be discussed and items traded. However in the age of the internet, socialisation can be achieved via on-line blogs such as Facebook and trading via auction platforms such as Ebay. For the aged and immobile, connection via the internet is a great alternative or supplement to direct socialisation.
- Exhibiting – A great sense of achievement can be a achieved by the collector who is able to compile a specialist display for exhibiting. The Exhibitor seeks to add to the Philatelic Body of Knowledge or Narrative by way of specialist collecting, research and display. The exhibition entry forms a public record of the exhibitor’s research or story, and may gain the acknowledgement and recognition of the philatelic community.
- Caretaking – Some people commence collecting as a result of inheriting a relatives collection and a sense of preserving family history for future generations. Whether the collection is left intact or expanded, it is vital to store the collection in a dry and safe location. This advice is relevant to all collectors. We are all caretakers and we must take care of our collections for future collectors to enjoy.
- Investment – Stamp collecting for Investment is deliberately listed last, since we do not wish to raise unrealistic expectations regarding investment in stamps, particularly for the novice or faint-hearted. Whist certain classes of stamps have proven to be good financial investments, specific philatelic and market knowledge is required and we counsel the novice against collecting stamps solely for investment.
For whatever reason you collect or for whatever benefits you derive from stamp collecting, we wish you every enjoyment in your endeavour. Stamp collecting is very rewarding.