I’m constantly amazed at the variety of thematic possibilities stamp collecting offers. There is truly something for everyone.
Many people focus on certain countries because their family came to the United States from that particular country or they have an interest in that country or countries for other reasons. A member of the Kentucky Stamp Club collects the stamps of France and Vatican City because of family ties to these two stamp-issuing places.
He has other interests such as the stamps and postmarks of Bermuda as well as pre-cancel and perfins stamps.
Pre-cancel stamps are ones that have been over printed with the name of the city or town where they were used and perfins are stamps that had initials cut into them signifying that they were the property of a certain large postage user.
Some stamp collectors are interested principally in the history of the hobby and they collect some of the many books that have been written about it. It is enjoyable to say nothing of enlightening to read some of the fascinating stories making up the history of the hobby over the years.
The whole world
Some stamp collectors go for the whole world and collect worldwide. Since this is such a large undertaking today, with thousands of stamps being issued each year by the nations of the world, many restrict their worldwide collections to a time period.
One way to approach worldwide collecting is to find a worldwide collection for sale (that is incomplete) and purchase it. Let’s say it goes up to 1990. I would move the date back to say 1950 and sell all the stamps from 1951 to 1990 taking the funds from that and filling in some of the empty spaces to 1950.
If you do this, I recommend finding a collection in the beautiful Minkus albums or the Scott albums. These are good quality products and they have probably worn well. Most collectors do a good job of taking care of their albums.
A good place to look for a worldwide collection would be Collectors Stamps in Louisville or on eBay. I would enlist the help and advice of a seasoned collector in using this avenue to acquire a collection.
Again, you can spend as much or as little money as you like in getting started. The amount of money you spend will not (or should not) limit your enjoyment of this hobby.
If you get started collecting worldwide or individual countries or groups of countries, there is nothing to stop you from changing your interest to a different mix of countries. Many people like the British colonies and these can be done in different areas.
Many people collect what is known as British America. These are basically British colonies in the south Atlantic, Caribbean, and South American areas.
Another British area would be British Africa, encompassing the British colonies in Africa. This would include some interesting stamps from what is known as British Offices Overseas. You could even make a separate collecting category out of the British Offices Overseas.
I hope these ideas for collecting will give you food for thought as you consider stamp collecting as a hobby.
The members of the Kentucky Stamp Club in Frankfort are ready to help you. It meets 2 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Baptist Church, 130 Holmes St.
Breck Pegram is president of the Kentucky Stamp Club.