While many people assume that stamp collecting is a dying hobby, it shouldn’t be discounted yet. True, it’s no longer in its heyday like it was in the mid 20th century when nearly one out of seven families owned a collection, but it’s still very popular for several reasons. Let’s dive into history a bit.
Back in 1840, the invention of labels led to a worldwide creation of stamps to simplify mail systems. Since then, school children all over the world, as well as many adults, have delighted in the different stamps that came to their mailbox. Due to the cost already being paid when the stamp was purchased, it was a free hobby that allowed people to collect an item delivered directly to their homes. As the popularity of collecting stamps grew, so did the notoriety. Even kings and famous singers, such as Freddy Mercury, have been known to partake in this pastime.
One of the main reasons stamp collecting has managed to last such a long time is that people place personal value upon objects. A special letter sent by a friend or lover would arrive with a stamp, and by adding the stamp to a collection book, fond memories were preserved. However, other uses for stamp collecting include teaching about geography and researching time periods and places.
Recently, the transition from memory-oriented stamps to subject stamps has taken place. Each year, postal services issue new subjects, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a topic that isn’t on a stamp. From animals to famous people, it’s easy to focus on a specific niche for your collection.
While it’s true that the primary age of stamp collectors is now over 60, there’s been a concerted effort to revive philately, the study of stamps, due to their increasingly archaic nature. Stamps are no longer used for most correspondence, making them an intriguing subject for many historians and collectors.
What currently seems like a dying hobby could very well come out strong on the other side, as the value of older stamps increases. Also, many people are sitting on treasure troves of stamps within their attics, and as they clean them out, their interest will be piqued by the contents of the letters and the value of the stamps upon them.
Soon, stamps might fall to the wayside, making them obscure enough to rise in popularity once more. We all know that rare items are more likely to be coveted than abundant ones. If you’re interested, you should begin your very own collection. You can collect them in any way you’d like, and you can find a lot of information online about which ones are rare. Who knows, maybe you’ll find one worth $50,000 in your attic!