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Postage Stamp Collecting

Collecting Modern Postage Stamps

Postage Stamp Collecting continues to grow on a worldwide scale.  Stamp collecting not only enables one to learn about their own country's history, culture, and famous people, but it also enables them to learn more about the larger world around them.  Stamp collecting continues to be one of the best non-scholastic learning tools in existence.

It has been encouraging to see the effort being made by the American Philatelic Society, through their magazine "The American Philatelist", to promote the collecting of modern commemorative stamps.  Modern postage stamps, in this context, refers to US commemorative stamps issued since 1935 and foreign commemorative stamps issued since 1950.

In the many website inquiries I've responded to, this newborn interest reminds me of a point about stamp collecting that I have continually tried to stress.  The collecting of modern commemorative stamps IS about the enjoyment, history, and education realized from the hobby.  It IS NOT about the money.

For those that presume they will get rich off of their modern postage stamp collecting hobby, here are the realities.

  • Most of the modern commemorative stamps are extremely common.  Millions (sometimes billions) of them were printed and sold.
  • Most of the modern commemorative stamps will probably never be worth much more than the face-value printed on them.

For the stamp collector though, here are the rewards of modern stamp collecting.

  • The stamps are affordable.  They cost anywhere from a few cents to a few dollars, depending on their original face-value.
  • The stamps are attractive.  An album page with commemorative stamps is beautiful to behold.
  • The stamps are historical.  They reflect the historical era in which they were issued.
  • The stamps have a story to tell.  Try using Wikipedia.  There is a historical article in Wikipedia for just about every subject that has ever been depicted on a commemorative postage stamp.

The value from modern postage stamp collecting is in the enjoyment and education that the stamps provide, and that value is incalculable, compared to the few cents that each of the modern commemorative stamps actually cost.

I no longer specialize in United States stamps, but I do maintain an album with US stamps from 1847 to about 1980.  In regard to the modern stamps, I paid far more for the album than I have for all of the modern commemorative stamps it contains.  I still appreciate and cherish these modern US postage stamps, just as much as I do some of the classical and early modern "gems" I currently have in my US stamp collection.

David Aeschliman, Owner

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Collecting Modern Postage Stamps