Introduction To Stamp Collecting - Part 2

It is interesting to note that this initial start was an unabashed desire of an individual to indulge in a hobby - that of collecting a large quantity of postage stamps. Throughout the years the basic idea - the prime mover that "here is a hobby" - has remained unchanged. This has been the foundation upon which there has been built a vast empire of collectors residing in every civilized country in the world. And the monetary values of their combined collections are of such great proportion that no one could seriously essay an estimate.

Because of the vast monetary wealth represented in these collections, the general public is often treated to highly colored stories that would lead them to believe that this is a hobby concerned with the mundane pursuit of wealth, that collectors are shrewd people who know how to buy stamps today for a song and have merely to wait a few years to reap a bonanza by selling their treasures. This belief has become so widespread that in recent years many thousands of persons have been induced to storm their local Post Offices every time a new stamp is issued in order to buy a sheet, or many sheets, of the new stamps which they have been led to believe will greatly increase in value within a few years.

In another chapter we will discuss at length this idea of monetary "investment" in stamp collecting and will, we believe, expose it for what it really is - a hoax pure and simple that has grown like a cancer on the principal body of stamp collecting. If it be your plan to "get in on some easy money" by buying stamps that are sure to be "good," then do not waste your time reading further in this book. The bug has probably bitten you hard and nothing I can say will deter you from your avowed purpose. If, on the other hand you have a serious interest in discovering the great pleasure that has enthralled millions of your fellow human beings in all parts of the world, then, I believe, my words will help you along that path. In the following pages we shall trace some of the classic stories of great treasures that have been found and recount some of the lesser finds such as can, and will, happen in your collecting activities once you have learned the ropes, for treasure trove plays an important part in philately and the finding of a treasure is one of the most thrilling experiences of stamp collecting. Some of these tales took place several years ago, still others happened only yesterday.