A stamp collector acquires and collects stamps for many different reasons. Believe it or not, stamp collecting is still considered one of the most popular pastimes throughout the world. There are approximately 20+ million stamp collectors worldwide.
Do you collect stamps? Why? Below are some of the most common reasons why people collect stamps.
Reasons Why People Collect Stamps
Simply for joy, fun or enjoyment
All stamp collectors agree (even if not everyone admits it) that what motivates them to collect stamps is the pure simple joy they feel when collecting. The process of searching, locating and buying common stamps, new stamps, old stamps, rare stamps, or any other types of stamps which are needed in order to complete a specific type of stamp collection gives the stamp collector a sense of pride, success and accomplishment. For some people, just the simple and pure fun of the hunt (similar to treasure hunting), and the moment of actually finding and successfully acquiring a particular stamp is a good enough reason to collect stamps. Click here to view Rare Stamps.
Stamp collectors enjoy the moment when they get praised by family, friends, and other collectors regarding their stamp collections at stamp exhibits. Similarly, stamp collectors who put up personal websites showing their collection love the feeling of joy every time someone makes a positive feedback about their stamps.
There are those who collect stamps simply because they are intrigued and interested on the various pictures, designs, and colors they see on them. Just like a person who collects antiques or paintings, these individuals do so simply for their visual appeal and the simple joy and satisfaction they feel whenever they look at their stamp collection.
Affordable and everyone can buy them
People collect stamps because it is a cheap/affordable hobby, and that everyone can actually buy them. Click here to Buy Stamps. Most of us look for things that are interesting but affordable, especially during times of recession. It may sound unreal, but people nowadays, despite the presence of hi-tech stuff, are going back to old crafts like crocheting, knitting, gardening, cupcake baking, and of course, stamp collecting. The so-called old-fashioned hobbies are coming back and they are now regarded as cool. Click here to read about Stamp Collecting Today.
Educational benefits and historical value of stamps
People collect stamps because these small pieces of paper represent history and a whole lot more, actually. It teaches and educates people about history, art, geography, architecture, environment, mythology, movies, music, religion, culture, science and technology, modes of transport, space, sports, aviation, animals and plants, famous people, events, and many more. For some individuals, collecting stamps is based on the desire to acquire and keep a living history of their country. Rare stamps that are more than a hundred years old can help one to obtain a piece of living history right at their fingertips. Click here to view Rare stamps.
A way to connect or keep in touch with people abroad
People collect stamps for the very reason that it connects them to people from other countries all over the world -- pen pals and relatives who live abroad. For a small amount of money, thanks to postage stamps, you can send a letter to any place on earth, even if it is the farthest and most desolate area where humans might live. The existence of stamps and letters brings mankind closer together. Believe it or not, the concept of having pen pals still exist up to this day, albeit a bit modern (since now they can communicate quickly via emails and social media sites). However, when sending or receiving handwritten letters and packages, postage stamps will be needed, and it is one method for someone to collect stamps along the way. As for your relatives abroad, you can collect stamps from the packages, letters, and postcards they send. Not only do you get to know that your relatives are doing fine abroad, but you also get to collect stamps to add to your collection.
A great way to meet new friends who share a common interest
When people collect stamps, chances are that they will meet new friends who share a common interest during their stamp collecting journey. Therefore, we can assume that some people who choose to collect stamps as one of their hobbies do so for the prospect of making new friends and the chance to share with others their experiences and knowledge about collecting stamps. There are some who collect stamps simply because it opens up the opportunity for them to meet and befriend other people from around the world. With lots of conferences specially put up for showcasing stamp collections that are held every year throughout many countries and the creation of the many forums and websites dedicated to stamps online, it is absolutely possible for a stamp collector to build his or her own circle of friends based around this hobby.
People collect stamps as a way to improve their social or people skills too -- joining stamp organizations or clubs makes one feel more at home and have fun collecting and talking about stamps with other stamp lovers.
[[To be passed on to the next generation]]
Some people collect stamps for the reason that they want to leave a "personal" legacy to their children. You may give a personal tour of your stamp collection to your children. Show and tell them how many years of joy it has given you. Depending on your children's perspective in life and if you get lucky, they might even want to continue your collection.
For sure, many people can relate to this scenario. If you are one of those who collected stamps as a kid, then you will definitely feel and remember some good ol' nostalgic memories of your childhood. Probably you have inherited a stamp collection from your parents, grandparents, or other relatives. If you do, you will surely fondly remember yourself sitting at the table, scouring over stamps with your mom or dad, or your grandparents. The passion of collecting stamps is transferred from parent to child, and oftentimes, to grandchild.
To commemorate special events
There are some people who collect stamps for the reason of commemorating special events. Those who are extremely interested in history, called history buffs, may stick to collecting stamps that are specifically designed to commemorate a variety of important events in the history. If a stamp collector is passionate about soccer/football, then he would most likely collect stamps commemorating the World Cup, an international association football competition and a worldwide special event that is held every 4 years.
Below you will see a set of 4 commemorative stamps released during the visit of Pope Francis in the Philippines - January 2015.
As another way to show your dedication to real-life interests
Some people collect stamps that feature a particular theme or item. For instance, a person who loves anything and everything about nature may only want to collect stamps that show animals and plants. Similarly, a fan of music may only collect stamps that portray famous musicians or anything that is associated with music such as musical instruments, musical genres, and composers.
As an investment
The first reason mentioned earlier, for some stamp collectors, does not apply to this one. There are some stamps that can be worth a fortune, but stamp collecting as an investment involves a high level of specialization, and in the opinion of most people, takes the fun factor out of it. No wonder why there is a distinction frequently drawn between stamp collectors and the so-called philatelic investors.
A stamp collector can collect as much as they can for decades, since there is no limit to collecting these wonderful pieces of paper, and the good thing is, no matter how many you collect, you can only use up a couple of shelves. Of course, there are other hobbies that have this "small space storage" benefit, but only a select few have it clearly as stamps. Most of the collectibles are obviously far bigger and harder to store than postage stamps. A stamp collection containing thousands of stamps can be kept in just 1 album, whereas a collection of a thousand figurines takes up lots of rooms. This also means that when you have a stamp collection and you stopped collecting for reasons such as you are too busy, not interested anymore, or there were many other things that took up your time (this happens with almost all hobbies), it can easily be resumed anytime once you feel interested again.
Describes one to be clean, neat, and orderly
Orderliness is associated with cleanliness and comprehensiveness. Only a few hobbies have their own catalogs (such as comic book collecting) and none are as detailed as stamp catalogs. The fact of knowing what you exactly need is appealing to stamp collectors. Also, collecting stamps is neat and clean when compared to most collecting pastimes, and stamps fit in well with modern living situations.
As a de-stressor to everyday life
Some people collect stamps as a way to de-stress and unwind at the end of a rather stress-filled and busy day. The time spent searching and filling empty spaces in an album or simply looking at stamps help one to reduce the stress felt on that day. A lot of stamp collectors agree that their stamp albums are a marvelous brain-restorer. The most important benefit to continuing on collecting stamps even into your aging years, is that the hobby keeps your mind active, and an active mind is a young mind. Even if your body gets older and weaker, your mind does not need to. In fact, it should only get wiser and better with age.
Of course, if you are someone who is an obsessive-compulsive stamp collector, collecting stamps may actually increase your stress even more, since you will most probably struggle with your inner self.
A perfect way to avoid boredom
Imagine what would people back in the olden days do without stamp collecting. For most people, the world would be a boring and less exciting place. Obviously, non-collectors will not understand, but for those who are really active in this hobby, they know that stamp collecting drives away the boredom in them, and it is a perfect solution to pass the time in a fun way during long winter evenings or rainy days. There is always something to do on a stamp collection -- it is always never finished.
Many famous and influential persons are actually stamp collectors themselves
The great thing about stamp collecting is that everyone can collect stamps! Some of the famous and influential persons who are also stamp collectors themselves are: King George V of England, Queen Elizabeth II, King Farouk I of Egypt, Prince Rainier III of Monaco, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, lead vocalist of the band Queen Freddie Mercury, The Beatles member John Lennon, Ayn Rand, Amelia Earhart, Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and lead guitarist of The Rolling Stones Ronnie Wood.
People of all ages, from different walks of life, love to collect stamps, but why? Whatever their reasons, stamp collecting is totally fun, enjoyable and it is pretty easy to get started. For beginners, they do not need a lot to start their stamp collection -- just a few stamps at a time and a place to store or display them.