"Stamp collecting, a dying Hobby"?

Discussion in 'Stamp Chat' started by Harry Golightly, May 14, 2017.

  1. Harry Golightly

    Harry Golightly NonHinged

    Hello Group,
    I obviously collect stamps and have done so for 35 years+. I also collect key U.S. coins and subscribe to Numismatic News magazine. Reading in the most recent issue of this rag I came across the phrase, either from one of the editors or columnist stating: "Stamp collecting, as a Hobby was dying out"!
    Personally, I don't see this as fact, but then again I may be too close & can not be objective.
    I don't think anyone would disagree that the hobby has diminished since the halcyon days of the 1950's, 60's & into the 70's (REF: Herman Herst jr.'s book "Nassau Street" published in 1960)
    , but I can't help but believing that 'dying out' is overly hyperbolic.
    I'm not writing this post to be a buzz-kill, but would really enjoy reading other members opinions/comments on the 'state' of our hobby....which, dying or not , I still love.
    I'll end this screed by paraphrasing Ms. Dorthy Parker's "Resume`"
    Razors pain you
    Rivers are damp
    Acid stains you
    And drugs cause cramp
    Guns aren't lawful;
    Nooses give;
    Gas smells awful;
    You might as well COLLECT STAMPS.
    Werner Salentin, Makanudo and HopeMe like this.
  2. HopeMe

    HopeMe Learn and grow

    I don't believe that philately will ever die. There will always be people that will continue this beautiful hobby. I don't fear. It's, of course, lower in numbers than in it's peak/bloom in the 1950's but that's normal.

    I still have many friends that collect stamps. Not for money but for the enjoyment.

    The digitization also harmed us more than it helped. People are preoccupied with other things to realize how fun and relaxing this hobby is.
    Harry Golightly and Makanudo like this.
  3. John J. McNeill

    John J. McNeill New Member

    I have been collecting stamps since 1962. The major problem now is the proliferation of fraud (e.g., the deliberate alteration of stamps and consequent selling with a specific mischaracterization) without any effective oversight. This is prelevent in EBay. It seems organizations such as the APS are paralyzed in combatting this. That, of course, places this wonderful hobby in an unfortunate "Buyer Beware" situation.
  4. Werner Salentin

    Werner Salentin Well-Known Member

    I will not be alive to see stamp-collecting dying out !
    But perhaps I still will see the greedy new issue politics of
    earliar decent countries to crash.
    Not the "Sand-Dunes" or some poor African countries did
    the harm to stamp collecting,because hardly anybody had collected
    these as country collections.But many countries of Western-Europe,
    Australia/N.Z.,Japan and very much so the US are the culprits.
    The managers there have absolutely no interest in philately,(what
    of course they never would admit,quite to the opposite...),
    but in making a fast buck at any cost.
    The result is,that new issues,what look mainly for collectors,are
    now sold in Austria or Germany f.i. in printing numbers, as small as
    they were in the 1950´s.Then the people had no money for stamps,
    now the have no interest to get milked by smart guys.
    Young collectors have no chance to find a good part of the new issues of their home-country on the daily mail.And they are not
    that stupid to spend money on new issues,what hardly ever will increase in value.
    Having said all that,I still believe that stamp-collecting has a future.
    The population is growing older and the older are more wealthy.
    So there is enough potential for growth in the market of better,
    mostly older stamps.
    Maybe the casual collectors will become fewer.But they were
    never much of a motivating force for the hobby.
    So the remaining body of collectors maybe leaner,but also more
    Harry Golightly likes this.
  5. Harry Golightly

    Harry Golightly NonHinged

    Hello Group,
    Thanks to all the thought given in each of your posts concerning this matter. I can't find fault in any of the opinions thus stated.
    After I posted this yesterday I gave it further thought and really was hard pressed to name any popular hobby that has been around over the years & that has not seen a decline. Certainly technology has played a large part w/ the advent of computer gaming, D&E, etc....It seems to take a very special young person these days to appreciate what most of us see in collecting these little pieces of printed paper & the History attached to each and every one.
  6. Larry L. Taylor

    Larry L. Taylor Active Member

    I agree. We as 'experienced' adults have done very little to cultivate an appreciation for the hobby amongst our children and maybe their friends. Too many other distractions for them that capture their interest.

    And then there's the expense. Used to be I could go to a number of stores in my hometown and buy bags of used stamps to provide endless soaking opportunities. No more. Used to be you could buy stamps albums (and paraphernalia) locally; now I've got only two internet sources I go to for supplements / hinges / mounts. Used to be three monthly stamp magazines one could subscribe to - now there's only one that I know of. Metered postage vs. definitive vs. commemorative stamps? Can't remember the last time I received a commemorative stamp on a letter to me other than the ones I setup for my kids when they might mail the occasional letter to me, or from one of the philatelic dealers I buy from occasionally thru stamps2go.com. Collecting cancelled versions of US stamps is a pain in the tusch because of the adhesive and the effort it takes to de-gum them for mounting in an album. It's actually more of a challenge to obtain and collect recent used US stamps than the mint versions.

    But having said all that, I'm off to a stamp show this weekend to see if I can score one or two of the $value US Columbians issued circa 1892. Those and maybe a few other 'accessories'.
  7. Harry Golightly

    Harry Golightly NonHinged

    Good Luck on those Columbians, Werner. That is a really beautiful early U.S. set. Especially when compared to the dross usually printed by our BEP these days.
    Although born here in Houston, I decided early on that for my taste, the BCW held a wider selection of both beautifully engraved & mysterious countries to collect. My 'Columbian' set that needs completing is the Falklands Centenary Geo-V of 1933. All I need is the well centered , fully Perforated & MNH 1£ high value. (And brother is it a High Value..LOL!)
    Regarding the state of our Stamp Collecting Hobby:
    Guess it's up to us old farts to keep those 'home fires burning'.

    "Champagne for my real friends, real pain for my sham friends."
    T. Waits
  8. Werner Salentin

    Werner Salentin Well-Known Member

    it´s not me with the $-Columbians,but Larry !
    However I admit,I would like to have them.My Columbians end
    with the 30 Cent-stamp.
    The Falkland 1833 - 1933 set will remain a set for dreaming as well.
    Would be nice to have the 5 Shillings in both colours.
    For me mint,hinged,normal centered would be good enough.
    But that´s me,modest by nature !
  9. Harry Golightly

    Harry Golightly NonHinged

    Sorry Werner, although Larry probably got a chuckle from my faux pas.
    RE: The Falkland Centenary set, even a mint, hinged, normal centered set
    is a pretty pence. Not a 'modest' request in my opinion...LOL!
    I can't say I've not considered adding the 5/- Black & Yellow-Orange to my wish list. I've only seen 2 listed on eBay & both were hinged & a very Pretty 'pence'
    Let's see..... do I want to replace my 1997 Ford Explorer w/ a new car or add the 5/- Yellow-Orange & 1£ to my collection? Decisions, Decisions...
    (What a wickedly lovely Hobby addiction)
  11. leslie(nova scotia)

    leslie(nova scotia) New Member

    I concur that it is the hobby of kings. As for coins have quiet a collection...dug them all as I'm a digaholic who has metal detected land and water all over the place.

    Kids are so involved in their 4x4 screens...is a world out there beyond sir!
    Harry Golightly and DonSellos like this.
  12. Harry Golightly

    Harry Golightly NonHinged

    Completely agree w/ you, Les.
    I went through a phase of about 10 years metal detecting (Tesoro Golden Sabre)
    when that was the only way I could add to my coin collecting.
    I was adding to my Iceland stamp collection by buying straight from the Icelandic Postal Authorities. (a krona was 2¢ U.S.)
    AHHHHH, those were the good old days, before I had extra $$$ to spend on my hobbies...
    and I could squat down to dig.
  13. beeboy100

    beeboy100 New Member

    It’s not a dying hobby!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Hochstrasse likes this.
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