Having dipped my toe into stamp collecting or philately, I have made a big decision that will see me wade at least waist high into the deep water. No, I am not going to collect the whole world of stamps. I will leave that for those with deep pockets. My idea is a little less thorough, and hopefully a little less expensive.
If you have read the tab above title “My Collection” you will know that I have already decided to collect Canadian, and to a lesser degree Japanese and Vietnamese, stamps. As fantastic as that is, it seems kind of limiting. I want to experience the world of stamps, without the humungous bill and the sheer space that would take up. I could certainly lower that bill by collecting used stamps, but I came upon another idea.
What if I collected all the stamps issued in one year? If I chose a year like 1855, I would only need to collect, according to one source, 102 stamps. The same source says that if I were to collect stamps from 1930–a year closer to relevance for me–I would only need to collect 2003. Certainly this is achievable.
The problem with those ideas is that while the number is smaller the price tag might be higher than I am willing to pay. Even if I have the money, the project would probably require going to some high end auctions and possibly be so hard that I would give up. If it were easy, then it would also be over rather quickly. Add to that, the year 1930 doesn’t do much for me. It has no significance in my life.
That is when I thought about choosing my birth year. I had already thought I was a genius for thinking up the year concept, and choosing my birth year made me feel like I was Wile E Coyote, Super Genius. A short conversation on a Stamp Forum put that idea to rest. Apparently, I am not the first person to think of that. Apparently, lots of people already do that.
Well, it is still a good idea, and one I am going to pursue. My next problem was figuring out which stamps were produced that year. The collection of catalogues for the world of stamps costs about seven hundred dollars. If I had that kind of money to throw around, I would probably spend it on stamps rather than a book about stamps. Maybe I will find a used set some day, but until then, I am going to have to find another way of doing it.
Fortunately, the same person who showed me that I was not a Super Genius gave me a fantastic website that could supply all the information I needed. Take a look at this beautiful website. I don’t know how I am going to remember all this data or how I could take it to a show, but I will have to find a way.
As good as vario pages are for stamps, I really like the way an album with mounts look. I like the organization of it and I like the way you fill spaces. It isn’t a cheap way to go, but I do love the look of it. The problem is that there is no ready made album for the year (or any year) that I want. Also, as it could be several thousand stamps, it is going to have to be many albums.
The solution to this seems obvious to me. I am going to have to print up my own pages and cut my own mounts. There are several free program to do this, but I suspect EZstamp with the addition of Albumgen (album generator?) are going to be the ones to do it. There is a cost involved. I will need a laser printer, blank sheets, mounts, a mount cutter, and the aforementioned software. However, I think it will be worth it in the end. That, however, is more of a long term goal. In the meantime, I will use vario pages.
Going to a show and starting off with Abu Dhabi, Afghanistan, and Ajman would seem to be logical. The problem with that is Ajman has a lot of stamps for the year I chose and it might be a bit disheartening to start there.
Or, I could go to eBay and have some years sent to me. I could choose the countries randomly and try to pick off the ones that issued less than ten stamps that year. Much is unclear at this point, but I am very enamoured of the idea.
What do you collect? What collection idea drives you?