Since 2003

Posts Tagged ‘Hobby’

Making Money With Your Collect Stamps

Friday, July 19th, 2013

Millions of people all over the world collect stamps as a hobby, and the number is growing every day. It is indeed an exciting and rewarding hobby, and it can also be extremely profitable. The price of stamps vary with supply and demand due to the number of collectors increasing. The price of stamps is steadily rising, as the supply of stamps diminishes and more people want to acquire them. Most people start a collection for the pleasure and education just like any other hobby, but this hobby offers a financial reward as well, as collections experience a steady increase over the years.

Some people very early in life collect stamps, it often begins as a gift of a small package of stamps given to a child, and the child becomes a collector for life. As the collection grows, some tools become essential: They can be obtained from a stationary store or your local stamp dealer. You can find albums at any price, starting from about $5.00 to the most expensive one at about $200.00. Stamps Should always be handled carefully, because the condition is a very important factor to determine the price of resale value.

The various grades of stamps are: mint, very fine, fine, good and poor. Specimen in outstanding condition often sell at many times their catalog value, which is the reason not to mishandle any stamp, which could drastically reduce their value. If you want to know if you have valuable stamps in your collection and are really serious about persuing this hobby, you can buy the Scot’s Standard Postage Stamp catalog which lists every stamp in the world. This is a three volume encyclopedia and is the complete reference. You can also consult it at your local library if you don’t want to go into the expense for the time being.

To start your collection, ask everybody you know to save you stamps they get from different countries, also go through old letters and small boxes hidden in your attic, chances are that you will be surprised to see how much you can find. Other cheap sources of supply are flea markets and garage sales. Start swapping when you have doubles. There are many philatelic clubs all over the country and it would be very advisable for a serious collector to belong to one. This way you will become educated in this field and learn everything you can before you spend money on your collection. Stamp clubs also provide their members with possibilities to exchange and sell your stamps.

You should also read as much as you can about stamps by subscribing to a philatelic magazine. Stamps are like any other commodity, you can always go to a dealer who will offer you the current wholesale value of your stamps, but you can do much better by selling to other stamp collectors by advertising in magazines and newspapers specialized in stamp collecting. Check several current issues of those magazines, it will enable you to compare the ads with what you have to offer. If you want to buy stamps as an investment, try to buy few moderately expensive stamps a year. Always buy quality instead of quantity, and diversify, do not invest heavily in a single area.

Collectible Paper Currency

Friday, July 19th, 2013

Would it be a wise thing to put away a few crisp new dollar bills for the future? As a face value investment? Would coins be better? Collectible paper currency has been with us since the Revolutionary War. In most families it was usually the coins that were saved, if any money was saved at all, during difficult times.

However, the fact that pristine examples of colonial notes can be found in fine currency collections today suggests that someone had the need, or the foresight, to put away a little cash. And over time, these mere scraps of paper became ever more scarce. Paper money, after all, is not such a durable commodity as coinage.

As living conditions evolved, and the life of the average citizen improved, there came to be time, interest and funds for leisure time activities, hobbies such as coin and stamp collecting, and to a lesser extent, the collecting of paper money.

Today coin collectors refer to paper money enthusiasts as Rag Pickers, and worse. However, many a coin collector eventually gives in to a growing interest in paper as a relevant adjunct to his growing stash of ancient and glowing metal. Both hobbies can be wickedly expensive. Investment in a choice coin or bill can pay off rather well. Or not.

But coins and paper bills still circulate. The final victory of the credit card, and who knows what after that, has yet to be concluded. The point is, even though coins are no longer made of gold and silver, or even solid copper for that matter, all things being equal, a coin will never sink below its face value. And the same can be said for a dollar bill, or a five, ten twenty, fifty, or one hundred dollar bill. (This is not the time to discuss purchasing power. Just let it go.)

So, you get coins and paper money at face value, just by removing it from your pocket or wallet and tossing it into your dresser drawer. Or neatly tuck each into a special collector envelope, holder, or album.

When you do this, you have made a face value investment. Especially if you make the effort to acquire uncirculated specimens at your bank instead of from your pocket, you may end up guilty of a successful investment. Whether collectible coins or collectible paper currency will make the better investment is an open question. If you must choose between the two, here are two things to consider:

There are more coin collectors than paper money collectors.

Demand for coins is perhaps higher overall, but remember, there are more coins in existence. Coins tend to last. Paper money is relatively fragile. Well, so it is. A one dollar bill lasts six months in circulation on average. Then it is destroyed by the government, with the banks as its accomplices.

Do these facts influence the relative value of coins versus paper. If you answer, I need more information, you get an A for the day.

My advice? Make no decision. Just put away some nice new coins and some equally fetching uncirculated (crisp) paper money. Learn how to store each.

Save them for your grandchildren.

In twenty to fifty years they will remember you as a genius.