Adding Autographs Can Spice Up Your Collection

Most philatelists soon exhaust the specialty that they have chosen. Virtually any country can be 95% completed for between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars. Most collectors never spend more than a hundred dollars for a single stamp and so the problem with our hobby is that collectors soon paint themselves into a corner and either move on to another country to specialize in or add covers or other specialty items to their collections. Another way to jazz up a collection for not a lot of money is to add nonphilatelic collateral items. Some collectors add maps or personal pictures relating to visits or to the stamps themselves. Some add autographs of famous people. Many autographs are quite modest in price and they can personalize a collection and add a great deal of interest to your hobby. Suppose you collect Vatican City stamps-a pretty nice specialty and quite manageable. Vatican City has issued a couple thousand stamps- all but about fifty of which should cost less than a thousand dollars and are readily available at any time. 45 of the remaining 50 cost about $500 and the last set another $500 so that a complete Vatican City collection is within the reach of most collectors. But the cover that illustrates this article would make an interesting addition to a Vatican collection. It is a 1969 cover autographed by nine American Cardinals. Right now there are eighteen living US Cardinals and 181 living Cardinals worldwide. I bet assembling some of those autographs to spice up your Vatican City collection could be a lot of fun and wouldn’t cost very much either.

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