Apfelbaum’s Corner – Volume 87

Again and again we are faced with the necessity of telling widows or other heirs that the collection they have inherited has only the value of the pleasure it has given to its maker.

The assemblage of common stamps, scattered incomplete sets, mixed used and unused, ordinary covers, and kindred material that many collectors form can only be accumulated in this way. It certainly can be costly if the material is acquired stamp by stamp at top price for each item, but the end result is a collection that duplicates millions of others and one in which an informed philatelist will find no single item of rarity or high value.

Collections of this sort are sold on the basis of the wholesale value of a packet of comparable size. All advanced collectors started out making such a collection. Then they wrote off most of the cost to pleasure and education received from elementary general collecting.

The further advanced a collector becomes, the higher the percentage of recovery of his costs, provided that he adds both quality and scarcity to his collection. Beginning efforts that may carry on for years are certain to be full of mistakes. Only those who learn from their mistakes and go on to more knowledgeable stamp collecting are the ones who may make a gain for collecting.