Great stamp collections are made by people who share one trait – consistency. Sure, money helps make a great collection. It would be hard to have rare stamps without some monetary outlay. And good fortune (when it happens to you-luck when it happens to someone else-and dumb luck when to a person who you don’t like) plays a role too. One has to be lucky sometimes to find the just right item for a specialized collection. But consistency is the overriding feature that the most successful philatelists share. First, collectors need consistency of approach. They need to define their collecting carefully and be aware of the items that they need in their specialized area. They do the study and the research to determine what is available and what the approximate price level will be. They are realistic with their resources. A collector with modest resources can assemble a wonderful collection in a field where the price points are more modest and the amount of material less vast-Guam comes to mind. And he can do this for an outlay that wouldn’t make a dent in a specialty such as nineteenth century US mint. And then collectors need consistency of application. Finding material that fits your collection perfectly is the work of years, not days or hours. By looking at auction catalogs and online, the successful specialist usually invests far more time finding material than he invests resources paying for it. The rewards of this consistency is assembling a collection that not only has value and completeness and beauty but has the personality and soul of the creator. 

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