Continue To Grow in Your Hobby

Life us a series of developmental stages and how we progress through them has a great deal to do with how happy we are with our lives. Philately too has developmental stages and how collectors progress through them is important in increasing the joy that we derive from our hobby. The earliest stage in stamp collecting is learning to use the tools of our hobby, the catalogs, albums, mounts and other physical tools that collectors need to be familiar with in order to make stamp collecting possible. The next step is grading, learning how to use the watermark tray as an x-ray machine to determine stamp faults and repairs and how to tell quality and even simple counterfeit detection. Additional developmental steps include specialization, where collectors break off from the main body of our hobby and find esoteric areas of their own. And postal history and exhibiting are further developmental steps that some collectors mature into in their collecting.

Like the developmental steps that people take in growing into mature adults, sometimes some people become stuck at a developmental step and can’t seem to get beyond. Some collectors never master the catalog and you would be surprised at the number who never learn how to properly mount a stamp. But the saddest fixation of all is to be stuck at the quality stage. Some collectors learn to spot faults and become so intent on doing so that all the fun of the hobby goes away and their collecting becomes an endless search, never finding items that are good enough for their collection. They miss all the beauty of our hobby in their quest perfection and often become bitter and unhappy stamp collectors. The happiest collectors like the happiest people try to find enjoyment from all phases of their hobby and their lives

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