Recently, I was involved in a discussion about what kind of stamps people collect. I’m someone who collects mint stamps almost exclusively, others enjoy used stamps. Some people like complete covers and documents, others like just stamps. It really doesn’t matter what you collect so long as you collect what you like, but there are people who get really upset if everyone doesn’t do what they want to do, like it’s a personal affront to their collecting.
Now personally, as I said, I like collecting mint stamps. Why? I honestly don’t know. It’s just something I do and I can’t really explain why. I’ve always collected mint U.S. and a couple of years ago when I added China and Australia to my collection, I briefly considered just collecting used stamps for those. It would be cheaper, even though I don’t care about the money, but something deep inside told me I couldn’t do that so I started collecting mint. There’s just something wrong with collecting a used item as far as I’m concerned. I don’t care what others do, I just don’t want to do it myself. That’s why my action figure collection is all mint-on-card. It’s why my short-lived coin collection was, as much as I could, uncirculated. I don’t care what others do, any more than others ought to care what I do.
But if you bring that up to some collectors, they get mad, like you’re doing something wrong. According to them, you have to collect postally used stamps because that’s what stamps are supposed to be used for. Yeah, sorry, stamps are not supposed to be collected, they’re supposed to be stuck on envelopes, mailed and then thrown away. Action figures are not supposed to be collected, they’re supposed to be played with by children. Coins are not supposed to be collected, they’re supposed to be spent. By collecting any of these things at all, you’re doing something that was never intended with these objects but you’d better not bring that up or people get mad.
Also, wow, there are people who get upset if anyone dares disagree with them. Over on another stamp forum, one that I had personally forgotten about for a while until reminded about it, there was a discussion about what year a collection should stop. There were lots of people who threw in their two cents and someone suggested that, maybe, just maybe, a collection didn’t have to start in 1840 with the British Penny Black, but it could start at some later date to avoid the expensive classic issues. Someone else came back, really incensed, that anyone could ever say that starting at the very first stamp isn’t the proper way to do it and even suggesting it is an insult to all classic stamp collectors. It wasn’t intended as an insult, the exchange went like this:
First of all, I am not sure why your collection should start at 1840.
This may be when they issued the penny black, but do you need this stamp in your collection and all the other similar looking old farts issued in the coming years?
I do not even think of collecting them. The cost factor aside, those were issued in years long before I was born and for this reason I have nothing to relate to.
What I do is, I collect only stamps I like looking at with no cut off date.
I do not collect the non soakable adhesives as to me they are labels, not stamps.
From 1940 to present your collection will be able to cover all kinds of printing styles, topics, countries, history, everything a collector may be looking for. And your costs of acquiring items will stay low, if you do not want to have an inverted “inverted Jenny” that is.
To which was responded:
I don’t know what you collect and don’t really care, but have the decency to respect what others collect. Especially when you denigrate the foundations of the entire hobby with flippant comments which just seem to be trying to get a rise out of other collectors who still enjoy the classics.
Come on guy, grow the hell up! I will never understand people like that, who have to have everyone else want exactly the same thing they do or it’s an insult to their collecting habits.
Maybe if everyone just collected what they want and stopped worrying about what everyone else does, maybe everyone would be a lot happier. That’s why I don’t give a damn what anyone thinks of my collections or what I do, even though I have been attacked on numerous occasions for daring to fall outside of the “norm”. I collect what I like. Everyone else is free to do the same. It just makes sense.