Stamp collecting — enter an exciting world of adventure and intrigue

2013-10-17 00:00

IF you thought stamps were just for licking and sticking, then you are wrong. For some, stamps are the entry into a world of adventure and intrigue.

National Stamp Day on Saturday provides stamp collectors with the chance to share their passion with the public.

While some have embraced e-mail with enthusiasm, knowing they can communicate with someone on the other side of the world at the press of a button, others realise that as traditional letter writing and post becomes a rarer form of communication, the value of stamps becomes higher.

Aubrey Bowles, a local philatelist, says nations like China have become avid stamp collectors, and larger nations like the United States and the United Kingdom have always had a healthy regard for stamp collecting.

Collectors rarely begin saving stamps for their value. As they immerse themselves in the world of stamps, they develop sub-categories of interest.

Bowles said: “Some people start to collect from certain regions, others collect stamps on certain themes and others concentrate on stamps of a certain age.” He says the stamps that are worth the most money are those stamps that have a unique flaw.

These tiny flaws are often only picked up after the initial print run and the flaw is corrected.

Members of the local Maritzburg Philatelic Society will be having an exhibition to celebrate National Stamp Day on Saturday from 8 am to 2.30 pm.

Children and amateurs who are keen to start or add to their collections will be able to look in the scratch box. On sale will be special edition commemorative envelopes promoting National Stamp Day. The Post Office will also be selling first day of issue envelopes and stamps to commemorate the new issues of South African achievements.

They will also be hosting a show-and-tell evaluation at the St Matthew’s Church Hall, Hesketh Drive, on October 21 from 3 pm to 7 pm for stamp collectors who want to see if they have any stamps worth trading.

The Maritzburg Philatelic Society is one of the oldest stamp clubs in South Africa. They would like to encourage young people to start collecting stamps and to learn about the hobby.

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