Apfelbaum’s Corner – Volume 113

I marvel at the “hot country collectors.” They are a special breed. They find time to memorize the latest bid and ask prices for Carmania or whatever other country is currently being run up by the insiders. They know exactly how much their holdings advanced in value during the last forty-eight hours and sometimes they have even plotted on graph paper the future of their paper earnings. They are truly a wonderful lot but as most stock gambles they usually neglect to count the duds they acquire during the pursuit of what’s sizzling at the minute.

Speculators and plungers do a service for stamp collecting. They provide the source of supply for later years and this is quite important. The stamp trade cannot afford to carry the huge investment that would be required to assure the new collector of 1986 or 1996 that he can fill his wants.

But when one of the speculatively inclined stamp collectors tells me, as they frequently do, that he cannot spare the time to study the older and classic stamps or that forming a first-rate collection is for patsies, not a shrewd investor such as himself, I begin to wonder. I wonder what we have done wrong in the selling of philately, its pleasures and recompensations, that many of its followers can only read a dollar sign where it says “Stamp Collecting, the World’s Greatest Hobby.”