Apfelbaum’s Corner – Volume 115

Pity poor John Doe. He has been saving stamps for over forty years, always with the thought that in addition to the pleasures he received his collection would have sufficient value that when sold at the end of his life would result in a large estate. In his other activities John Doe showed great shrewdness. He joined trade associations and civic clubs so that he could keep abreast of the times and know the best procedures for personal gain. But in stamp collecting he just saved stamps. He didn’t attend stamp exhibitions to see how the other fellow was doing it, he didn’t subscribe to a good philatelic journal to read about trends in collecting, he didn’t even read the introduction to the annual catalogs where much useful advice would be available.

He carefully calculated the annual increases in catalog value of his collection and based his success as a stamp collector on the growth of that total. Unheeded were the little boxes that Scott inserts in the catalog referring to condition being an important factor in value.

And so the years went by and John Doe, through some purchases, much envelope peeling and an occasional gift from a friend accumulated a closet full of albums and boxes with a catalog value in a very high number of dollars. When his doctor suggested that Doe’s days were numbered, he decided to cash in on his stamps.

Yes, you can pity him for the shock of learning that today’s collectors desire fine quality and that stamp dealers already have far too much common material in stock, but then anyone who blindly follows a course in any activity invites a blow of this sort.