Apfelbaum’s Corner – Volume 116

We advocate collecting stamps in sound condition with attractive appearance. But one thing we cannot understand is why those who cannot afford the cost of premium stamps are expected to forego placing in their albums the best they can afford.

Most people collect for pleasure. If they enjoy completing, say, theUnited States1869 issues and cannot afford $2,500 for a super-duper ninety cents, why should they keep the space empty when a lesser specimen can be obtained for $250? It is true that if they later offer their $250 stamp for resale it will not bring a premium price but it will sell in accordance with its quality and no doubt produce a fair return. Best of all, the collector had the pleasure of owning a desirable stamp.

The fetish of condition is fine for the few who can buy it. If it deprives many others of some of stamp collecting’s greatest enjoyment, it is harmful when overdone. To expect early United States stamps in only perfectly centered full gum condition to be available in quantity for every prospective collector is to blindly ignore the facts of how they were produced, issued and preserved through the years.

The very few that are available are priced too low at today’s prices. The majority of collectors should forget about them and concentrate on obtaining stamps in the average condition in which they were issued. These they can afford and can obtain.