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A dying Hobby


Ætheling
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Not entirely coin related, but i have a purpose to adding this one in here.

 

 

How many coin collectors can honestly put their hand up and say when they started out collecting they focused on just coins? Many might have also considered other money collecting related fields such as banknotes and the absolute classic of all that is untrendy, stamps. The initial interest in these other areas may have gone after a month or two as you became more aware that coins were the thing for you.

 

Well when i started out i actually had a choice, coins or stamps. My father had been kind enough to provide me with both of his old collections. So i had a chance to sit and ponder. Naturally i chose coins. The reason why is because they have existed far longer and therefore older specimens were around, think medieval. Even if i didn't have the money for them as a young six year old, i hoped one day i would be able to get into the old coins. The other reason i favoured coins was the metal bit. I was naturally more drawn to metals and generally metal objects... the shininess, the strength and durability, the silver, the gold and even on a really good day, the copper. I was a snobbish child, i knew copper was way beneath me back then, although admittedly this attitude issue has softened of late.

 

But stamps being merely paper weren't entirely out of the window, i did half heartedly collect them for many years. I never bought any from stamp shops, but i'd take them off of envelopes or buy the new ones from the Post Office. Although i never bothered with the commemoratives, there were just far too many, and in the end the commemoratives were what killed stamp collecting for me, i was fed up of the trivial forced drivel being produced so i quit collecting stamps altogether.

 

Although i haven't actively done anything with them in years i kinda just stumbled upon them again after a long, long time and i realised that these things have value. By value i don't mean financial/economic resale value, but rather historical value.

 

 

How many times have i heard coin collectors from the UK chunter on about the problematic nature of Edward VIII; "I don't want a gap!" or "i'd have to buy a modern fantasy piece to plug that gap"... and alot of these fantasy pieces are, well naff.

 

For someone who perhaps collects for historical reasons, the 1930s are a very important period, 1936/7 especially so, the entire Edward VIII fiasco, The end of the golden dreams of the 190X and 192X period, the reality of depression and a full scale war beginning to cast it's shadow as it loomed in the distance, a war that would change the world forever in more ways than any war yet. Air Raids, Air Battles, Rockets V1 and V2, Atomic bombs... it was a frightening time ahead, with a hard time in the present and a dream of a lost idealised grandness behind that was really a facade for another frightening time, the horrors of the battles in the trenches of WWI. Great icons and ideas of the late 19th and early 20th century were being torn apart either in theoretical ways or in very real terms as exemplified by the events of 1935/6 at Palmer's Shipyard in Jarrow where the RMS Olympic and at Rosyth, Scotland where the RMS Mauretania were stripped and scrapped. Two ships that once epitomised the whole ethos of the early 20th century. The class divisions, the regality, the style, the sheer grand overbearing power of technology over mother nature. The age of dreams... dreams they were indeed as anyone would be quick to point out exactly what happened to their sister ships. The mid 1930s were an important period.

 

Thus as you might note having a modern repro or a modern fantasy piece really doesn't catch the vibes quite like something contemporary. Edward VIII coins ain't cheap unless you've got a house going spare...

 

But to fill the void stamps can come to the rescue...

 

gallery_58_27_30507.jpg

 

 

 

The most interesting thing about them is they were there, and they saw events at first hand. Were they on the very envelopes containing letters being sent back and forth from government departments as the events of the late 1930s unfolded? Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin perhaps sending a letter to some department showing concern over Edward VIII's political views? Wallace Simpson sending a letter to Edward?

 

 

The designs were also of note. George V issues and the later George VI issues look very much 1930s, they have an olde worlde look to them, almost straight out of the Victorian era. But the Edward VIII issues look very much like something that reasonably could have been produced in 1990. Infact looking at modern regular issue British stamps they're not that different.

 

 

Therefore perhaps a somewhat unfashionable hobby, or a hobby you sidelined can sometimes come to your rescue when you least expect it. Thus i have something contemporary of Edward VIII with his portrait on, that were issued and used.

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One more addition whilst i'm here on this, this captures history i think;

 

This is the envelope of a letter sent to my great, great grandmother in August 1943. The letter was from the British Royal Admiralty.

 

 

900465.jpg

 

On the right examples of the coins that could have been used to purchase such stamps. (Hosted on Omnicoin only temporarily, until i can figure out somewhere else to put them!)

 

A penny (1912), two half pennies (1927 and 1946) and two farthings (1885 and 1917). The 1885 farthing actually came from my great, great grandmother's son shortly before he died in 2000.

 

 

History is everywhere, if you look for it.

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Guest Stujoe
How many coin collectors can honestly put their hand up and say when they started out collecting they focused on just coins?
<------------------------ :ninja:

 

I never have had any interest in stamps and have only had a mild interest in banknotes which stated here.

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Guest Stujoe

Metal has always seemed more tangible than any paper collectible to me. Must be something about the heft of it. :ninja: Or maybe it is the 3D aspect. When I go to an art display, I am always more interested in the sculptures than the paintings.

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Well i can see exactly why you say that Stu because i myself am leaning towards that perspective anyhow.

 

Although i do find old written documents and books interesting, sometimes more interesting than metal objects although generally not. The question perhaps is why?

 

Well the best way i can possibly think of explaining it is this;

 

About two weeks ago i was walking around an antiques shop and i saw the usual stuff, plates, knives, forks, spoons, figurines and all that kinda stuff, most of it i don't bat an eyelid to. The odd coin here and there. Then i saw something that had the 'wow factor', for me at any rate.

 

Victorian (1837-1901) and Georgian (1714-1830) wine glasses, decanters and a whole host of other glass bits and pieces. Seeing a small rose tinted wine glass dating to the 1780s and 1790s was to me more stunning than any 1933 Double Eagle or death mask of Tutankhamen. How can thin and brittle glass last over 200 years when a building made of strong solid stone might not even last half that.

 

I haven't bought one of these glasses yet, but i dare say i will.

 

I agree with your point on tangebility, but to me the fact that paper and glass are so easily destructible actually gives them a certain amount of wonder. Look at the Domesday book, an 11th century written document still surviving. How many castles, bridges, general buildings, dams, ships and all other big objects don't even last anywhere near that length of time.

 

 

I still think the biggest thing that always makes my jaw drop is when you go round the Egyptology section of museums, Saracophaguses and the usual run of the mill stone, gems and stuff doesn't do it so much. But seeing say a little wooden box dating to the old kingdom period found in a residential kitchen, looking intact and as good as the day it was made is a stunner. Why?

 

Well firtly it's wood and organic an thus easily decomposable material, secondly because most archaeological finds come from places of religious/spiritual significance, tombs, temples, palaces etc. So finding one from an ordinary household is a double 'wow' for unusual.

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Although i do find old written documents and books interesting, sometimes more interesting than metal objects although generally not.

I love old stock certificates - scripophily. Admittedly, I know nothing about them, but I know what I like! I've got a certificate of the De Beers Consolidated Diamond Mines on my wall, which looks rather snazzy, plus it's got loads of history behind it.

 

About two weeks ago i was walking around an antiques shop and i saw the usual stuff, plates, knives, forks, spoons, figurines and all that kinda stuff, most of it i don't bat an eyelid to.

I bought a rather nice gold plated caviar palette a while ago somewhere in Harrogate. It dated from the mid-19th century so it's not very old, but it's a wonderful shape and design. It looks a bit like the Petrossian model below. I just need some Sevruga now!

 

gold_palette_lg.jpg

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Well I started after getting a proof set of my birth year, but moving so much as a child, I already had banknotes from all over the world--I just didn't know it was a collection yet :ninja: Now I focus more on paper, but still do some coins. I also collect license plates from all over the world. And I have tons of airplane stuff around which I don't actively collect but jet have from my flying. I don't really do stamps.

 

Oh and I have 31 hard rock cafe hurricanes I've picked up from the cafes I've visited. I don't really like the cafes, or the touristy aspect of it but it started on a whim so I go if I can when I am in a new place.

 

Ciao, and Hook 'em Horns,

Capt-AWACS, I was told there would be no math

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<------------------------  :ninja:

 

I never have had any interest in stamps and have only had a mild interest in banknotes which stated here.

 

 

Hey funny that, i was other way around. Limited interest in stamps, absolutely none in banknotes. I dunno why but banknotes never really did it for me. I don't mind designing them, but collecting them is something i've never properly considered. If i ever did then i'd be exclusively British notes and at a push US notes. I tend to favour the monotone type notes with subtle colours. I don't like the really bright and modern notes at all.

 

I think 1970s/80s UK notes are about the cream of the crop from what i've seen, very regal held back feel.

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It's kinda funny you brought this up. My Mom recently gave me a stack of papers and things she saved from when I was a kid. Included in this pile was a book contaning a lot of stamps. I vaguely remember collecting them, but it didn't last for a long time. Coins had come first. This was the first I saw of them since I was a kid. Not too historic though, they were just modern ones.

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My Grandfather was the postmaster of the city of Buffalo many years ago and my brother got his huge collection. As a kid I thought they were neat to look at but rather fragile. I chose coins in part to be differant and if I pulled a nickel from circulation at the very least I could spend it and get my nickel back.

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Thank-you, thank-you for mentioning stamps. I too started out with both coins and stamps. I am now getting back into my stamp collection. When I think back to what I learned from stamps I marvel. All, the different countries, and how they spell them, not just the English language way. I did see/hear this recently. Stamp collectors still out number coin collectors by far because of the large following around the world of stamps depicting Disney characters!

 

 

 

Jerry

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Stamps- Too many commemoratives these days, and even worse is the resale factor- here, new stamps here cost face+7% tax, and when you sell them, you usually get 70% if lucky. At least with coins from circulation you get your full money back.

 

Older used stamps are even worse- any stamp that isn't particulary desireable may net you 20% of catalog value, if even.

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I have a stamp collection, not actively collecting but I frequently look through the album because there are quite a few attractive stamps. The oldest one is a one cent 1911, 1930s, 40s, 50s and up. Lots of world stamps. Sets of birds of Canada, which are very nicely done. Sets of fur trader routes of Canada etc. They are all kind of neat.

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I've had a few stamp collections over the years and bought an old world collection a few months ago hoping to break it up and sell it in my spare time. I may get around to doing that in about 20 years or so. :ninja: I think that stamps are neat, a small piece of artwork on each one.

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" How can thin and brittle glass last over 200 years when a building made of strong solid stone might not even last half that."

 

Having raised three children,two of them boy's, this has always amazed me also. These three could raze a city over night if not kept in check. Thin brittle glass would shatter just by entering the front door :ninja:

 

The only stamps I have are one each Washington, Jefferson, Ike, Roosevlelt, that I have found and tapeed in the respective coin albums.

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When I was a young kid, like 5 or 6 years old, I was given part of a stamp collection that had been from my father , in his youth. He stopped quite soon, lost interest. The other part was given to my brother.

 

IIn that time I actively colected stamps, getting them off envelopes, trading them with friends, who got them from envelopes, etc. Every now and then (birthday, santa claus) getting packages of stamps. All in all, it didn't cost me, as the stamps all came from envelopes. I also got the colection of a sister of my grandfathers, when she died. I didn't know the woman at all, but the stuff had to be divided amongst the survivors and my grandparents thought it would be neat for me (my brother had already stopped). I was like 8 or 9 at the time.

 

Then, I also started picking cents out of change, to build up a year set, and when that was nearly complete, I started with 5 cents "stuivers" as well. Didn't have much money to spend so started with the small denominations..

 

At some point, when collection coins became more expensive (I had 1 cent, 5 cent and 10 cent nearly complete and taking 25 cents out of change had a larger impact on my cash flow), the coin collection went into hybernation.

 

The stamp collection did that a few years afterwards, for a similar reason as AEtheling said: the commems. It became impossible to keep up with the PTT to collect all those commems they're issuing: hey the sun shines, let's issue a commem to that.

 

For many years I didn't do much with both collections, other than picking a stamp from an envelope, when it looked neat, or when I found a coin that could fill a hole in my collection.

 

I still have the albums (and cigar cases) with stamps, but I hardly look at them anymore.

 

Coin collection woke up when I started traveling and I took home coins from that country as a souvenir. Then I finished my study and started working so had a lot more money to spend on the coins and I started filling holes in the 25cent, 1 gulden, 2.5 gulden, 5 gulden, 10 gulden and 50 gulden coins.

 

Introduction of the euro also did a lot. Gulden coins becoming much harder to get, made me look for different sources and I discovered Ebay and a dutch auction site.

 

I fould a coin there that intrested me, but I wanted more info on the coin, so I looked it up on internet. One of the highest ranked hits was OmniCoin.

There I found a neat picture of the coin I was looking for (i have no idea which coin it was) and also a link to "discussion forum", which brought me here.

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