Whilst it is true that stamp collecting is in decline, reports of its death are greatly exaggerated. We live in a digital age where communication is through social media and email so it is not surprising that stamp collecting is hardly the hobby of choice for younger generations. The average age of a stamp collector is about 60 plus and there doesn’t appear to be a shortage of people who, when they reach their latter years, turn to philately as a hobby.
In fact, the Royal Philatelic Society in London has seen its membership gradually increasing and subscribers to the Stanley Gibbons stamp collector’s magazine has held steady at between 16,000 and 18,000 for years so there is still life in the old dog yet!
The number of stamp collecting clubs across the UK is rudely healthy with literally hundreds of clubs spreading across the breadth of the land. It’s largely a male dominated hobby and the clubs are regarded as a social scene as much as anything else.
Knowledge of their subject is something that many philatelists pride themselves in. With a keen interest in social and political history, collectors get to know their specific area of interest intimately and they are more than glad to pass on their knowledge to those who will listen!
The true value of stamps
True to say the value of stamps is not what they used to be and unless you have some extremely rare items then you are not likely to get rich. The pleasure is in the collecting, the knowledge of the subject matter and sharing with like-minded individuals.
Stamp collecting will never die out. Collections will be bought, sold and inherited and there will be new collectors who may gain an interest from an inherited collection, they just don’t know it yet!
Vinyl records haven’t died out and in fact, there has been a strong resurgence in interest with buying vinyl over the last few years. Maybe the same will happen with stamps. When they become really retro they are bound to become cool again!