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The Hobby Of Collecting

Collecting is a popular hobby enjoyed by people of all ages. It involves the accumulation, preservation, and display of items that hold personal interest or value to you, the ‘collector’. The objects collected can range from common and inexpensive items to rare and valuable artifacts, depending on the collector’s preferences and resources.

For example, some of my golf friends will collect ball markers – one from each of the golf clubs they have played at. Other friends collect Lego figures and others collect model trains.

Collecting is possibly one of the easiest hobbies – you just need to decide which items you would like to start building a colection of.

Here’s some information to help you:

  • Types of Collectibles: Collectibles can encompass a wide range of items, including stamps, coins, sports memorabilia, comic books, toys, antiques, trading cards, artwork, vintage items, books, musical instruments, and more. People often collect items related to their personal interests, hobbies, or historical significance.
  • Motivation: Collecting can be driven by various motivations, such as a passion for a specific subject or theme, nostalgia, the thrill of the hunt for rare pieces, the desire to preserve history, or the potential financial investment. Some collectors aim to complete a specific set or series, while others enjoy the process of researching, acquiring, and displaying their items.
  • Research and Knowledge: Collecting often involves extensive research and acquiring knowledge about the items of interest. Collectors dive into the history, variations, rarity, and market value of their chosen collectibles. This continuous learning process adds depth to the hobby and allows collectors to make informed decisions about their acquisitions.
  • Acquiring and Trading: Collectors acquire items through various means, such as purchasing from specialized stores, attending conventions or trade shows, browsing online marketplaces and auctions, participating in online forums or communities, and trading with fellow collectors. Networking and connecting with other collectors can be an enriching aspect of the hobby.
  • Display and Organization: Many collectors take pride in displaying their collections in an aesthetically pleasing manner. They might use shelves, cabinets, display cases, or dedicated rooms to showcase their items. Proper organization and cataloging of collectibles can also be important for easy reference and tracking.
  • Preservation and Maintenance: Preserving the condition of collectibles is crucial, especially for items susceptible to damage or degradation. Collectors may use protective sleeves, archival storage materials, climate control, and careful handling techniques to safeguard their collections. Maintaining cleanliness and periodically checking for any issues like pests or deterioration is also essential.
  • Community and Socializing: Collecting often brings people together through shared interests. Joining collector clubs, attending conventions, or participating in online forums allows collectors to interact with like-minded individuals, share knowledge, discuss their collections, and even trade or sell items.
  • Financial Considerations: While collecting is primarily driven by personal enjoyment, some collectibles can appreciate in value over time. Certain rare items or limited editions may become highly sought after, leading to potential financial gains for collectors. However, it’s important to approach collecting primarily as a hobby rather than a guaranteed investment.
  • Expansion and Specialization: Collecting is a flexible hobby that can adapt to the collector’s changing interests. Some collectors may expand their collection into new areas or narrow their focus to specialize in a particular niche. The journey of exploration and discovery within a hobby can be limitless.

Collecting as a hobby is a personal pursuit, and there are no strict rules or limitations. It’s all about finding joy in the items you choose to collect and the experiences that come with it.

Popular Items People Collect

People collect a wide range of items based on their personal interests, preferences, and passions.

There are always trends of fads when it comes to collecting. When I was researching ‘Collecting’ as a hobby I discovered than on average there had been 1.8 million Google searches per month for ‘Funko Pop’ – Funko Pops are 4 inch collectible figures made of vinyl, typically sold in windowed display boxes.

These are categories of collectibles widely popular among collectors worldwide:

  • Stamps: Stamp collecting, or philately, is a popular hobby enjoyed by people of all ages. Collectors seek out postage stamps from various countries, periods, themes, or specific rare and valuable stamps.
  • Coins: Coin collecting, or numismatics, is another widely practiced hobby. Collectors focus on acquiring coins from different countries, historical periods, rare editions, or coins with specific themes or minting errors.
  • Sports Memorabilia: Collecting sports memorabilia, such as autographed jerseys, baseball cards, signed sports equipment, and game tickets, is extremely popular among sports enthusiasts.
  • Comic Books: Comic book collecting involves acquiring and preserving comic books, often focusing on specific genres, characters, or series. Rare and first edition comic books can be highly sought after by collectors.
  • Art and Antiques: Collecting artwork, paintings, sculptures, or antique items is a passion for many individuals. It can include a wide range of styles, periods, or specific artists.
  • Toys and Action Figures: Collecting toys and action figures appeals to both children and adults. Popular collectibles include vintage toys, limited edition figures, or items related to specific franchises like Star Wars or superheroes.
  • Trading Cards: Collecting trading cards, such as sports cards, Pokémon cards, or Magic: The Gathering cards, has a dedicated following. Collectors often focus on specific card sets, rarities, or cards featuring particular players or characters.
  • Books: Book collecting involves acquiring books based on various criteria, such as first editions, signed copies, books from specific authors or genres, or rare and antique books.
  • Vintage Cars: Collecting vintage and classic cars is a passion for automotive enthusiasts. Collectors seek out unique, restored, or historically significant vehicles.
  • Watches: Collecting watches, particularly luxury or vintage timepieces, is popular among horology enthusiasts. Collectors appreciate the craftsmanship, design, and mechanical complexity of these collectible watches.
  • Music Memorabilia: Collecting music memorabilia includes acquiring items like concert posters, autographed albums, guitars played by famous musicians, or stage-worn costumes.
  • Postcards: Collecting postcards allows enthusiasts to explore different cities, landmarks, or historical periods through vintage or themed postcards.
  • Wine and Spirits: Collecting fine wines, rare whiskies, or other spirits appeals to connoisseurs who appreciate the craftsmanship, history, and rarity of these alcoholic beverages.
  • Rocks and Minerals: Collecting rocks, minerals, gemstones, or fossils is popular among geology enthusiasts who appreciate the beauty and scientific value of these natural specimens.
  • Perfume Bottles: Collecting decorative and vintage perfume bottles is a niche hobby that focuses on the artistic designs and historical significance of these bottles.

Remember, these are just a few examples, and there are countless other items that people collect based on their personal interests and passions.

The beauty of the hobby of collecting is that it allows individuals to explore their own unique areas of fascination and create collections that reflect their personal tastes.

Collecting As A Hobby – Getting Started

Starting a collecting hobby can be an exciting and fulfilling endeavor. Here are some steps to help you get started:

  • Choose Your Collectible: Decide on the type of item you want to collect. Consider your interests, passions, and what brings you joy. It could be stamps, coins, sports memorabilia, comic books, or any other item that holds personal significance to you.
  • Research and Learn: Once you’ve chosen your collectible, dive into research. Learn about the history, different variations, notable items, and current market trends. Read books, browse online resources, join collector forums, and connect with experienced collectors who can provide guidance and insights.
  • Set Goals: Determine your collecting goals. Do you want to complete a specific set or series? Are you interested in acquiring rare or valuable items? Setting goals will give your collecting hobby direction and purpose.
  • Establish a Budget: Decide on a budget that suits your financial situation. Collecting can range from being affordable to expensive, depending on the items and rarity you’re pursuing. Setting a budget will help you make informed decisions and prevent overspending.
  • Start Acquiring: Begin acquiring items for your collection. Start small and gradually build your collection over time. You can purchase items from specialized stores, attend trade shows or conventions, explore online marketplaces and auctions, or connect with other collectors for trading opportunities.
  • Storage and Organization: As your collection grows, invest in suitable storage and organization methods to protect and preserve your items. Consider using archival sleeves, storage boxes, albums, or display cases that are appropriate for your collectible.
  • Connect with Other Collectors: Engage with other collectors who share your passion. Join collector clubs, attend local events or conventions, and participate in online communities and forums. Networking with fellow enthusiasts allows you to learn from their experiences, share knowledge, and potentially find new additions to your collection through trading or buying.
  • Document and Catalog: Keep a record of your collection. Create a catalog or inventory system that helps you track the items you have, their condition, and any relevant information. This documentation can be useful for reference, insurance purposes, or future selling/trading opportunities.
  • Continual Learning and Enjoyment: Stay curious and keep learning about your collectible. Explore new resources, attend workshops or lectures, and stay up-to-date with the latest developments in your chosen field. Remember to enjoy the process and find pleasure in the items you collect.
  • Adapt and Evolve: As your collecting journey progresses, you might find new interests, expand into different areas, or refine your focus. Allow your collection to evolve alongside your changing tastes and passions.

Collecting is your personal pursuit, and there are no strict rules or limitations. Enjoy the journey, make connections with fellow collectors, and create a collection that brings you joy and satisfaction.

Collecting Can Be A Great Hobby For Children

Collecting can be anenjoyable hobby for children. Collecting allows children to explore their interests, learn about different subjects, develop organizational skills, and exercise their creativity.

Here are some reasons why collecting can be beneficial for children:

  • Learning Opportunities: Collecting exposes children to various topics, such as history, geography, science, art, and more. They can learn about different items, their origins, and the stories behind them. Collecting encourages curiosity and fosters a thirst for knowledge.
  • Responsibility and Organization: Collecting teaches children valuable skills in organization and responsibility. They learn to categorize, store, and care for their items. It helps them develop habits of cleanliness, maintenance, and keeping track of their collection.
  • Critical Thinking and Research Skills: Collecting often involves research and critical thinking. Children can learn to identify and evaluate items, understand their value, and make informed decisions about their acquisitions. They develop research skills, such as conducting online searches, reading books, or consulting experts.
  • Focus and Patience: Collecting requires patience and focus. Children learn to set goals, plan their collections, and work towards completing sets or acquiring specific items. They develop patience in waiting for new releases or searching for rare pieces.
  • Social Interaction: Collecting can be a social hobby. Children can connect with other collectors, trade items, share their knowledge, and participate in collector communities or events. It provides opportunities for social interaction, collaboration, and building friendships with like-minded individuals.
  • Creativity and Personal Expression: Collecting allows children to express their personal interests, preferences, and creativity. They can choose what to collect based on their passions, and they can display or arrange their collection in unique and imaginative ways.
  • Financial Literacy: Collecting can introduce children to basic financial concepts, such as budgeting, saving, and understanding the value of items. They learn about making informed purchasing decisions and the potential value of their collection over time.
  • Emotional Connection and Enjoyment: Collecting offers a sense of pride, accomplishment, and enjoyment for children. They can develop emotional connections to their collections, creating positive experiences and memories associated with their hobbies.

It’s important for parents or guardians to provide guidance, support, and age-appropriate supervision when children engage in collecting hobbies. They can help children set realistic goals, ensure their safety and well-being, and teach them about ethical collecting practices.

Overall, collecting can be a rewarding and educational hobby for children, encouraging their interests, creativity, and personal growth.

Is Collecting A Cheap Hobby?

The cost of collecting as a hobby can vary significantly depending on the type of items being collected, the rarity and desirability of those items, the size of the collection, and the individual collector’s preferences and budget.

Collecting can be a relatively affordable hobby, or it can become quite expensive, depending on the following factors:

  • Type of Collectible: Some collectibles, like certain types of stamps, coins, or action figures, can be relatively affordable, with individual items priced within a reasonable range. Other collectibles, such as rare or limited edition items, can be much more expensive.
  • Rarity and Demand: Rare or highly sought-after items within a collecting category tend to command higher prices. As with any market, supply and demand play a significant role in determining the cost of collectibles.
  • Condition: The condition of collectibles can greatly impact their value. Mint or pristine condition items often command higher prices compared to those in lesser condition.
  • Historical Significance: Items with significant historical or cultural importance can be more expensive due to their unique value and desirability among collectors.
  • Rarity and Scarcity: If a collectible is difficult to find or has a limited number of specimens available, it can drive up the price.
  • Completing Sets: Some collectors aim to complete sets or series of items, which may require acquiring multiple pieces over time, potentially increasing the overall cost.
  • Special Editions and Exclusives: Collectibles that are part of special editions or exclusive releases, such as convention exclusives, can be priced higher due to their limited availability.
  • Personal Budget: Ultimately, the cost of collecting as a hobby depends on an individual’s budget and how much they are willing to invest in their collection.

It’s important for collectors to set a budget that aligns with their financial means and priorities. Collecting can be a hobby that accommodates a wide range of budgets, and there are many affordable items available for enthusiasts with limited funds.

It’s also possible to focus on collecting within specific themes or timeframes, which can help control costs while still providing a rewarding collecting experience.

Overall, collecting can be as affordable or expensive as the collector chooses it to be. It’s a hobby that allows individuals to tailor their experiences based on their interests, preferences, and financial constraints.

What Are The Rarest Coins To Collect?

There are several coins that are considered rare and highly sought after by collectors due to their historical significance, limited mintages, or unique characteristics. The rarity of coins can vary depending on factors such as age, condition, and demand. Here are a few examples of some of the rarest coins that collectors aspire to acquire:

  • 1804 Silver Dollar: Often referred to as the “King of American Coins,” the 1804 Silver Dollar is one of the most famous and valuable coins in the world. Despite being dated 1804, most were actually minted in the 1830s as diplomatic gifts. Only around 15 to 20 genuine examples exist today, making it exceptionally rare and highly sought after.
  • 1913 Liberty Head Nickel: With only five known specimens in existence, the 1913 Liberty Head Nickel is an iconic and extremely rare coin. It was produced under mysterious circumstances and is considered one of the most valuable and coveted coins in American numismatics.
  • 1933 Double Eagle: The 1933 Double Eagle is a $20 gold coin that was minted but never officially released into circulation due to the Gold Recall Act. However, a few examples were illegally smuggled out of the mint. In 2002, one specimen was sold at auction for over $7 million, making it one of the most valuable coins ever sold.
  • 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar: The 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar was the first official silver dollar issued by the United States Mint. With a limited mintage and few surviving examples, it is highly sought after by collectors. It represents an important milestone in American coinage history.
  • 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent: This coin holds significance for collectors of Lincoln Cents. The 1909-S VDB cent features the initials “VDB” on the reverse, representing the designer, Victor David Brenner. The initials were removed shortly after the initial release, making the coins with the initials highly valued.
  • 1796 Draped Bust Quarter: The 1796 Draped Bust Quarter is an early American coin with a low mintage and historical significance. It features a portrait of Liberty on the obverse and an eagle on the reverse. Due to its rarity, it is highly sought after by collectors.
  • 1936 Canadian “Dot” Penny: The 1936 Canadian “Dot” Penny is a rare variant that was accidentally produced with a small dot placed below the date on the obverse. It was created to differentiate the coin from counterfeits and is highly valued by Canadian coin collectors.

These are just a few examples of rare and sought-after coins. It’s important to note that rarity and value can fluctuate over time due to factors such as market demand, condition, and the discovery of previously unknown specimens.

For serious collectors, it is advisable to consult with numismatic experts, reference books, or attend coin auctions to stay informed about the latest developments in the rare coin market.

What Are The Rarest Stamps To Collect?

Stamp collecting, or philately, offers a vast array of rare and valuable stamps that collectors strive to acquire. The rarity and value of stamps can vary based on factors such as age, condition, scarcity, historical significance, and desirability among collectors.

Here are a few examples of some of the rarest stamps that are highly sought after:

  • British Guiana 1c Magenta: Considered the world’s most valuable stamp, the British Guiana 1c Magenta was issued in 1856 in British Guiana (now Guyana). Only one known example exists today, making it extremely rare and highly prized. In 2014, it was sold at auction for a record-breaking price of $9.5 million.
  • Treskilling Yellow: The Treskilling Yellow is a Swedish stamp issued in 1855. It was originally intended to be printed in green, but due to a printing error, a few stamps were printed in yellow. Only one copy of the Treskilling Yellow is known to exist, making it a rarity in the world of philately.
  • Penny Black: The Penny Black, issued in Great Britain in 1840, holds a special place in philatelic history. It was the world’s first adhesive postage stamp. While it is not exceptionally rare, specimens in excellent condition with original gum can command high prices in the market.
  • Inverted Jenny: The Inverted Jenny is a United States postage stamp issued in 1918. It features an upside-down image of a Curtiss JN-4 airplane. A sheet of 100 stamps with the inverted error was mistakenly released, and today, only a limited number of inverted Jenny stamps are in existence, making them highly sought after.
  • Basel Dove: The Basel Dove is one of the earliest stamps issued in Switzerland in 1845. It is renowned for its elegant design, depicting a white dove in flight. Due to its limited printing and historical significance as Switzerland’s first stamp, it is considered a valuable and prized collectible.
  • Mauritius “Post Office” stamps: The Mauritius “Post Office” stamps, issued in 1847, are among the world’s earliest postage stamps. They bear the words “Post Office” instead of the later “Post Paid” inscription. Only a few dozen examples of these stamps are known to exist, making them highly valuable and sought after by collectors.
  • Hawaiian Missionaries: The Hawaiian Missionaries are a series of stamps issued in the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1851. They were the first stamps in Hawaii and are named “Missionaries” due to their use by missionaries on the islands. Today, these stamps are rare and cherished by collectors.

These are just a few examples of some of the rarest stamps in philately. It’s important to note that rarity and value can fluctuate based on various factors, including condition, historical significance, and the discovery of previously unknown specimens.

For serious collectors, consulting with philatelic experts, reference catalogs, or participating in stamp auctions can provide further insight and information about rare stamps and their current market value.

What Are The Rarest Funko Pops?

I’ll admit, including Funk Pops messes with my head (because I’m an old school stamps and coins kind of guy) but there’s no denying their popularity at time of writing.

The rarity of Funko Pop figures can vary based on factors such as limited production runs, exclusivity, and demand. It’s important to note that Funko Pop rarity is dynamic and can change over time as new releases come out and collector preferences evolve.

However, here are a few examples of Funko Pops that are generally considered rare:

  • Freddy Funko: Freddy Funko is the official Funko Pop mascot and is often produced in limited quantities. There are various versions of Freddy Funko that are exclusive to specific events, conventions, or retailers, making them highly sought after by collectors.
  • Metallic Ghost Rider: This Funko Pop, featuring the Marvel character Ghost Rider in a metallic finish, was released as a limited edition exclusive for the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con. Its rarity and popularity have contributed to its high value in the secondary market.
  • Glow-in-the-Dark Green Lantern: This Funko Pop was a San Diego Comic-Con exclusive released in 2010 and is highly coveted by collectors due to its limited availability and the glow-in-the-dark feature.
  • Holographic Darth Maul: This Funko Pop was a limited edition exclusive released at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con. It features the Star Wars character Darth Maul in a holographic translucent form, which adds to its rarity and desirability.
  • Metallic Superman: Released as a San Diego Comic-Con exclusive in 2011, this Funko Pop showcases Superman with a metallic finish, making it a prized collectible among fans of the Man of Steel.
  • Dumbo Clown: This Funko Pop was released as a limited edition exclusive at the 2013 New York Comic Con. It features Dumbo from the Disney film in clown attire and has gained a reputation for its scarcity.
  • Stan Lee (Comikaze Exclusive): Funko released this Pop as an exclusive for Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo in 2014. Given the popularity and significance of Stan Lee as a cultural icon, this figure holds a special place in the hearts of collectors.

These are just a few examples of rare Funko Pops, and there are many other highly sought-after and valuable figures within the Funko Pop collecting community.

It’s worth noting that rarity and value can fluctuate over time due to factors like collector demand, limited releases, and licensing agreements.

If you are interested in collecting rare Funko Pops, staying informed about new releases, exclusives, and limited editions can help you in your search for these coveted figures.

Collecting Websites

There are numerous websites dedicated to various aspects of collecting, providing resources, information, and communities for collectors. Once you have chosen the item to collect, I recommend you ask Google for item specific websites.

These are some popular websites that cover different collecting hobbies:

  • Collectors Weekly is a comprehensive website covering a wide range of collecting interests. It features articles, interviews, collector profiles, and information on various categories like antiques, vintage items, memorabilia, and more.
  • The American Philatelic Society (APS) website is a valuable resource for stamp collectors. It offers educational content, resources for beginners, a member directory, access to stamp libraries, and information on stamp shows and exhibitions.
  • Coin World ( Coin World is a renowned resource for coin collectors. The website provides news, articles, price guides, forums, and resources for both beginners and experienced collectors.
  • Sports Collectors Digest focuses on sports memorabilia collecting. It offers news, articles, interviews, auction information, and a marketplace for collectors.
  • Pop Price Guide is a popular website for Funko Pop collectors. It provides a comprehensive database of Funko Pop figures, including their values, release dates, and rarity rankings. It is a valuable resource for tracking, pricing, and managing Funko Pop collections.
  • The Cardboard Connection covers trading cards and collectibles. It features news, articles, product reviews, price guides, and a community section for collectors to discuss their card collections.
  • Numista is an online community and catalog for coin collectors. It offers a vast database of coins from around the world, including images, descriptions, and collector ratings. It also provides tools for managing coin collections and a forum for discussions.

These websites provide a starting point for you to explore specific interests and connect with communities of fellow enthusiasts.

It’s always beneficial to explore multiple sources and participate in forums or online communities to gain a broader perspective and engage with other collectors who share similar passions.