How Much To Collect:A Dilemma Before Every Collector

By Anil K. Pujara

\"\"A collector went to the Bureau to take one stamp of every new commemorative issue available at the counter. There he found one senior philatelist who was preparing a want list for the “Counter-in-Charge” and writing ‘Block of four with Traffic light’.

He waited for the turn of senior philatelist to be over to understand, what is block of four and what is Traffic light.

He watched every step of senior very patiently and heard the conversation between the senior philatelist and the counter- in- charge.

At the end, unable to hold back his anxiety, he approached the senior philatelist and expressed his desire to know ‘what is Block of Four’, ‘What is Traffic Light’ and ‘What should be collected whether single Stamp or Block of four.’

The senior philatelist explained to him what is Traffic light which is called ‘Colour Code’ also which reflect the no. and type of colours which are used in printing the stamp.

He also very proudly informed the young collector that he is collecting “Block of Four/ Six” as the situation warrants with ‘Traffic Light’ since the time they were introduced by India Post and has compete collection of the same.

The tone and tenor of the senior to the junior made him feel small as if by collecting a single stamp of each issue, he was committing a crime and probably an outcast in the fraternity of philatelists.

Feeling humbled, the collector left the counter with heavy heart. The churning process continued in the mind.

Lying in his bed, he was confused. What he should do?

\"\"Should he continue collecting single stamp for the sake of his hobby as he had been doing or he should stop collecting stamps since he is not collecting ‘Block of Four/ Block of Six with or without Traffic light and may not be able to complete back issues.

This is a dilemma, which I feel all of us have undergone/faced at one or the other stage of pursuing this Hobby of Kings and King of Hobbies.

What is to be collected?

How much is to be collected?

\"\"It is purely and primarily a matter of individual choice and affordability.  To satisfy the basic urge, the collection of single piece of each and every stamp is enough.

Equally important is its preservation as it is prone to wear and tear on account of climatic conditions/ tropical conditions. Rainy season is most dangerous for the health of philately.

After satisfying the basic urge of collection, now if the pocket allows and if one can afford, he can go for the collection of Block of four, block of four with T.L., block of four with T.L. of all four sides.

There is nothing wrong in it. It is directly linked to the size of the pocket of the collector. Collector collecting single stamp is in no way inferior collector in comparison to the one who is collecting block of four or block of four with T.L. of either one side or of all four sides.

Basic tips to be remembered in pursuing the hobby is fix your budget, never ever try to exceed your monthly budget and never ever stretch your pocket.

Keep collecting and happy stamps collecting.

Smile Philatelically !

About The Author;

Anil Kr. Pujara is a philatelist and a banker (Senior Manager) with creative ideas and writes on interesting and concerning  issues related with philately.

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12 Responses to How Much To Collect:A Dilemma Before Every Collector

  1. Sudhir Jain says:

    You are talking of Block of fours but now a days a new trand had developed of collecting full sheets. Actually now collectors are collecting items in view of their price rise which is not appriciable. In my openion one should always bear in his mind that he should collect in such a way that he can desplay his collection in an exhibition.

  2. Anil Nawlakhe says:

    Good guidance by AKP and agreed with observation of SJ. It happens with people having mind of KING and they look at the hobby as “Hobby of King/s”; without realizing that such hobby is meant for getting joy for peaceful mind even through USED stamps or DIGITAL images available on internet.
    Kings should realize the various VALUES of these precious stamps rather than just collecting in huge volume (no one can have objection if they do) and should equally sensitive about their devaluation whether in terms of quality, design…

  3. really a good and informative write-up. Now I came to know about the block of four and I will start to collect this type of special stamp. Thanx for article.

  4. P. S. Seshadri says:

    Dear Pujara-ji

    I also went through the same dilemma of what to collect and how much. Many thanks for your advice.

  5. Dinu says:

    Very good advise and information.

    Whenever I visit post office except one seniors I have seen most of the person are prone to bragging (not getting a civilised word) and telling why his one is unique.
    Seeing this two excellent pieces of information raises hope that there are good advisors. If I leave out R K Mishraji from naming as a good advisor it will be great injustice.
    Thanks to Mr. Pujara, Mr. Jain and Mr. R. K. Mishra for showing some excellent positive path.

  6. Dr Pradeep jain says:

    Congrates to Pujaraji,
    actually these philatelic blogs are best plateform for open minded and healthy discussion.For senior collectors to share their experience and for begeiners a good learning arena.Whereas for those who are still confused they can decide and choose a right path for future collection.In my opinion I agree with sudhirji that we should treat hobby just a hobby and as such their are so many avenues for investment and earning giving better returns.Hobby is a glamourous (for our own) and fruitful way for spending our free time which gives us inner satisfaction.


    Till recently, from the New Issues received only one used to go
    into my stock book & the FDC to the fdc-stack.

    Now, I have come to realize that collecting a block each would’ve
    made more financial sense as most stamps, especially from the
    199s to roughly 2005 have appreciated in terms of e-Bay & dealer values.

    This may or may not happen in future too but recently I’d to buy
    some 8-9 high quality stock-books to house my MSs,
    Sheetlets, & se-tenants etc.

    My FDCs still have to go to the fdc-stack(s) as
    preserving them is exorbitantly costly as well as a very-2
    space hungry exercise.

  8. R.K.MISHRA says:

    If the stamps or any phila materials are purchased for investment angle by common collectors ,please try to market it ,you will experience it is tough,time taking and the prises offered will depressed you.
    When profit is the consideration , displeasure may come,try to do phila
    for pleaser (SWANTAH SUKHAI-BAHUJAN SUKHAI/HITAYA) & not for the profit.

  9. subhankar ghosh says:

    i am a school boy and a new stamp collecter…..being a man of bengal,i have a inner interest to get the satyajit roy stamp’94 and the post office miniature/fdc/brochure’08.but a stamp delar of kolkata demands a huge i am unable to purchase this stamps because i purchase the stamp by saving the money of my tiffin.can any one of the stamp collecter send me the above mentioned stamp??????my contact no.8961757260.

  10. Basu says:

    My experience finds, that most block collectors actually ruin their stamps down the line as they use the cheapest possible way to store them. Infact, while most collectors focus on buying stamps they forget that preserving the collection in tropical Indian climate is a real challenge.

    So, for a wise collector it is best to collect a single piece of stamp and invest in good quality stamp storage accessories from Germany.

  11. ANIL KR PUJARA says:

    I fully agree that buying a stamp is important but preserving it is also equally important n it deserves due importance.

  12. N.A.Mirza says:

    A very healthy and fruitful discussion in response to Shri Anil Kumar Pujara’s meaningful article.
    May I suggest that collectors become members of philatelic bureau in their respective cities and specify their requirements. In doing so they can order a block of six, out of this block of six, they can specify cancellation on a block of four. This will help them have two pieces outnof which one piece can be detached and arranged in an album. The remaining, i.e. the block of four and the undetached stamp can be preserved in another album. This is time consuming and not easily affordable but paying in the long term. It will help prove first the stamp being authentic as forgery is just common these days. Secondly, the it will enhance the value of the collection and the would deserve to be considered a king’s collection. Thirdly, it would be a sort of an investment which will never face a depreciating trend.

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