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Collector’s Choice

Published: 9/19/2019 9:39:27 PM
Modified: 9/19/2019 9:39:14 PM

This is another of those rare weeks when no new issues are being offered by either the U.S. Postal Service or the U.S. Mint. Therefore, this column will discuss recent trends in some of the hobbies covered here.

Having a hobby can be an important part of a person’s personal life. Arranging items into an album or shoe box can be therapeutic, as well as educational. However, with the exception of collecting certain precious metal coins, most hobbies should not be viewed as an investment for potential gain.

One problem with selling off one’s collection when one is done with it is that the millennial generation doesn’t seem to have the same interest in collecting things as the preceding generations. Whether it is due to a lack of disposable income to spend, or just a preference for images of things, it seems that fewer young people are taking up the same hobbies as their parents and grandparents did.

This trend is particularly evident in the stamp hobby, where most of the dealers and customers at shows are over 60. In other hobbies, such as baseball cards, the interest seems to be mainly in items that are over five decades old, before these collectibles were made specifically to be “collected.”

Certain kinds of fine art and other high-end antiques may appreciate in value, but most of the items that do are in the higher price ranges that are not affordable for most collectors.

The previously mentioned exception to the downward trend is precious metal coins, as gold and silver are desirable in and of themselves, no matter what form they are found. This writer has recommended that hobbyists who can afford coins in these metals should buy a mix of bullion-type items, and older collectible coins.

While neither metal has approached the peak prices achieved in 2011, they have advanced considerably in value during the last two months.

The coin show normally held on the fourth Sunday of the month at Devens will resume next month.

The annual Belchertown Fair will be held during the daylight hours on Sept. 20-22 on the common (located on Route 202) in that town. There are usually a few craft and collectibles dealers there. Admission is free, but nearby off-street parking usually has a fee. A parade is held starting at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, so arrive there before or after that.

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