a little girl standing in a room: Youngest TNC member, Sahitya at TALPEX 2019 holding 5 oz. 50th Anniversary Moon Landing silver coin released by US mint in 2019 © Special to the Democrat Youngest TNC member, Sahitya at TALPEX 2019 holding 5 oz. 50th Anniversary Moon Landing silver coin released by US mint in 2019

Do you collect stamps and/or coins or have you inherited a collection, but do not know how or where to look for help? Tallahassee Stamp & Cover Club (TS&CC) and Tallahassee Numismatic Club (TNC) could be the answer.

If you are in Tallahassee or in surrounding area, there are opportunities to learn more about these clubs and explore these unique hobbies. Our club is a group of professional and passionate collectors from novice to advanced, with several APS (American Philatelic Society) and ANA (American Numismatic Association) members.

You get all the help at the club to start and grow your passionate hobby. Club members will also help in estimating the value of your collections and/or inheritance.

Kids are also welcome to the club and they will be provided with several free goodies to start their collection. Regular club activities involve member presentations, raffles and silent auction every month, annual auction, member trading, annual one-page stamp exhibit competition, Christmas party and interaction with fellow collectors.

Canceled show 

TS&CC and TNC together host the Annual Stamp and Coin Show every year around the end of March at Tallahassee Senior Center. This year’s show has been cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic. But the event is usually a great venue for you to buy and sell stamps and coins. Dealers from the surrounding area participate in this show. The club also releases show special covers and slabbed coins as souvenirs. 

a close up of a sign: TALPEX 2019 Show souvenirs. © Special to the Democrat TALPEX 2019 Show souvenirs.

Among all the various hobbies, stamp collecting is considered as the “King of Hobbies.”  Study of postage stamps and postal history is called ‘Philately.” Stamps are beautiful pieces of art that come in different shapes and denominations and connect distant places of the world through mail.

You need not be a collector to appreciate the beautiful pictures, portraits, places, animals, flowers, cartoon and other subjects depicted on the stamps that are used to mail bills, letters and postcards.

Stamps are affordable and they come in various price range too with modern commemorative and definitive stamps available at the post office counter at the face value. Some advanced collectors may be seeking more expensive classical stamps. Stamps are collected and enjoyed by all ages, both rich and poor. Do you know President Franklin D. Roosevelt was also a stamp collector? United States Postal Administration released a stamp in the honor of him where he is seen in the White House with a magnifying glass, viewing his collection.

Stamp history

Before 1840, there were no stamps available to affix on the letters as a mode of payment. Earlier to the postal reforms of 1840 sending a letter was very expensive. The charge was for each sheet of paper that a letter comprised, and for the distance covered. The receiver had to pay and not the sender.

To resolve the issue of mailing letters without payment, which were most often not accepted by the intended receiver, prepaid stamps were introduced in the postal system. The world’s first postage stamp was release by Great Britain on May 1, 1840, which is famously known as the “Penny Black.”

The stamp features a profile of Queen Victoria. The United States of America issued their first postage stamp on 3rd March 1847. The introduction of uniform postage resulted in increased trade and prosperity, with more people sending letters, postcards and Christmas cards than ever before. Although modern technologies and phone apps have taken over much communication, many people still prefer sending letters and cards on special occasions to their dear ones using the postage stamps.

Coins and currencies

Collecting coins and currencies is another great hobby. It is considered as one of the oldest hobbies in the world. The study or collection of coins, paper currency, and medals is called “Numismatics.”

The concept of money has been around for many centuries. Several forms of currencies like stones, shells etc., were used in the ancient world and, about 5,000 years ago, Mesopotamians had even developed a banking system where people could “deposit” grains, livestock and other valuables for safekeeping or trade.

The world’s first coins appeared around 600 B.C., in Lydia, a Kingdom tied to ancient Greece and located in modern-day Turkey. They featured the stylized head of a lion and were made of electrum, an alloy of gold and silver. Like stamps, coins and currencies were always minted with pictures on them. The pictures were a great way to communicate the social solidarity, letting people know who we are, who our heroes are and our important flora and fauna.

Unlike stamps, coins can survive for a very long time. Several ancient coins found around the world have helped in rewriting and tracing history of our civilization. 

a man standing in a room: Hemanth V. Setty with his display of TALPEX Show Special covers released since 1975. © Special to the Democrat Hemanth V. Setty with his display of TALPEX Show Special covers released since 1975.

Like most other collectors, I also started collecting stamp and coins when I was very young. One of my dad’s friends, a librarian introduced me to philately and numismatics. He used to give me all the stamps that came by mail to the library. I instantly got attracted to stamps, so much that I still continue collecting and relish them as I use to do in my younger days.

Educational hobby

You can learn so much from stamps and coins. You can learn geography, history, important places, personalities, flora and fauna of the issuing country. Stamps are very good research piece for your children too. I always take up a project with my daughter on a particular topic, do some research online and collect most of the stamps and philatelic materials related to that subject.

You can buy stamps and coins at the shows like the one we are hosting soon or online. Buying stamps and coins at the shows always excites my daughter as you see and learn about it from the dealers and club members. You can also collect coins from your foreign trips or coins found by chance in your pocket change. Collecting and learning is an educative process.

There are several ways to get information on how to collect, store and display your stamp and coin collections. Information can be easily obtained on the internet but, for regular collecting tips join your local club or a reputed online club. Joining Tallahassee Stamp & Cover Club and Tallahassee Numismatic Club has helped me to grow my collection professionally.

Tallahassee Stamp and Cover Club usually meets monthly on the second Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Senior Center, 1400 N. Monroe St. and Tallahassee Numismatic Club meets monthly on first Tuesday at the Leroy Collins main library. Until the coronavirus lifts, visit the websites at www.tsandcc.info and tallahasseecoinclub.blogspot.com or like us on Facebook. 

Dr. Hemanth Setty is a long-time Numismatist, Philatelist, Passionate Gardener and President of the Tallahassee Numismatic Club. He is also an active member of several other organizations. Contact him at hemanth.vasanthaiah@gmail.com.

Never miss a story: Subscribe to the Tallahassee Democrat.

This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Looking for a new hobby? Explore world with Tallahassee Stamp & Cover Club

Source: View original article

Leave a Reply