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The Suburbanite
  • October celebrates art of stamp collecting

  • October is National Stamp Collecting Month, and The American Philatelic Society is encouraging its members to reach out to new and seasoned collectors and hold events to promote the hobby.

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  • October is National Stamp Collecting Month, and The American Philatelic Society is encouraging its members to reach out to new and seasoned collectors and hold events to promote the hobby. Several stamp collectors, buyers and sellers were doing just that at the Canton Stamp Show on Oct. 13.
    The show, which took place at the Holiday Inn in Jackson Township, is the first of three stamp shows to be held before the New Year. It dates back to 1978. Attendees include dealers from all over Ohio.
    David and Ginny Pool of Massillon coordinate the show. They also own Lincoln Way Stamps.
    David has been collecting since he was 8 years old.
    “It's an exciting hobby to have,” David said. “Collecting is about the treasure hunt. You buy a bunch of items and then you start to sort through them, and you don't know what you'll find. You learn a lot about history and geography when collecting stamps.”
    Pool said most stamp collectors start as children and return to it in their 40s when they have more discretionary income available.
    “Many collectors get back into it after they have finished college, found their careers and raised families,” David said.
    Jerry Contini of New Philadelphia was at the show hunting for a few stamps to add to his collections. Contini has been an avid collector since 1985.
    “I like history, and I like the history that stamps tell us, like information about the presidents or about special events that have occurred throughout history,” Contini said. “Collecting really becomes addictive when it comes to finding a bargain or finding a stamp you've been looking for or need to complete a collection.”
    Falls Philatic owner Jim Kopachy, of Chagrin Falls, sells stamps at shows and online. Kopachy said collectors get started with topical stamps such as American Dolls, Football Coaches or the Legends of Hollywood series. Some focus on mint, or unused, stamps or used stamps. He said the first U.S. postage stamp was printed in 1847.
    “Both men and women collect stamps, and it's a hobby that doesn't require a lot of money to get started,” Kopachy said.
    David said that most collectors get into collecting as a hobby versus an investment because of fluctuating prices and values. The slow economy has made a difference in the price of collectible stamps.
    “Prices have been flattened due in part to the economy and because there is so much material available right now,” David said.
    Roy Dean, a stamp collector and dealer for 30 years, also felt the economy has had a negative effect on prices and participation.
    “Stamp colleting follows the economy,” Dean said. “If the economy is up, people buy more stamps. When the economy is slow, people buy less.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Stark County is also the home of one of the oldest stamp collecting shows in the state, the McKinley Stamp Club Show, which is in its 82nd year. That show is held once a year in March. It is scheduled for March 2 and 3, 2013 at St. George Serbian Orthodox Social Hall in North Canton.