Initiatives aim to enhance connection to the hobby

As I have written previously, we have been making a concerted effort in recent months to enhance our connection with Canadian stamp clubs and affiliated organizations. As of this column, I have been invited to four club meetings as a guest speaker. This not only provides me with the opportunity to speak about the history and vision of Canadian Stamp News; it also serves as a great venue to receive feedback from collectors on how we can improve our magazine for the enjoyment of all readers. It has also served as a great opportunity to exchange ideas on how we can collectively improve the hobby experience for both the beginner and seasoned collector, and how we can entice the “closet collector” to attend club meetings and shows. Continue reading →

Stamp error recall creates challenge for collectors

This official first-day cover – a hot commodity after being recalled only days after its initial issue – is now garnering bids nearing $300 on auction sites like eBay.

While some collectors are excited about Canada Post’s recent recall, others have expressed concern about the difficulty in acquiring some of this recalled material, which was only available for a few days before being returned to the Crown corporation’s headquarters and destroyed. One of these concerned collectors is noted philatelist Irving Osterer, whose letter to the editor can be read on page four of this issue of CSN. “While I can certainly appreciate the design issue that caused Canada Post to recall the UNESCO stamps from general circulation in July, those of us that are true collectors – that relied on Canada Post to supply us with our standing order – now find that the booklets, souvenir sheets, postcards and FDCs [first-day covers] in question were sold over the counter for a time, and have now become a scarce commodity,” said Osterer, who added he relies on Canada Post to keep him informed on new issues. Continue reading →

There’s a lot of sharing in this hobby

You’re all a bunch of amateurs (French for “lovers of”), although I must admit I’ve never met as professional a bunch as you. This notion of professionalism – doing business ethically, morally and courteously – is widespread in philately. And while some hobbyists might eventually become true “professionals” in every sense of the word, all true hobbyists live out their existence as amateurs regardless of the amount of money being earned. When you love the “art and science of philately” and begin taking this hobby seriously – as most of you certainly do – you inevitably become better at what you’re doing and begin specializing, and even commercializing, your activities. Suddenly, by acquiring and selling material, attending shows and joining associations, you’ve become more of a professional than a hobbyist, although the passionate amateur remains, steadfast as ever. Only when you’re an “amateur” can you truly become pro. Continue reading →

Stamp collecting has many faces

Many people picture stamp collectors as old men, often socially challenged, sitting alone with their stamps. The hobby often tries to counter that vision with such exciting appeals as “stamp collecting is educational.” True, perhaps, but not rather exciting. The other approach is to try and make stamp collecting glamorous, with tales of the great values of rare stamps. That has been easy in recent years, with a lot of really wonderful sales and some of the greatest rarities in the hobby hitting the market. Continue reading →

New longest-reigning Queen prominent on Canadian stamps

This Permanent-rate stamp (Scott #2518) was issued in 2012 to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

She’s arguably the most well recognized woman of the modern world, much of which she has ruled – at least symbolically – since 1952, when she first ascended to the throne. Over the past 63-plus years, she has been – at one time or another – the ruler of 40 independent nations. She’s already Britain’s longest-lived monarch, and at 89-years-old, she’s also the world’s oldest. And if she’s still reigning on Sept. 9, she’ll become Britain’s longest-reigning head of state. Continue reading →

Initiatives aim to fire up the hobby

As I write this column in the midst of a heat wave in Ontario, with humidity making the temperatures feel about 40 degrees C, I cannot help but feel a “heat wave” is in the works as I think about what’s ahead this fall for Trajan Media. While we are trying to enjoy hot summer weather, behind the scenes at Trajan – publisher of Canadian Stamp News and Canadian Coin News – we are also busy working on new initiatives we will be releasing this fall and winter. Here are some of the highlights I want to share with you: Continue reading →

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Canadian Stamp News is Canada's premier source of information about stamp collecting and related fields.

Although we cover the entire world of philatelics, the majority of our readers are Canadian, and we concentrate on the unique circumstances surrounding collecting in our native land.

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