Two enterprising young brothers, Jordan and Alec Ray of Knights Ferry, started a hobby in stamp collecting just about six months ago and are now looking to share their hobby with those who have similar interests by starting a stamp club.
Jordan, 13, collects primarily foreign stamps and Alec, 11, collects mostly U.S. stamps. The boys said that their interest in collecting began when their grandma, Carol Davis, also of Knights Ferry, showed them her stamp albums and then the boys received stamps for Christmas and started putting them in albums.
Davis reported that she had a stamp collection when she was younger and said that stamp collecting is a good way to learn about U.S. and world geography. She noted that she’d had a stamp from Persia, which is a Middle Eastern country that no longer exists, so collecting also shows how names of countries change over time as well.
Jordan said that they have a friend who does stamp collecting and they wanted to have more people with whom to do collecting or stamp-related activities. The hobby is very inexpensive to start up, Davis said, and you don’t need a fancy album to start with either. If a newbie doesn’t have any stamps yet, they’ve got that covered, too. The Roseville Stamp Club is sponsoring the boys’ new venture and has given them a large box of stamps to share with new members.
Alec said that he and his brother have ordered some of their stamps online through different companies and have also gotten them from people who were selling from their collections.
“If you get more into it, you can go to stamp shows and get them at different booths,” Jordan added.
The brothers recently returned from a stamp show in San Francisco, where Alec won a drawing in which various vendors at the show had contributed to the prize package. There was a wide variety of stamps, such as “first day of issue” types, some that were on cards postmarked from the 1940s and 1960s, 100 worldwide stamps, and approval books, that were included.
Alec said that some people buy stamps at auctions and then sell them online, and some do trading. One tip that Jordan shared was that it’s good to try to get stamps from someone who is selling from their own collection for reasons like needing to downsize because he said it’s possible to get valuable stamps at a lower price.
If someone is new and doesn’t know what to collect, it’s good to have them collect what interests them, such as castles or butterflies, Jordan said. He added the some people collect very specific stamps such as flowers, or horses, or only those from certain countries.
The boys said that the first stamp club meeting will include introductions with people talking about the level of stamp collector that they are, and what stamps they’re collecting or would like to collect. The meetings will also likely include some stamp trading, tips and instruction on handling and soaking stamps off of envelopes, information about stamp shows, people sharing information about their stamp collections, and perhaps a lecture from a stamp expert once the club gets established. While the club is for all ages, Jordan said it would be nice to have at least a few adults who have stamp collecting knowledge to help, too.
The stamp club’s first meeting will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 23 at the Knights Ferry Lending Library, which is located behind the ice cream parlor and shares the building with the museum, 17631 Sonora Road. For more information, call (209) 881-3353.