Not everyone can pay $9.5 million for one stamp, as women’s shoe designer Stuart Weitzman did.
“But it drives collectors crazy to have an album page with one empty space, and they make an effort to fill it,” said Donn Ebert, director of the 28th annual Myrtle Beach Stamp & Postcard Show set for Feb. 8-9.
That’s exactly what Weitzman did when he bought the 1856 one-of-a-kind British Guiana One-Cent Magenta Stamp at auction in 2014.
Visitors to this year’s show can fill in an empty space in their own album, get an appraisal on their stamp or postcard collection, and enjoy talking with other collectors.
“We’re back at our old stomping ground,” Ebert said about the show’s location, the Riverwalk Inn and Suites in the Fantasy Harbour area. That hotel was previously the Clarion.
Because of renovations at the hotel, the show was at the Waccamaw Shoppes last year.
Saturday, Feb. 8 the show is from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and on Sunday, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Parking is free, admission is free, and even the appraisals are free.
About 10 dealers, those interested in philately, which is stamp collecting, or deltiology, which is postcard collecting, will be on hand to share their expertise with guests, whether they’re just starting out or are already seasoned collectors.
“Some of those dealers are strictly interested in U.S. stamps, some of them like foreign stamps, some have first-day covers, some have a mix of a lot of different things,” Ebert, who particularly enjoys collecting new issues from around the world, said.
For those with more than a passing interest in the hobby, the Myrtle Beach Stamp Club meets the first Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Grand Strand Senior Center, 1268 21st Ave. N., Myrtle Beach, and new members are always welcome.
Ebert said beginner collectors can learn a lot by attending the meetings where they can ask questions of those with more experience.
Some of the USPS stamps scheduled to be issued this spring include Earth Day, Arnold Palmer, Enjoy the Great Outdoors and Hip Hop.
Scheduled to be issued in January is the Year of the Rat stamp.
The One-Cent Magenta Stamp was commissioned by the colonel postmaster in British Guiana when a shipment of postal provisions from London didn’t arrive.
It was printed at the local newspaper and was the only one in the batch that wasn’t thrown out.
In 1922, a textile entrepreneur from Utica, New York, Arthur Hind, outbid King George V when Hind bought it for $35,250.
Weitzman bought it from the estate of John E. duPont who bought it for $935,000 in 1980.
For more information about stamps, postcards, the stamp club or the show, call Ebert, who owns Little Fort Stamp Co., at 843-347-0087 or email him at email@example.com.
Postcard collecting, an offshoot of stamp collecting, is a hobby of its own and has been popular the last 20-25 years.
The stamps on the postcard aren’t worth a lot of money, Ebert explained, because the going rate for a postcard was a penny for so many years.
It’s the picture on the front of the postcard that attracts collectors.
Some deltiologists try to collect one card from each state. Some only collect cards from the state where they were born or cards from states they’ve visited.
“It doesn’t hurt if the postcard has a different stamp, maybe a cancellation from someplace like a World’s Fair, but postcards are pretty much by themselves as far as collecting interest,” Ebert said.
“Some people collect stamps or postcards from places they’d like to travel to, and even if they never get there, they can study the stamps and postcards and learn the history of those places.”
Ebert said young people aren’t especially interested in stamp or postcard collecting because “there are too many electronics to keep them busy.
“But,” he added, “That’s unfortunate because those are still interesting and fun hobbies.”