Stamp and coin fair a treasure trove for collectors
THE Central Coast Annual Stamp and Coin Fair is becoming the Coast's miniature version of Collectables Roadshow, with some real treasures found over the past six years, including stamps and coins worth hundreds of dollars
"Some people have items or collectables hidden away or forgotten about of which they have no idea the value, if any at all," said Dennis Sonter, treasurer of Wyong and District Philatelic Society, which runs the fair.
Sometimes the collections are inherited, and Dennis said it was definitely worth talking to club members before putting your family's stamp albums on the garage sale table.
One woman had been offered $200 for boxes containing her late husband's stamp albums but, with the help of the local stamp club, the stamps were sorted and sold in a Sydney auction house for $1700.
Mark Field is the club president and said the fair was also a chance to show the public just how interesting stamp and coin collecting could be.
Collecting since he was about seven years old, and the youngest member of the group at 55, Mark is keen to attract some new blood.
"The great thing about stamps is they can take you anywhere around the world - places you could never afford or hope to travel - you learn about the countries, the cultures and the history."
Mark reckons he has about 500,000 stamps, but says it's the quality, not the quantity that's important, with one of his most interesting collections comprising envelopes from 1860s England.
It's the "finds" that keep him interested - not necessarily monetary, but the envelopes, letters and postcards which give a picture of people's lives in another time.
"Post marks today are a dying thing, but in the old days you could see where the letter came from and every town it had passed through," he said.
Having about 30 active members of the club to talk to and share information between, he said, was important.
"If one of us doesn't know something, someone else will, or we have the books to look it up."
The stamp and coin fair is on Saturday and Sunday, November 18-19 from 10am to 4pm at Lake Haven Masonic Village, Stan Gregory Cr, Lakehaven.
The fair features club member displays, eight stamp vendors buying and selling, products, valuations and advice on collecting, and refreshments are available.
The club has two meetings a month - one daytime and one night-time. For details go to http://club.philas.org.au /wyong or call Dennis on 43923610 or Mark on 0416159890.