The King of Hobbies and the Hobby of Kings

The Stamp Man

The Stamp Man

2019-06-18 08:57:54

The Stockholm Report

I thought you might want to hear a bit about my experience at a recent trip to the international stamp exhibition held in Stockholm…

 The capital city of Sweden is a lovely and very clean city and deserves to be known for much more than “Stockholm syndrome”.

 On the night I arrived, I went to a traditional Swedish restaurant. I tried the pickled herring for starter and Elk meat balls for main course. Mmmmm… not sure whether I enjoyed the local cuisine or just the occasion and company I was with at the time.

 I was with an American friend from Agora Finance. He was attending the show to take some video footage, photos and to conduct some interviews.

 He believes stamps represent an important alternative investment strategy option for his readers and wanted to see for himself just how serious a business stamp collecting really is.

 The next morning, a walk through the beautiful old town took us to the conference centre for the most important philatelic event of the year: “Stockholmia 2019”.

 The timing of the international stamp exhibition this year (May 29 to June 2) coincided with the 150th anniversary of the Royal Philatelic Society London, the oldest existing philatelic society in the world.

 In partnership with the Society, the organisers delivered a very high quality exhibition.

 For starters, the venue was impressive....

The Waterfront Congress Centre in Stockholm

The Waterfront Congress Centre in Stockholm


His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf officially opened the exhibition:

The King of Sweden viewing some stamps

The King of Sweden viewing some stamps


After this rather ostentatious opening to the exhibition, what proceeded was a hugely successful event.

 Whether you were a dealer, auctioneer, collector or investor there was something for everyone.

 27,232 album pages on display.

 One of the main features of international exhibitions is the collector exhibit

 This is the opportunity for collectors to present their collections to the world and to obtain the recognition they deserve for their contribution to philatelic study and knowledge.

 Around 300 exhibits were on display, representing 27,232 album pages.

Just one section of the 27,232 album pages on display

Just one section of the 27,232 album pages on display

The quality and depth of study within the exhibits in Stockholm were the best I’ve ever seen. This was evidenced with 70 Large Gold and 96 Gold Medals being awarded by the International Jury of experts.

 In case you are interested, the Grand Award went to the United States this year. The collector, Daniel Ryterband, received deserved recognition for his fascinating exhibit “A Country Divided: Effects of the American Civil War on the Mails”.

 The Court of Honour

 The “Court of Honour” was the ultimate highlight for me…

 It was effectively a world museum exhibit showcasing some of the most famous and valuable treasures from philately.

 The excitement of seeing the top icons in stamps is a bit like coming face to face with your favourite movie stars. It sends a shiver down your spine and you find yourself gaping in awe.

 The Exhibition included a twelve-frame exhibit from the Royal Collection owned by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. I was enthralled by the rare opportunity to view some of my favourite stamp rarities of all time, some of which I’ve talked about in past emails, but, until now, had never seen up close.

 Unfortunately, I can’t share any images on this with you as no photos were allowed and images from the Royal Collection are subject to strict copyright. I suppose all I can say is, “you should have been there!"

 There were other exhibits in the Court of Honour previously owned by Kings including the King of Egypt and the King of Romania.

 The famous British stamp collector and multiple Grand Prix winner Alan Holyoake presented some key rarities from his collection on “The Birth of Philately”. My personal favourite from his exhibit was…

This is one of only three known double rate penny black plate 1a first day covers. It is of the utmost historical importance being the first printing of the first postage stamp sent on the first day of postage, and representing the birth of the world’s prepaid postal system.

 You could also get a private showing of the most famous home grown collection assembled by Count Gustaf Douglas. Apart from being the most complete collection of Swedish stamps, it also includes the 2nd most valuable stamp in the world, the legendary 1855 “Treskilling Yellow” error.

 The most important piece of market intelligence I learned

 One of the most important reasons I attend international stamp exhibitions is to gain “on the ground” market intelligence.

 As always, there was lots to learn and uncover at the exhibition. The most important piece of market intelligence was, however, staring me in face… literally everywhere I went.

 Almost every collector exhibit put up for an award was of postal history. There were hardly any collections of stamps.

 So, it is clear where all the money in philately is going right now…

 Postal historians are taking over where stamp collectors left off.

 It is a natural evolution of stamp collecting. The deeper we dig, the more knowledge we unearth, the more we thirst to learn even more.

 That is the world of a postal historian.

 This is where all the smart money is going right now.

 If you are interested in getting involved in the hottest area of the market, I suggest you take a look at some of my personal recommendations you can buy right now:


Make sure you click on the image for each stamp in the link above to read the write up. It is only by reading the detailed write up that you can fully appreciate what makes this selection so important.

 A Final Observation

 I left Stockholm feeling very positive…

 Nobody at the show mentioned Brexit. The Conference Centre was buzzing with one subject only – stamps.

 And… that is what stamp collecting is all about. It allows us to escape from a difficult reality into a world where we can still expand intellectually, but in a relaxing and peaceful way.

 Apparently, the Stockholm Stamp Exhibition attracted visitors from 51 different countries, showing the global appeal of our hobby… Like minded individuals from around the world getting together and finding peace and harmony with the conduit of little pieces of paper to discuss.

 If you want more information on any of the postal history items I have available right now (including a sneak preview of a few new acquisitions not included in the list), please e-mail

 You can also reach me on +44(0)1534 639998.

 Tack för att du läser.

 Kind regards 

 Mike Hall

CEO - Just Collecting

 P.S. Stockholm has raised the bar in terms of the standard for philatelic events. Let’s hope the organisers of London 2020 step up to the mark and deliver an exceptional exhibition next year to inject a huge boost into the market for British rare stamps!

 Enjoyed this email? Try these:

May 17, 2019: The Weird and Wonderful World of Stamps

May 10, 2019: Don't overlook the most obvious investment in stamps 

April 26, 2019: 10 Secrets to Successful Stamp Investing 

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