From the Archives:

Looking back at classic posts from Earl Apfelbaum's original Apfelbaum's Corner column, which ran in Linn's Stamp News from the 1960s to the 1980s. Earl's regular contributions ranged from personal stories and views, to profiles of classic U.S. and world stamps, to insights on the wider philatelic hobby. 


The Stamps That Got Away: Missing Out on Future Stamp Classics

Every collector has unknowingly let a great chance to get a future rarity get past them

Who is John Apfelbaum?

John is the owner of stamp dealer and auction house Apfelbaum, Inc. An insightful take on the vastness of stamp collecting, John's blog provides hours of enjoyment. Read over 1,000 articles about stamp collecting and stamp history.

We all know a few of the “I could have bought it” boys. They’re the collectors who didn’t have the foresight to buy items like U.S. Zeppelins, Wipa Sheets, Greek Olympics, etc., when they were low in price and now they lament in public whenever they have the chance.


These collectors don’t realize that everyone has, at some point or another, missed out on what later proved a bonanza. Perhaps it was a piece a real estate or a painting by a later recognized great artist or in the case of philately, the many stamps that time has determined were worth higher prices.


It is not what you didn’t buy that really counts, it is what you did buy and more important still, it is what you will buy from now on. There is not stamp collecting pleasure in lamentation. Look to the present and the future, not to the past. There will always be items which advance in price and you are bound to have some of them if you continually add to your collection.


The important thing in stamp collecting is to get daily enjoyment from the hobby. With most collectors that enjoyment comes from the items they are continually adding to their collections— even if some of them do fail to become rarities.


Read all 127 of Earl's original Apfelbaum's Corner posts.