Long long ago, as a four year old, I started collecting stamps with no knowledge of the hobby at all, and so I invented my own rules. Actually, only one rule. I could not purchase or trade for a stamp, but could only collect stamps (and embossed printings as existed in those days) used on letters sent to me, or stamps given to me by friends who themselves has received them in the mail.
I had a wonderful weird personal collection, starring stamps from family, friends, and pen pals around the world, each labeled (“Grandma Nana, Rome”: “cousin Heidi, Tyrol”; José, Guadalajara).
Then a great-uncle, fond of me, died, leaving me his quite remarkable valuable collection. He even had a spot in one of his albums for the inverted Jenny!, surrounded by the three normal “Curtiss Jenny” stamps that he had collected as a youngster.
It ended my collecting, because why?. After agonizing for a few years and with help from my Elementary School Principal, who collected, I sold the entire collection and gave the funds to a local animal shelter.
The point of this saga on this board is it taught me to think very very hard about all “collectables” and why and how they had value. I was delighted with tales my Aunt Mary told me about Tulips, and that my Uncle Bud told me about rare wines, and my attitude about crypto currency is anchored in that long ago empty spot for an inverted Curtiss Jenny.
I collect coins and stamps. To me, the most important thing to remember is that they are hobbies, NOT investments.
I have many hobbies besides these; gardening, building wooden gear pendulum clocks, reading, playing guitar, and more. None of them are designed to make money. The reason I spend money on them is because I enjoy them! And the amount I spend is well within my budget.
Some of my hobbies will have monetary value, like the value of my guitars (but not my playing them - which is what I enjoy) or my coins. Some won’t, like gardening and reading. But I love them all.
Do I wish I had assets that allowed me to buy a Jenny Invert or a high relief St. Gaudens? You bet. Doesn’t appear to be happening in this lifetime.
Collecting guitars has a demographic concern. As boomers age out, the market may sag. Also, collecting them requires expertise, which means one will be in tough competition with savy collectors and unscrupulous forgers.
I have a number of guitars (doesn’t every player?) but only one collectable. It makes me nervous owning it, wondering about value, theft, insurance…
But I get the greatest value from doing what I was told when it was given to me, “Just play it.”
I couldn’t agree with you more. I take great joy from playing the guitar for my own pleasure, as well as challenging myself to learn new songs (currently hooked on some beautiful Bach tunes).
As an aside, I have a couple of Martins that I enjoy playing. I’ll own them until the time of my demise. But they’re not purchased as collectibles, they’re the tools for one of my hobbies. I’m sure someone in my family will get more pleasure selling them than I would.
Just curious, what guitar and music do you play? What’s your style of play?
I’m always surprised by the nice deep tone of a Martin. You’re a lucky guy. But I know you can’t play more than one at a time. You should give me one. Hah! Seriously, I have seven guitars and had to restrain myself from buying another recently. My acoustic is a Takamine lawsuit guitar; a 1976 Martin knock-off, okay for me but no Martin. The guitar I’d grab in a house fire, after I made sure my family was out of the house first, is a ‘67 Epiphone Sheraton. If I lost all my guitars, I’d be consoled that a replacement would be pretty easy. Guitars these days are very well made, priced well, and sound good. Collectible? Maybe not so much. I write songs and bang out rock, folk, blues, stuff like that. I could do that on any ol’ guitar.