Unlike most people I didn't really collect postage stamps as a child although I kept the foreign ones I received on postcards etc.
My interest in stamps only started when the Dutch postal service issued some with colourful modern designs in the late sixties.
Most people didn't like these modern and colourful designs. They just wanted to see the queen on their letters and not this 'semi art'.
Because of this public opinion I expected the postal service to drop the modern streak and go back to traditional stamps. As I've always been attracted to modern art I became interested in these stamps. At first just because I expected it to be temporary but it turned out to be permanent.
In the mid seventies I had collected so many of these modern stamps that I decided to start an 'official' collection.
But what was I going to collect? Dutch or foreign, or both?
Just modern designs? Where should I draw the line?
Should I choose a theme?
To make up my mind I became a member of a collectors club hoping to get some advice on starting a good collection. Well, that didn't help at all, I just found out that everyone is collecting in his own way and that there is no such thing as a 'good' collection.
It's the collector himself that decides what should and what shouldn't be in the collection. It's all a question of personal taste and preference.
Now I'm really just collecting all Dutch stamps but I also have a few odds and ends from
other countries. Mostly because there are bears on them or because I've been to that country but also because I just like them.
Collecting new Dutch stamps is easy, just become a member of the
collectors club of the postal service and they'll send all new stamps to you twice a year.
I did this in 1980 with the coronation of our new queen.
The fun however is in trying to get the older stamps to make a complete year.
I'm not spending much time on it but I managed to get up to (or down to) 1973 with just a few more stamps to go from 1970. I'll go as far back as possible (pricewise) with unused stamps which is probably ca. 1960 and then I'll go 'down' further with used stamps.
The first Dutch stamp was issued in 1852 and the last one priced in Dutch guilders has been issued in 2001.
Of course there are still Dutch stamps now, but priced in Euro as this is our new (European) currency.