On my journey into the deep dark world of stamps I've encountered some seriously grumpy older peeps who would rather give up the hobby than collect any modern material. Now, I'm not an expert like my partner, Chris however I am a lover of stamps with a passion for modern so when I come up against this idea that modern material (anything post 1952) is only good for postage I get a little defensive. As you can imagine, I think a lot of younger people who might have taken an interest are put off by this attitude and if you want this hobby to stay alive it might be time to adopt a new outlook. At a recent philatelic meeting Chris and I attended I struck up a conversation with an older gentleman who had a bricks and mortar store of his own. He was polite enough until I mentioned what I like about the modern material. I saw his face transform from a smile to a scowl quicker than Superman folds on laundry day and received an earful about why classic stamps are far superior. My reasons for enjoying the newer stamps weren't even entertained and the conversation shortly thereafter died.
I think a lot of older collectors seem to forget what is considered classic and antique now was once brand spanking new. Some of those older stamps sell for thousands of dollars when at the time they were printed they sold for face. I understand the arguments for why older stamps are "better" than modern ones, I've heard them time and again (the beautiful artwork, attention to detail and nostalgia, etc...) and I'm not dismissing them however in this massive sea of stamps surely there is room for a little youth. I'm not asking for every older collector out there to start collecting modern material but I am suggesting that perhaps you try to see the beauty in post 1952 instead of the reasons why you feel it is inferior and ugly. Maybe try to see it through the eyes of your childhood selves. Think back to why you started collecting in the first place and what kind of material you started out with. I bet a lot of collectors started with what was modern at the time and loved it just as much.
When I first started out some of my favorite stamps were (and are) the ones regular collectors find garish and unworthy of a place in their collections. I'm a big fan of the 1970 Louis Riel postage stamp with a red background with Lou outlined in blue and coloured in with an off white hue. The colour combination is both rad and eye catching which is a large part of the appeal for me! I look at this stamp and think how cool it looks and how it would make an awesome piece of artwork to hang in my office. A seasoned collector looks at it and scoffs at the modern design and "ridiculous" colour scheme dismissing it as a mockery of the hobby they love. The same goes for many other splendid looking stamps from modern. Instead of finding something of value in these stamps an older collector only sees the corruption of the hobby.
I'm not saying you have to give up the material you love or to stop appreciating classic stamps but surely you can find something redeeming in modern material. If you look beyond your prejudice you discover an entire world made up of beautiful artwork, interesting philatelic facts, various varieties and intricate designs and you may just find that modern isn't so unworthy of your admiration anymore.
Stamp geek out!