7 Ways To Start A Collection

There is something so pleasing about starting a collection, the thrill of hunting down a new addition or finding that rare item you’ve been searching for. Anything that appeals to you, from candy wrappers to vintage photographs, can become the basis of a collection and a hobby that can last a lifetime. There are many different motivations for collecting, for example, baseball memorabilia can be a sign of loyalty and appreciation for your team, whereas foreign coin collections can stir up memories of the far-flung places you have visited. There may even be an evolutionary reason for why people enjoy collecting things as evolutionary theorists have suggested that the desire to collect objects developed over time and was a way for a man to attract a mate by illustrating his ability to acquire things, and to save resources. Whatever the true reason for a love of collecting, here are some ideas for collections that are worth keeping up.


Collecting stamps has been a pastime for many since 1840. While stamp collecting does not have the adrenaline-pumping appeal of other hobbies such as kart racing, the longevity of stamp collecting as a hobby clearly indicates there is something satisfying in the gathering, ordering and displaying of so many tiny little art-filled squares. It often gives the collector a pleasing sense of calm to focus on stamps, as well as developing an understanding of culture and geography as each stamp says something about its country of origin. Rare and old stamps are also very valuable, and the most expensive stamp known is the 1c Magenta from British Guiana issued in 1856, sold at auction for $9,480,000, so it might just be a hobby that pays off too.

Lapel Pins

Collecting enamel lapel pins can be a wonderful way to begin a collection and express your interests. For example, if you are an avid baseball fan or interested in politics, religion, traveling, or feel a loyalty to your old college, then there are lapel pins out there that reflect this. Trading pins is also a strong tradition in sports such as baseball where exchanging a pin with a fellow player is a symbol of respect and camaraderie. For those who want a personalized touch, you could even create your own high-quality enamel pins for a local baseball team or little league, using a site such as Cooperstown Trading Pins.

Vintage Black and White Photographs

Old photographs can tell us so much about what life used to be like, about relationships and fashions of the past, as well as giving indications of the social standing of the subjects. Beginning a collection of vintage photographs is like entering into another world and forging connections with people who are now long dead but whose mark lives on. Collecting old photos is for those who love history, and even the feel of an old photograph is something special, as well as imagining who the person pictured was, what their likes and dislikes were and what they would have made of life in 2018. While some vintage photographs can be worth a lot of money, many can be found buried in antique stores or thrift stores and sell for a couple of dollars. You could set up a striking display by framing your favorite vintage black and white pictures in gold or copper frames.

Candy Wrappers

Collecting candy wrappers is an easy collection to start, but one that can be very interesting. The largest collection of candy wrappers consists of 5,065 wrappers collected by Peruvian Milan Lukich Valdivia for over 32 years, featuring candy wrappers from over 49 countries. Candy wrappers can be enjoyed for their aesthetics and artwork, as well as the nostalgic element, and they are a great way to notice shifts in popular culture. Collecting candy wrappers from any overseas travel you do can also highlight different cultures and languages.


Establishing a collection of coins, either foreign or American, is a great way to memorialize your travels and to teach others about different cultures and history. For example, ancient Chinese coins were round with a square hole in the center to represent their understanding that the earth was square and the heavens surrounding it were circular. Collect coins because it brings you enjoyment but don’t expect many to jump in value, even if they become discontinued, unless you have incredibly rare and old coins in your possession. If you are looking for a specific coin to add to your collection, then check with coin dealers who buy and trade coins, but make sure they are reputable before handing over your cash.

Perfume Bottles

There are two types of perfume bottle that you can collect: commercial or decorative. Commercial bottles are those that were sold with the perfume already in it and usually with the label of the brand or in a specific design, for example, Jean Paul Gaultier’s perfume bottles are iconic and stylish, shaped like a woman’s body. Decorative bottles are often made from cut glass and are sold empty, designed to be filled with the perfume of your choice. Historically it was common for a woman to take a decorative bottle to be filled with her favorite scent, rather than to buy one ready filled. This is a hobby that takes very little start up investment, you can simply save your perfume bottle when it is empty, or ask a friend of hers once she has finished it and go from there.


The love of books is called bibliophilia and beginning a book collection can be very satisfying as a hobby, especially as each book you add can open up new worlds in itself. You can collect any type of books, from Penguin classics to children’s literature, limited editions or signed copies by the author, but make sure that they are books that you love. If you are interested in collecting rare and old editions then understanding how to care and preserve a book is important, as well as the best ways of storing them in order to look after the spine of the book, as well as create a pleasing and eye-catching display.

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