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The Ten Commandments of Stamp Collecting

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In 1929 Al Burns published
The Ten Commandments of Stamp Collecting
in a paper for collectors called "Weekly Philatelic Gossip"
They mean as much today as they did in 1929
Le Philateliste by François Barraud (1929)
Le Philateliste by François Barraud (1929)
The Ten Commandments of Stamp Collecting

1.  Thou shalt not at anytime
criticize what thy fellow collector collects.

What the other man collects is no concern of yours, be it what it may. If he wants airport dedications that are supposed to be pure favors, let him. That's his choice and he will stick to it. A lot of confusion and squabbling could be avoided if this principle was followed.

2. Thou shalt be ready at all times to help any collector
who seeks aid of thee.

Too many collectors and dealers have reached the point where knowing practically everything about their branch of philately causes them to look with scorn upon the novice who is seeking aid. Lend a helping hand and help clear up beginners trouble.

3. Thou shalt study thy stamps,
for full enjoyment comes only with knowing them thoroughly.

The man who knows the who, which, and where about each stamp in his collection
is the man who can really say he derives pleasure and benefit from it.

4. Thou shalt at every opportunity
boost the advantage of stamp collecting.
never missing a chance to bring a new collector into the fold.

Many a prospective devotee is lost to philately because some more advanced collectors failed to advertise stamps to the limit. Never miss an opportunity to aid converts, for more collectors means more publicity, more publicity means more interest, and more interest means a bigger and better hobby.

5. Thou shalt seek the companionship of other collectors
for thine own as well as their benefit.
One should not miss the chance to improve himself and his knowledge
by refusing to associate with other collectors.
Philately is a friendly hobby, drawing people together in the appreciation of a common interest.

6. Thou shalt work with other collectors
for the advancement of the hobby.

The chance to work together for the advancement of a cause comes to very few of us in life. As excellent as the stamp game is today there is still much in it that could be improved.

7. Thou shalt at all times do all within thy power to
keep the hobby clean and free of anything
that may reflect badly on it.

There are many "crooks" and "spongers" criminally engaged in philately
and it is the most gallant duty of every righteous stamp collector and philatelist
to fight, prosecute and rid our hobby of them.

8. In thy dealing with other collectors
thou shall act so as to
be free of all disparagement
at all times.

Deal fairly with other collectors and lend them a helping hand. Give a break to the other fellow. Do unto others as you would others should do unto you.

9. Thy shalt not be ashamed of thy hobby.
           You belong to a very honorable, traditional and privileged group of hobby enthusiasts
both united and possesed of moral soundness. 

10. Thou shalt be ready at any time
to ask any questions that may puzzle thee not
hiding behind a mask of assumed knowledge.

           Stand up for your hobby at all times.
Don't be afraid to ask questions that are keeping you from a better understanding of philately.
Follow these and you will be a better
stamp collector, philatelist and person
for doing so.