American Stamp Dealers Assoc. Mentor Program

Are You Stuck in a Philatelic Rut?

You may be a candidate for the ASDA Mentor Program

  • Are you unable to add to your collection because the items you seek are simply too hard to find or too expensive to buy?
  • Is your collecting just routine (like periodically ordering new issues or FDCs)?
  • Do you just want to get more out of your hobby?

If so, I suggest you examine how your present collecting pursuits fit into the many dimensions of philately that are available.

Dimensions of Philately

There are countless dimensions to philately. That is what makes it such a fascinating hobby. For stamps, the list is impressive:

  • Country or Geo-Political, Topical,
  • Historical (Classics, 20th Cent., Modern)
  • Type (Postage, Airmail, Revenues, Telegraph, Special Delivery, etc.)
  • Varieties (Watermarks, Perforations, Die Types, Errors, Double Transfers, etc.)
  • Condition (Gem, Fine, Average, etc.)
    • Unused (Mint, Hinged, NG)
    • Used, Cancels (color, fancy, towns, etc.)
  • And, various combinations of the above

For postal history, the dimensions are more numerous and the possible combinations are enormous. They include most of the items above plus many more. For example, the first dimension has more meat on it as covers can reveal many details not usually available on stamps:

Country or Geo-Political, Topical, Use (Postage, Airmail, Revenues, etc.)

  • Specific originating locales: States, Cities, Railroads, Ship Post, etc.
  • Destinations, Routing,
  • Historical (Classics, 20th Cent., Modern)
  • Type (Postage, Airmail, Express, Telegraph, Special Delivery, etc.)
  • Varieties (Watermarks, Perforations, Die Types, Errors, Double Transfers, etc.)
  • Unusual use
  • Auxiliary Markings
  • Forwarded, Missent, Postage Due, etc
  • Delayed (crashes, stolen, embargoed)
  • Early use (e.g. FDCs)
  • To or From Famous People
  • Condition (Gem, Fine, Average, etc.)
  • Used – most postal history
  • And, various combinations of the above

Ready to expand your philatelic horizon?  You may be a candidate for the ASDA Mentor Program.

The ASDA Mentor Program

Recently, The ASDA announced its mentor program.  The stated purpose of the program is to help serious adult collectors acquire skills in their areas of collecting interest, or to assist experienced collectors who wish to become dealers. [I have not discussed the dimensions of philatelic dealing because there have been several excellent articles in this magazine on the subject recently.] The program enables those who are accepted to gain the information they seek from mentors, who are members of the ASDA, via email and information available on the Internet.

To get an idea about the areas of expertise that members of the ADSA have and who are potential mentors, go to the ASDA on line member directory at

http://www.asdaonline.com/index.php?id=49

The Mentor Program Outline:

  • Mentors are ASDA members who are qualified experts in fundamentals & who have adequate computer skills & facilities
  • Mentors commit to 1year/client
  • Mentors cannot offer to sell to ‘clients’ during the term of the mentoring relationship (Mentors may sell to clients of other mentors, of course)
  • A breech of rules by a mentor is considered a violation of the ASDA code of ethics
  • Client or Mentor may terminate the relationship at any time
  • Clients may re-apply
  • Communication between clients & mentors is principally by email (clients are not to expect phone, postal or physical contact, but these may take place by mutual agreement)
  • Coordinated by ASDA member, Don Tocher

The program is not an appraisal program. If you want an appraisal, find an appropriate dealer in the ASDA directory, and contact the dealer directly. However, questions of relative value are fair game. For example, you and your mentor are free to examine questions like:

Note that the ability to send and receive images by email can be a big help in communicating with your mentor.

Note that the ability to send and receive images by email can be a big help in communicating with your mentor.

To Request an ASDA Mentor:
Send an email to me at dontocher@earthlink.net with the following information: 

  • What do you want to get from the program?
  • Brief professional & academic resume

You will be notified if you are selected to be an ASDA Mentoree.  The information you provide will be placed in the mentor coordinator’s database and it will only be shared with prospective ASDA mentors.

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