Ravi Somani, is a businessman settled in Delhi, during childhood he was fascinated by Coins, Currency Notes, Colourful Stamps and Autographs of noted personalities and he used to collect these items without any particular theme, just for pleasure of having various rare items in his possession but as the years passed this casual hobby developed in to serious collection and now Ravi Somani collects and study the Rare Autographs of Celebrities and also Rare Indian Stamps from since 1854 onwards. Now Ravi Somani is well known Stamp and Autograph collector in India. He has been interviewed by leading News Papers and TV channels about these items as Alternate Investment Products.
Ravi Somani joined Delhi Coin Society to understand more about such collection and value of such items. As he developed knowledge and more information, Ravi Somani increased his collection in a scientific way. Now Ravi Somani is well known Numismatic in the collectors circle in India.
Autograph collection is a Hobby which is quite popular Overseas and has a well Developed market place also but in India it has not blossomed so much. Surely there are several renowned Autograph Collectors in India who have a Vast and Huge collection of Autographs and many Collectors club are trying to Promote this Hobby in young people. I am sure this Hobby will develop much more in India.
It is one of the least expensive Hobby, What you need is to decide a Theme like Autograph of Political Personality or Autograph of Film actors and so on. Then you must collect their Postal Addresses and then send them a request letter for sending you the Autograph informing them the purpose of your Collection. Many times you may not get the reply from their side but whenever you get any reply with Autograph you will feel very good about it.
Ravi Somani prefers to collect Autograph on the Photo of the celebrity. I have several interesting autographs in my collection like Autograph of Mahatama Gandhi on his photo, Autograph of Rabindra Nath Tagore on his photo, Autograph of all of the Presidents and Prime Ministers of India after Independence and so on.
Once you compile the Autograph Collection in a proper Album and review it in your leisure time, you will realize that you are holding a piece of History in your hand. Ravi Somani was interviewed by NDTV profit for his Hobbies, you can see that interview here.
Ravi Somani encourages the people to indulge in this Hobby of Autograph Collection to get a satisfaction which other hobbies may not be able to give. There is regular auction overseas for good quality rare autographs and the prices have gone up in recent times. If you search the internet you may find many of the sites which sell/auction autographs internationally. In recent time a very popular Autograph is First Men on Moon.(Apollo 11 crew) Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin and Michael Collins.
Ravi Somani thinks Stamp Collection Hobby is most common in India. It is quite popular in amateur collectors who are fascinated by the colourful stamps. There are two kind of Stamps
Commemorative Stamps – which are printed in small numbers to Commemorate A special occasion like Birth Centenary etc. Such stamps are printed only 1 time for that occasion and normally these are not used much in posting letters but mostly these are for personal Collection. To get such Stamps any individual can open a Philately Account with the Main Post Office in the city and then Indian Post will send all new Commemorative Stamps to the account holder till the time there is sufficient balance in that account.
Definitive Stamps – These are the Stamps which are mostly used for Posting letters are these are re-printed several times as per the demand and requirement of the Public. These are the stamps we generally see in use.
Older and Rare the Stamp the price increases accordingly. The Condition of the stamp is most important to determine the market value of any stamp. Generally Unused stamps which are also called Mint Stamps are collected and carry better market value. Some people also collect used Stamps as these Stamps are easy to get.
Any New collector may chose a Theme like Butterfly, Flowers , Ships etc and then collect the Stamps based on his interest and theme.
Ravi Somani only collects Indian Stamps since 1850 onwards. Ravi Somani do have some unique stamps in his collection which are quite rare.
In recent times Mahatama Gandhi Stamps issued just after Independence are very popular and in Demand by collectors as these are not easy to get. It has also come to notice that due to High Demand some fake stamps are also in circulation so any new collector should get such Stamps after properly checking or getting an Authentication certificate along with such rare stamp.
In Great Britain there are some companies who manage the Stamp Portfolio and they claim that such investment gives better return that other investments.
There are some Auctions of Rare Stamps held in Europe and USA where rare Indian Stamps are quite in demand and carry huge premium depending on condition and rarity of such Stamp.
If you have any suggestion or comment for stamp collection please do e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org