Collections and Hobbies

Collecting items of interest is one way many individuals enjoy spending their time. A collection is a group of similar items and could be anything, including coins, stamps, and miscellaneous collections. The latter category includes such items as Hot Wheels cars, stuffed animals, pressed pennies, and even musical scores or vinyl records. If you are interested in it, you can collect it!  (NOTE: This project does not include collections that are found in other projects such as rocks, bugs, or leaf collections.)

collections and hobbies project INFOrmation

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How can you showcase what you learned?

Cloverbud and Classic 4-H Members: You must complete a 4-H Collector’s Log and 4-H Collector’s Cost Log for each physical collection exhibit (coins, stamps, and miscellaneous), but not for reports or posters with no physical collection items attached. The Collector’s Log should be submitted with your exhibit; the cost log is for your records (not to be submitted) to help with safety and security of your collection.

What are the guidelines for showcasing/ exhibiting your project at the fair?
exhibit guidelines:
  • Cloverbud 4-H Members: Exhibit any and as many of the activities that you complete from Purdue’s Mini Collections Manual, 
  • Classic 4-H Members: Choose any one of the three levels below which you feel ready to do a project. You do not have to start at Level 1; there are no age guidelines for any level, but you should consider moving up levels as your skills advance.
    • Recommendations: Arrange your coin collection in a neat manner.  Coins should be displayed in a suitable holder similar to clear plastic types used for trading cards. This allows the coin to be viewed from both sides. Coins should be identified by date, mintmark and country if not made in the U.S.
    • Level 1 Beginning Collector: Exhibit one or more of the following, however more than one selection still counts as only one exhibit:
      1. A set of U.S. coins from the year of your birth. This set includes: penny, nickel, dime, quarter and half dollar. This set should have the Philadelphia and Denver mints represented for each coin type.
      2. A collection of at least twenty (20) U.S. coins of any denomination. Do not duplicate the year on the coin of the same denomination. A good collection might include five (5) pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters having different dates or twenty 20 pennies arranged in consecutive years.
      3. A complete set of Washington quarter state mint series. A good collection would have both Philadelphia and Denver mints represented.
      4. A one-page report for one of the following:
        • Select any one U.S. coin and exhibit it in a protected viewing holder along with its history.
        • Explain the grading system used to determine a coin’s quality. A good report would show some pictures of fair, good, fine and uncirculated coins.
    • Level 2 Intermediate Collector: Exhibit one or more of the following, however more than one selection still counts as only one exhibit.
      1. A collection of at least fifty (50) U.S. coins of any denomination. You may duplicate the year only when the mint marks are different for that coin. (For example: two 1988 dimes, one made at Philadelphia and one at the Denver mint.)
      2. A two-page report for one of the following:
        • How a coin is made from start to finish. You must use correct terms such as “planchet, obverse, die and relief.”
        • History of the U.S. mint that was founded in 1792. You must include the origin of the basic coin types that were made and who proposed them.
      3. Ten coins from around the world that represent at least three different countries with no denomination duplicated. Each coin must be labeled with its date, country of origin, and value. A good exhibit may include a world map identifying the country, etc.

 

  • Level 3 Advanced Collector: Exhibit one or more of the following; however more than one selection still counts as only one exhibit:
    1. At least sixty U.S. coins of the same denomination. You may duplicate the year only when the mint marks are different. A good collection would have a consecutive coin series. For example: pennies from 1970 to year 2000 with two or three mints representing each date.
    2. Coins of the same denomination but in different conditions. A good exhibit would include an explanation of at least six graded conditions from “fair” through “un-circulated” and a proof coin.
    3. Thirty coins from around the world that represent at least eight different countries with no denomination date duplicated (for example, two 1998 Mexican pesos would be unacceptable). Each coin must be labeled with country, date and value.
    4. A complete series of coins. A series is all of the coins of a particular denomination, design, and type. The easiest series are the Susan B. Anthony or the Eisenhower dollars. The Sacagawea dollar does not qualify at this level.
    5. A collection of ten or more coins depicting a theme (animals, flowers, birds, space, etc.)

 

Stamp Collection Exhibit Requirements:
  • Cloverbud 4-H Members: Similar to the coin collections, you are encouraged to learn about and start a stamp collection, but not bring the actual collection to the fair. Instead, make a poster related to collecting stamps, which could include information such as: how to address and stamp an envelope, their idea for the next stamp design, stamp vocabulary, stamp collecting tools, etc.
  • Classic 4-H Members: Choose any one of the three levels below which you feel ready to do a project. You do not have to start at Level 1; there are no age guidelines for any level, but you should consider moving up levels as your skills advance.
    • Recommendations: Refer to the resources listed below for detailed instructions and definitions of the special terms used in stamp collecting. Never use glue or tape to mount stamps. Inexpensive stamp hinges and special stamp mounts are available that do not harm stamps. Self-stick photo albums are not acceptable for any stamp-collecting project. Photo albums will damage stamps and covers. (“Cover,” means an envelope/card with a used stamp on it).
    • Level 1 Beginning Collector: Exhibit one or more of the following: (Please remember if the 4 H member exhibits more than one of the following, this still counts as one exhibit).
      1. A 4-page stamp/cover exhibit.
      2. A collection of at least 100 different stamps mounted in a stamp album.
      3. A poster with white background and a title that shows one of the following:
        • At least 25 stamps from different countries, the name of the country that issued each stamp, and a map showing the geographic location of these countries.
        • At least 25 USA stamps honoring different states and a map showing the geographic location of those states.
        • At least 25 stamps showing a variety of different topics or themes that can be found on stamps (animals, flowers, figure skating, space, etc.).
        • At least 25 stamps that show different people. Give each person's name and brief information about each person.
          • At least 25 stamps from a single country (USA or foreign) with brief information about the country and a few words about the picture on each stamp. At least 25 stamps on a single theme or subject of your choice. In a few words tell about the picture on each stamp. (Examples of subjects: soccer, USA in space, famous scientists, dogs).
          • Level 2 Intermediate Collector: Exhibit one or more of the following: (Please be reminded if the 4 H member exhibits more than one of the following, this still counts as one exhibit).
            1. An 8-page stamp/cover exhibit.
            2. A collection mounted in a stamp album. A worldwide collection must contain at least 500 different stamps. A single country, region, or thematic collection must contain at least 250 different stamps. A poster with white background and a title that shows one of the following:
              • Examples of at least 6 different kinds of stamps and/or covers and a description of their purposes (regular issue, commemorative, airmail, semi postal, special delivery, postal stationery, coil, booklet, registered, express, revenue, postage due, first day cover, etc.).
              • Stamps and/or covers of one country arranged to show the story of that country (famous persons, places, institutions, history, geography, etc.).
              • A poster on a single theme or subject of your choice that uses a variety of philatelic items (such as stamps, covers, miniature & Souvenir sheets, postal stationery, cancels, meter stamps, etc. Identify each type of item and briefly tell how the item relates to your theme. (Examples: For a dog theme, “Cover from England with Sheep Dog on Stamp.” “Cancel from France with Poodles”).
          • Level 3 Advanced Collector: Exhibit one or more of the following: (Please be reminded if the 4 H member exhibits more than one of the following, this still counts as one exhibit).
            1. A 16 or more page stamp/cover exhibit.
            2. A collection mounted in a stamp album. A worldwide collection must contain at least 1,000 different stamps. A single country, region, or thematic collection must contain at least 500 different stamps. A stamp/cover exhibit consists of the following (“Cover” means an envelope/card with a used stamp on it):
              • Stamps, covers, or other philatelic material chosen to show a common subject. (Examples: USA Love Stamps; USA Transportation Stamps; Basketball on Stamps of the World).
              • All material mounted on plain white paper size 8.5" x11", enclosed in a clear protective sheet, and put in a notebook or binder.
              • A title page as the first page of the exhibit. The title page should describe the subject of the exhibit. The title page is the only page of the exhibit that may contain artwork or pictures.
              • A heading on each page summarizing in a few words what is shown on the page.
              • A few lines of text on each page. The text should tell how the material fits into your subject and describe the material mounted on the page.
              • Nothing but stamps, covers, and text on any page of the exhibit other than the title pages
 
Miscellaneous Collection Exhibit Requirements:
  • Cloverbud 4-H Members: Your exhibit should consist of six (6) items from the collection displayed in a poster, box, notebook, or any other manner. The items need to be labeled as to what they are.

Classic 4-H Members: Exhibit six (6) representative samples of your collection from one category. Space size should not exceed 24" x 36" (call the Extension Office if this size will not accommodate your exhibit). Your collection may be exhibited in a box, on a poster, in a notebook, or in any other manner that is attractive. Attach labels to the items you display in order to explain them to the public.

 

Scorecard(s):


Classic 4-H members: Could your project(s) advance to the state fair? No (county-only)



How can you learn more about this project? (e.g., manuals, workshops)

 

Visit the following websites related to collections you are interested in:

 

Track what you have learned using the 4-H Collections Record Sheet.

 

4-H does not offer a collections manual, however there are many great resources that can be accessed online or at libraries and bookstores. To perform an online or library search, try the following keywords: numismatics, collecting, coin collections, philately, stamp collections, philately for kids. There may also be groups of collectors who meet in the Indianapolis area as well.