About the 4-H Collections & Hobbies Project

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, or even Hot Wheels cars, stuffed animals, pressed pennies, musical scores, or vinyl records. If you are interested in it, you can collect it!

This project does not include collections that are found in other projects such as rocks, bugs, or leaf collections.

Questions?

Contact the Marion County 4-H office:

marion4h@purdue.edu
317-275-9305

Collections & Hobbies Project Resources

4-H does not offer manuals for the collections and hobbies project, but there are many great resources you can access online or at libraries and bookstores. To do 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.


Showcasing What You’ve Learned

You can create a project exhibit to showcase what you’ve learned, either a physical collection, or a poster or notebook. Project exhibits are submitted for judging at the annual Marion County Showcase.

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


Coin Collection Exhibits

Choose any of the three levels below for which you feel ready to do a project. There are no age guidelines for the levels, so you do not have to start at Level 1, but you should consider moving up levels as your skills advance.

Exhibit Guidelines

  • 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:

  • 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.
  • A collection of at least twenty (20) U.S. coins of any denomination. Do not duplicate the year on coins 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.
  • A complete set of Washington quarter state mint series. A good collection would have both Philadelphia and Denver mints represented.
  • 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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Level 3: Advanced Collector

Exhibit one or more of the following; however, more than one selection still counts as only one exhibit:

  • At least sixty (60) 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.
  • 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.
  • Thirty (30) 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.
  • 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.
  • A collection of ten or more coins depicting a theme (animals, flowers, birds, space, etc.).

Score Cards


Stamp Collection Exhibits

Choose any of the three levels below for which you feel ready to do a project. There are no age guidelines for the levels, so you do not have to start at Level 1, but you should consider moving up levels as your skills advance.

Exhibit Guidelines

  • 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 (a “cover” is an envelope/card with a used stamp on it).

Level 1: Beginning Collector

Exhibit one or more of the following; however, more than one selection still counts as only one exhibit:

  • A 4-page stamp/cover exhibit.
  • A collection of at least 100 different stamps mounted in a stamp album.
  • A poster with a 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; however, more than one selection still counts as only one exhibit:

  • An 8-page stamp/cover exhibit.
  • 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 and 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; however, more than one selection still counts as only one exhibit:

  • A 16 or more page stamp/cover exhibit.
  • 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:
    • 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" x 11", 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.

Score Cards


Miscellaneous Collection Exhibits

Miscellaneous collections might include Hot Wheels cars, stuffed animals, pressed pennies, musical scores, vinyl records, or anything else you are interested in collecting.

Exhibit Guidelines

  • 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.

Score Cards


Advancing to the State Fair

  • No, collections and hobbies is a county-only project and only eligible for exhibition at the Marion County Showcase.

Cloverbuds (Grades K-2)

Activity Guides

  • Purdue’s Mini 4-H Collections Manual. In this project activity guide, find out the kinds of things people collect, explore some special kinds of collections, and discover how to start a collection of your own.

Exhibits

  • Exhibit any and as many of the activities that you complete from the Mini 4-H Collections Manual.
  • You are encouraged to learn about and start a coin or stamp collection, but not bring the actual collection to Showcase. Instead, make a poster related to collecting coins or stamps, which could include information such as: how to address and stamp an envelope, your idea for the next stamp design, stamp vocabulary, stamp collecting tools, etc.
  • For miscellaneous collections, your exhibit should consist of six (6) labeled items from your collection displayed in a poster, box, notebook, or any other manner.
  • Cloverbud projects are for exhibition only (not judged), so there are no score cards, and exhibits are not eligible to advance to the State Fair.