I have been collecting amulets for many years now. It started when my dad brought me to late night gathering with fellow collectors. i hated him and didn't understand why he can spend countless nights and days with this hobby. i was Sec 3 then. i missed my classes, missed my sleep and many good times with friends. Just to accompany him.
Until much later when i was into this hobby myself, then i realised. i might be doing the same too if not for my two little toddlers who had kept me busy day and nights. Somehow it is different from other hobby like stamp collection or bird watching. It can keep me excited days and nights and for many years.
Now that my dad passed away. Last year Sept. i started to take over all his collection. He only willed few pieces to my sisters and his grand sons. The rest, all go to me. I am the only one collecting and into this hobby actually.
Now there are a few lessons that i want to note down and share. Just to share my experience and lessons learnt from seeing the way that my dad collected his amulets.
1. There is no free lunch in this world. Good amulets doesn't come cheap. If a seller knows the background of the amulets and if he still wants to sell you the amulets at a fraction of the amulets actual market cost, then you better think twice before getting it.
2. Amulets collectors are to certain extend smart and "cunning". They are very familiar with the buying behavior and pattern. If you think you out smart him, many a times it is the other way round. There are many crocodiles around.
3. Do not anyhow collect amulets without a clear purpose. Don't follow crowd or trend. Know what you want and go for it. You might end up collecting lots and lots of amulets and at the end of the day, 20 years later, you don't even remember its name and its origin. Just like my dad. And more so, if you want to resell your amulets later on.
4. Focus on your collection. Be an expert in one material or one Luang Phor. It is hard to know and master everything. find a good luang phor thatyou like and get all information about him. Collect only his amulets. Then move on the the next. If you collect only metal, then make sure you understand how a rian is made. What are the different process involves and how to see sign of aged. This is more important than memorizing all the marking. Marking can be made almost 100%.
5. There are many "expert" in this field. They seem to know everything and all kinds of amulets. So, practise your judgement and analysis skill when digesting inputs from these "experts". You might need more than one views to decide.
I searched through all my dad's collection. i am of course happy that i have a lot of amulets now. But amulets that are real, may be 70%. Amulets that are worth collecting (from my perspective), may be 30%.
Amulets that are really collectable, real, costly (more than S$2,000), less than 20. I felt a bit sad as he has spent tens of thousands of dollars into this. This is his fortune. He does not left any money behind for us. Is it worth it?? i am not sure.
For him may be yes. for me, i learn from this and refine my purpose of collection and zoom into what i really want. :)