If you’ve ever driven on Highland Ave in Middletown and seen the Henry Gitner philatelists sign, you’ve probably thought to yourself, 'What is a philatelist?'
Well, it's actually a stamp collector. And Henry Gitner knows a little something about stamp collecting.
"We've been doing this for 45 years, so we're pretty well known," said Gitner, owner of Henry Gitner Philatelists. "I've been doing it ever since I was a kid, since I was 15, actually when I was 13, I knew this was what I wanted to do."
In fact, Henry and his wife Debbie run one of the biggest stamp dealerships in the country out of their Middletown storefront. He estimates he has tens of millions in his collection of stamps from around the world.
Since the pandemic began, they’ve seen a huge increase in business.
"One of the things about coronavirus over the last six months, and we really consider ourselves blessed, is that every stamp collector in America is home right now; so people are spending time with their collections people are catching up. So it's been incredibly busy, busier than it's ever been," said Gitner.
But these stamps will cost you a pretty penny. Some can cost over $15,000 per set.
So what is it about these stamps that make people want to shell out so much cash?
"People love the history and stamps reflect the political and economic and geographic history of the world," said Gitner. "It's kind of a magical thing they're really just miniature ways of telling the story of the world."