It has been three years since Sanskar Jain Bedmutha, of Manmad, India, began his now-extensive collection.
Daily News & Analysis India reports Bedmutha has since amassed 1,678 coins from 286 different countries; 533 banknotes from 182 countries; and 10,136 stamps from 161 countries.
Bedmutha, studying in class X – similar to Canada’s Grade 10 – has been acknowledged by the Golden Book of World Records, and in May 2015, he displayed his collection at an exhibition organized by the Numismatic Society of Maharashtra.
It all began in 2013, when Bedmutha attended a lifestyle coaching program in a nearby town.
“The programme ended on Jan. 26 and I was at a restaurant having lunch with my parents when I saw some foreigners across the table,” he told DNA India. “During the programme, the friends I made had told me that some of them were collecting stamps and coins. I was fascinated by the idea and when I saw the foreigners, I thought about whether I, too, could collect some foreign coins.”
The young boy approached the foreigners, who were Polish citizens. They gave him some Polish coins as a gift and encouraged him to collect. The rest, as they say, is history.
“The Polish coins were the first in my collection. I was then motivated to collect more. In the process, I acquired some notes and thus my collection of notes began.”
Bedmutha’s stamp collection got a lucky boost while he was on a trip to Mumbai for another exhibition. He met an elderly man who asked him if he would give him his banknote collection for 1,000 rupees (about $20 Cdn.). After Bedmutha refused, his uncle raised the offer to 5,000 rupees (about $100 Cdn.) to no avail.
“I was not ready to part with them at any cost,” said Bedmutha, who added the elderly man then told him he collected stamps as a hobby but had no one to bequeath the collection.
To Bedmutha’s amazement, the man then handed over his collection. Combined with what the young boy had already collected, his collection now includes more than 10,000 stamps from 161 countries.
“Recognition, happiness, persistence and a sense of responsibility,” Bedmutha told DNA India about what his hobby offers him.