It All Began…

I’m pretty sure I come by the collecting thing naturally, but never really did it much as I didn’t have time, money or frankly anything I felt worth collecting.  That is, of course, except my christmas decorations and mostly ornaments that I have been gathering since a young boy.  But that is less of a collection of series or figurines or dated items and more of just gathering items for my tree that have meaning and beauty to me.

Banks Fam in front of Starbucks on Arbat St in Moscow

Starbucks on Arbat St in Moscow

So the collecting really began on a trip to Russia.  I already appreciated Starbucks as a company and maybe even had an ornament or two.  I don’t recall.  But on this trip we stopped by the first Starbucks in Russia and they had a gift card on display to take and load with money.  I thought it was beautiful.  The red Matryoshka Doll design caught my eye and I thought that it would make a great souvenir.  I planned to take it home, put a magnet on the back of it and place on a metal board I had above my desk. (Russia 2009) Matryoshka Doll

When I got home, I posted it on Facebook and one of my friends remarked they had a beautiful card from Starbucks Hawaii with the hula dancers.  They gave it to me and I agreed it was beautiful as well.  I began to pay attention to the cards and came to realize that each was in it’s own right a little piece of art.

And so it began!

I discovered sites sharing what had been released.  And began looking for Christmas releases, since I already had a passion all things Christmas.  When I had gathered all of them, I moved on to adding destination ones with city or state names on them.  Oh, and why not begin adding international ones too!  So I focused on ones with City, Country or foreign language displayed on the front. Eventually I gathered all of those and so moved on to wanting ALL USA publicly released cards and what ever special cards I could get (partner, shareholder, etc).  That goal eventually was met and so then I just have moved on to gathering every card ever made worldwide.  Realizing that Asia in particular can be difficult and expensive to acquire and that Starbucks has increased it’s offerings of the same card in various countries, I am scaling back.  It just has become a bit too overwhelming.

But then the ornament passion kicked in.  Getting back to my roots and coming to realize that there has been no authoritative source for ornament releases, I began to investigate what Starbucks had released and have come to discover some really wonderful ornaments.  This discovery sparked the collector addiction and I began to add to my collection in force.  And then 2015 happened.  Starbucks had wavered between 4-10 releases most years and then in 2015 they freaked out!  49 ornaments were released worldwide in various sets that were just incredible.  Along the way I have met a number of wonderful fellow collectors and have learned much.  This website and the photo catalog is possible because of much of their knowledge being shared.  I am not sure I have the most complete collection in the world, but I feel confident I am close.  However, every time I think I have gotten nearly all of them, I discover one that was released some obscure year back and the hunt begins again.  So I suspect there will always be that elusive one.

But that’s the joy and frustration of collecting.

6 Replies to “It All Began…”

  1. Sandy Hale

    I also collect and have been collecting Starbucks cards for some time. However, I don’t travel much so I’ve ask my friends and family when they travel to see if there is a Starbucks in the local area and if so could they get a gift card from that city, state or country. It’s been really fun collecting them. I also try and get the new one for each season.

    Sandy Hale

    • lenbanks Post author

      Happy Collecting! It is a fun hobby. I started with cards, but with my need to have them ‘all’ I couldn’t keep up. Have stopped to maintain my sanity. Ornaments are now coming out at alarming quantities, so we will see how long I can maintain that. 😉

      • Shera Houston

        I collect ornaments since 2006! I have a whole Starbucks tree smothered in ornaments:). It’s now a BIg thing here !! Lol!

  2. Lana

    I have collected the ornaments starting in 2014. I have only purchased the ones in Texas. To be honest I didn’t even know they had different ornaments in other areas. Do they have different ornaments in other states or just countries?

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