The market for rare and desirable stamps has increased worldwide.Philately – or stamp collecting – is perhaps one of the least likely areas that you might think of making an investment, but if you have a specific interest in this area, there are many gems that can help you to turn a profit.
Spink, the coins, stamps and medals specialist auctioneer, saw a record paid for a stamp sold at auction in the UK within the last two years – a £1 million bid for the 2d blue Post Office Mauritius – and has an exciting sale planned for later this year.
In November, the firm will be selling what it describes as “an outstanding selection of the world’s finest Australian Commonwealth stamps”, which will go on sale after two generations of private collecting. It includes some extremely rare examples and is “one of the world’s largest and most stunning collections of Australian Commonwealth stamps to have ever come on to the market”.
Nick Startup, a stamp specialist at Spink UK, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to offer such a unique and exceptional collection. The calibre of this collection of Australian Commonwealth stamps has not been seen since the Kilfoyle Collection in the early 1960s.”
Much of the interest in the stamp collecting market in recent years has come from emerging economies such as Brazil, Russia, India and China.
Louise Reynolds of the collectables and investment specialist Stanley Gibbons, said: “We are continuing to see an increasing interest from customers in BRIC countries – particularly India and China; the prices of China stamps are changing so fast that we had to adapt our catalogue publishing schedule. We would usually release a China stamp catalogue every five years or so, but having last issued one in December 2006 we have now had to reprice and reissue the catalogue in April last year and again in May this year, as the prices have been rising so fast.”
There is also particular interest in modern “errors” in the UK market, said Ms Reynolds, which are also seeing keen price increases.
She added: “An ‘error’ is a stamp that has some flaw in the design or technical features, such as being printed in the wrong colour, bearing a watermark when there shouldn’t be one, the frame element of the design being printed upside down, or the wrong value (price) being printed on the stamp and so on.”
As if proof were needed that the market for rare and desirable stamps has increased worldwide, Spink joined forces with its counterpart Investphila in Switzerland in September last year to increase its reach in Russia and Latin America.
Olivier Stocker, Spink’s chairman and CEO, said: “We were pioneers with our auctions in Hong Kong and Singapore 20 years ago, but we also believe in the formidable potential of the Russian and South American collectables market.
“Additionally, Investphila will further strengthen our market position in the more mature markets of continental Europe, where they have the dominant position in Italy and very strong in Switzerland. We shall also progressively introduce there our collectables expertise in other fields.”
You can access the Stanley Gibbons stamp price indices on Bloomberg, but only if you are a subscriber.
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