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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Stamp Investment Tip: Philippines 1926 10p Madrid-Manila Flight Issue (Scott #C15)

In 1926, the Philippines, then under U.S. Administration, issued its first airmail stamps (Scott #C1-15) to commemorate the flight of Spanish aviators Edwardo Gallarza and Joaquin Loriga from Madrid to Manila. All of the values of the 1917-27 regular issue were overprinted "Airmail Madrid-Manila 1926." In addition, two other values, the 1911 26c Blue Green and the 1914 1p Pale Violet, were also given the overprint (Scott # C16 and C17). In my opinion, all of the Madrid-Manila Airs are scarce and undervalued, as even the inexpensive low values have printings of under 10,000. However, fake overprints may exist and expertization is necessary, so it makes sense to concentrate on this issue's scarcest and priciest stamps, for which paying for expertization is worthwhile.

One such stamp is the 10 peso Deep Green with Violet overprint (Scott #C15), of which only 500 were issued. I have selected this stamp merely as a representative of all of the scarcest stamps of this issue; I believe they are all comparable as investments, and list them, along with their Scott ' 10 Catalog Values (for unused) below:

  • 16c Olive Bister with Red Overprint (Scott # C8)- 100 issued; $ 5,000.00
  • 2p Violet Brown with Red Overprint (Scott # C13)- 900 issued; $ 650.00, $ 1,200.00 NH
  • 4p Dark Blue with Red Overprint (Scott #C14) - 700 issued; $ 750.00, $ 1,300.00 NH
  • 10p Deep Green with Violet Overprint (Scott #C15) - 500 issued; $ 1,350.00
  • 26c Blue Green with Violet Overprint, watermarked single-lined PIPS (Scott #C16)-100 issued; $ 6,250.00
  • 1p Pale Violet with Violet Overprint (Scott #C17)- 2,000 issued; $ 225.00, $ 450.00 NH

As a newly democratic and newly industrialized country of 92 million which is transitioning from its centuries-old complete dependence on agriculture, the Philippines may turn out to be one of the most successful emerging markets in the Pacific Region. The government tends toward fiscal conservatism coupled with long-term economic planning, and annual GDP growth has been around 6%-7%.

There are many scarce and undervalued issues of the Philippines, some of which will be covered in future articles. I favor the better Madrid-Manila Airs in particular, because they are sought after in three markets (the Philippines, the U.S., because at the time that these stamps were issued, the Philippines was a U.S. Possession, and Spain, because of interest in the historic flight). Also ,I feel that they are undervalued in part because of the perceived difficulty of obtaining expertization, a concern which is rooted in lack of experience.

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