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Monday, September 14, 2009

Stamp Investment Tip: Norway 1941 Norwegian Legion Semi-Postal (Scott # B42)

In 1941, German-Occupied Norway issued a semi-postal stamp to benefit Norwegian volunteers serving in the Norwegian Legion of the SS. The stamp (Scott #B24), issued in blood-red to emphasize the Nazi view that Scandinavians were racially brother Aryans, featured a Legionnaire heading eastward "to confront Bolshevism," with Norwegian and Finnish flags in the background. It had a denomination of 20 ore + 80 ore, with the 80 ore surtax intended to benefit the Legion. Scott '10 values an NH single at $72.50.

The stamp had a printing of 100,000, and understandably was not a very popular seller at the time. Currently, however, it is sought after by collectors of Norway and Scandinavia, mostly in Europe and the U.S., as well as collectors of World War II German-occupation issues.

With just under 5 million people, Norway is one of the most prosperous nations in the world due in part to huge reserves of oil and natural gas. Like the rest of Europe, its economy has been hit by the global financial crisis, and annual GDP growth has averaged just over 2% over the last 5 years. Norway has a high population of "serious" stamp collectors, on par with other northern European nations. Furthermore, Scandinavia is often collected as a region, and is popular among collectors in Europe and the U.S., which, incidentally, has about 12 million Scandinavian Americans.

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