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Friday, September 18, 2009

Stamp Investment Tip: Singapore 1969 150th Anniversary of Founding Souvenir Sheet (Scott 106a)

In 1819, the British East India Company, led by Sir Stamford Raffles, established a trading post on the island of Singapore, then the site of a small Malay fishing village. Over time, Singapore became one of the most important commercial and military centers of the British Empire, and the hub of British power in Southeast Asia.

In 1969, four years after becoming an independent republic, Singapore issued a set (Scott #101-06; Scott '10 Catalog Value of $ 127.00) and souvenir sheet (Scott #106a; Scott '10 Catalog Value of $ 675.00 for unused ) commemorating the 150th Anniversary of its Founding. Both are scarce, as 14,312 sets were issued, along with 9,067 souvenir sheets.

Since independence, Singapore has built a prosperous, export-driven economy, heavily based on manufacturing and refining imported goods. With a population of about 5 million, it is the 5th wealthiest country in the world in terms of GDP per capita. In January, 2009, this small island's foreign exchange reserves stood at approximately $170 billion. It is likely that the economy will grow by at least 4%-6% annually over the next 10 years.

I favor scarce and undervalued issues of all of the "Asian Tigers," and the "Raffles Issue" is no exception. Not only will its value reflect the continuing economic growth of Singapore, but given the paucity of supply, the market for the issue could easily be inflamed by competitive buy-listing in the not-too-distant future.


  1. There are Singapore stamps you probably can only hear about but never set eyes upon: The rare Raffles Hotel stamp cancellation. So rare, I have seen only 3 such stamps. They jointly are valued at over S$10,000.

  2. I intend to deal with rare cancellations in a separate article, but I've never heard of the Raffles Hotel cancellation. Do any specialized catalogs list it?

  3. Totally agree on the Raffles cancellation. A member of Queenstown Stamp Club offered to sell me 3 postcards at $1000 each. 30 yrs on, only the vague memory remains.

  4. I'm sitting here holding a real photo postcard of the Cricket Club, Singapore, sent to the U.S. by someone traveling on the U.S.S. Chandler on 5 Feb. 1921. Message: "Leaving the 7th for Saigon, French Indo-China. It is a French settlement and I've heard it is a 2nd Paris. Whoopee! Can you beat it. Best regards to all." IT HAS A RAFFLES HOTEL CANCELATION.

  5. Raffles Hotel is the only hotel given the permission by the General Post Office to have its own cancellation in the 1920s although the GPO is less than a km away. This permit did not last long, and so the stamps or postcards can fetch good price. Wonder if many are still in existence.