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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Stamp Investment Tip: Cuba 1953 Airliner Issue (Scott #C75-78)

In 1953, Cuba issued a set of four airmail stamps picturing Lockheed Constellation Airliners (Scott #C75-78). Only 10,000 sets were issued, and Scott '10 prices the unused set at $ 86.00 . Many of the sets were used as postage and discarded, as the 2p and 5p high values were used for shipping packages to the U.S..

This is one of many scarce issues of Cuba which should be targeted for investment. I believe it inevitable that Cuba will join the fold of more-or-less free nations, and that tourism and trade will explode as a result. Currently, the average wage of each of the 11 1/2 million people living in this "socialist utopia" is under $20 per month, and GDP per capita is 107th in the world. Annual GDP growth has been high, averaging 6.4% over the last 5 years, but given the levels of corruption and favoritism shown to high ranking Communist Party members, it's an open question whether much of that new wealth has been filtering downward. Eventually, something will have to give.

The current market for Cuban stamps, especially of the Pre-Castro Period, is bolstered by interest of stamp collectors within Cuban-American community, currently about 1.6 million strong, and far wealthier than their compatriots on the island. Interest in Cuban stamps is likely to increase, especially given the likely prospect of a replacement of the stale, "gerontocratic" regime within a decade or so.

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