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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Stamp Investment Tip: Mexico 1939 Sarabia Airmail (Scott #C93A)

On May 23, 1939, Mexico issued an overprinted airmail stamp (Scott #C93A) for the May 25th flight of Francisco "Pancho" Sarabia from Mexico City to New York City, which he completed in record time, beating Amelia Earhart's previous record by almost 4 hours. On his return trip of June 7, the celebrated pilot crashed his plane, "El Conquistador de Cielo," into the Potomac River and was killed. An investigation found that the plane had crashed due to the negligence of a mechanic. Sarabia is now recognized as a national hero. Only 2,100 of the stamps were issued and Scott '10 prices it at $425.00 for both used and unused.

In my opinion, there are many scarce and undervalued issues of Latin America which should be aggressively targeted. I like the Sarabia stamp in particular because it appeals to Airmail collectors as well, especially given the tragedy associated with the flight. Flight covers bearing the stamp turn up at auction every once in a while, offering the opportunity to own a gem of Mexican aviation history.

With a population of about 109 million, Mexico has experienced consistent annual GDP growth of between 3 and 5%. It has a diverse and developing economy, but modernization remains a slow and uneven process, and current challenges include addressing income inequality and corruption, upgrading the infrastructure, and reforming tax and labor laws. Stamps of Mexico are popular among collectors in the U.S. as well as in Mexico, and those who wish to learn more about Mexican stamps should consider joining the Mexico Elmhurst Philatelic Society International (M.E.P.S.I.). MEPSI provides many useful services for collectors of Mexico, including expertizing Mexican stamps.

1 comment:

  1. There is a small museum in Ciudad Lerdo, near Torreon, Mexico honoring Francisco Sarabia. As well as information and the usual memorabilia his restored aircraft is displayed. It's very nicely done and is quite informative as well.