Sunday, January 31, 2010
In 1948 and '49, the Kingdom of Bahrain, then a British-protected territory, surcharged a portion of Great Britain's George VI definitives of the time, issuing a set of eleven stamps (Scott #52-61A). Only 16,460 sets were issued, making it perhaps the scarcest set ever issued by Bahrain. Scott '10 values the unused set at $ 83.00 ($110.- for NH).
I favor all of the better stamps of the affluent Gulf States, and this set has the added attraction of appealing to British Commonwealth collectors.
Bahrain, a country of just under 800,000, has the fastest growing economy in the Arab world. With oil reserves estimated at 150-200 million barrels, Bahrain is not as oil-rich as some of the other Gulf States, but has met the challenge by successfully diversifying into banking and financial services, and is now considered a major financial center. Annual GDP growth has averaged 6.5% over the past 5 years. Bahrain is also developing its natural gas industry, as it has gas reserves equivalent to about another 580 million barrels of oil.