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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Stamp Investment Tips: Finland 1930 Zeppelin Overprint (Scott # C1)

In 1930, Finland overprinted 50,000 of its 10m Lake Saima
stamps "Zeppelin 1930", thereby creating its first airmail, intended to be used on the Graf Zeppelin return flight from Finland to Germany (Scott #C1). 500 stamps were errantly overprinted "Zeppelin 1830" instead of "1930" (Scott #C1a), of which probably about 200-300 were sold and the rest destroyed. Scott '10 values #C1 unused at $ 140.00 ($225.00 for NH)and C1a at $2,500 .

I feel that both stamps are good investments, but that the overprint error is the better of the two. Zeppelin stamps and covers are extremely popular worldwide, and the "1830" overprint error is one of the gems of both Finnish and Zeppelin philately. It costs a little more than a U.S. 1930 Zeppelin set (Scott #C13-15), yet is about 200 times rarer, and worth its weight in Finnish fairy dust.

Finland, a nation of 5.3 million people, has a highly industrialized free-market economy focused largely on manufacturing. GDP growth has averaged about 3.6% annually over the last 5 years, although it declined recently due to the global financial crisis, and is now recovering. Finland's stamp collecting population is comparable to other Scandinavian countries, and will probably grow significantly as the nation ages over the next decades.

Counterfeit overprints exist of both the normal and error stamps, so authentication is recommended, especially for the error.


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