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Friday, February 5, 2010

Stamp Investment Tip: Brazil 1889 Pres. Hermes da Fonseca Officials (Scott #O14-29)

In 1913, Brazil issued a set of official stamps honoring President Hermes da Fonseca (Scott #O14-29). Only 5,135 sets were issued, and Scott '10 prices the unused set at $ 1,005.- . This I believe to be a grossly undervalued, overlooked back-of-book issue.
As it will probably be difficult to purchase a complete set of this issue in reasonably decent shape, it may be necessary either to buy it piecemeal, or else focus on the high values. All are extremely scarce, from the 20,000r (Sc. #O25) up, and I've noted their quantities issued and Scott '10 Catalog Values (for unused) below:

- 1913 20,000r Blue (Scott #O25; 9,306;$ 30.00)
- 1913 50,000r Green (Scott #O26; 7,407;$ 55.00)
- 1913 100,000r Orange Red (Scott #O27; 5,135; $ 200.00)
- 1913 500,000r Brown (Scott #O28; 5,326;$ 325.00)
- 1913 1,000,000r Dark Brown (Scott #O29; 5,202; $ 350.00)

With 191 million people, Brazil is the largest economy in Latin America, and the world's eighth largest. Political and economic reforms have given the country a brighter future than it had in the bad old days of oligarchical dictatorship. The Brazilian economy is diverse, the country is aggressively investing in its future by generously funding technological research and education, and exports are booming. Annual GDP growth has averaged a little over 5% over the last 5 years.

There are a number of undervalued Brazilian issues with printing quantities of 10,000 to 100,000, some of which have topical appeal, and recommending them for accumulation seems a no-brainer. Brazil looks destined to become an economic superpower, and even if it mirrors the philatelically anemic U.S. and only one out of a thousand Brazilians become serious stamp collectors and one out of a fifty become "unserious" ones, they'll be competing for their nation's better stamps, only to find that the cupboard is bare.

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