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Monday, February 15, 2010

Stamp Investment Tip: China - Offices in Tibet (Scott 1-11)

From 1909 to late 1911 China occupied Tibet and the Dalai Lama and his Government fled to India. For approximately two years, five Chinese Post Offices operated in Central Tibet and a Chinese Post Office at Chambo (Eastern Tibet) was open in 1913 and 1914.

Initially, the post office used regular stamps of Imperial China, but in 1911 a set of eleven stamps (surcharged in three languages) was introduced for Tibet (Scott #1-11). The set is very scarce and almost never sold complete. As the purchase of any overprinted stamp entails the risk of buying a fake, I recommend purchase of only those stamps in the set (including the two rare varieties) which are costly enough to justify obtaining expertization. I've listed these, along with printing quantities (when known) and Scott '10 Catalog Values for unused, below:

-1911 3p on 1c Ocher, inverted surcharge (Scott #1a; Very Rare; Scott '10 CV= $ 3,500.-)
-1911 3a on 16c Olive Green, large "S" in "Annas" (Scott #6a; Rare; Scott '10 CV= $1,250.-)
-1911 12a on 50c Yellow Green (Scott #9; 12,000; Scott '10 CV= $ 175.- )
-1911 1r on $1 Red and Pale Rose (Scott #10; 4,800; Scott '10 CV = $ 475.- )
-1911 2r on $2 Red and Yellow (Scott #11; 3,704; Scott '10 CV= $ 900.- )

The dispute between China and Tibet over the matter of Tibet's sovereignty has been ongoing for centuries, and it was following the issuance of these stamps that Tibet regained some of its autonomy and began issuing its own stamps in 1912.

I am confident that the Offices in Tibet stamps will do very well over time, mostly due to continued growth in demand for stamps of China. Interest in Tibet and its stamps may also help to push them higher.

Those readers who are on Facebook are welcome to join the "StampSelectors" group. To find it, simply enter "StampSelectors" in Facebook's search box, and then click on the search symbol ( a magnifying glass) to the right of the box. The group will focus upon philatelic investing, the stamp market, and practical matters regarding buying and selling stamps. It will also offer the opportunity to comment upon this blog, get under the author's skin, and suggest future stamp investment tips.

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