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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Stamp Investment Tip: Bangkok 1877-85 Issues

Between 1882 and 1885, Great Britain issued stamps for use by British personnel in Bangkok, initially by by overprinting "BRITISH CONSULATE BANGKOK" on stamps of Straits Settlements, and later by overprinting Straits Settlements stamps with a "B." Most of the the 29 Bangkok stamps are scarce to extremely rare (with #12 and #14 being the exception) and quantities issued for each ranging from under 100 to about 8,000. Being overprints, all Bangkok stamps should be purchased conditional on obtaining expertization.

I favor all stamps of Bangkok that are expensive enough to warrant expertization, including the overprint varieties. These rather dull looking stamps are sought by collectors of both British Commonwealth and Thailand, two growing markets. The stamp market in Thailand is particularly hot right now, and I feel it will remain strong for decades.

A nation of 63.5 million, Thailand is considered one of the newly industrialized "Asian Tiger" nations, exporting over $105 billion worth of goods and services annually. It is still mainly an agricultural nation, and is the world's #1 exporter of rice, although the relative importance of agriculture is declining as other industries develop. Over the last five years, annual GDP growth has averaged about 3%, reflecting a recent slowing due to the global financial crisis.

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