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Monday, April 12, 2010

Stamp Investment Tip: Switzerland 1922-44 League of Nations Officials

In a number of previous articles, I have expressed the opinion that the demand for U.N. Topicals will increase as the U.N. gradually gains credibility and becomes an effective institution for dealing with global problems. The same holds true for other stamps related to global government, which I feel will either gradually assume more importance, or grow in fits and starts as critical problems requiring global solutions suddenly and unexpectedly rear their ugly heads.

The League of Nations, which preceded the U.N., was headquartered in Geneva, and utilized overprinted Swiss stamps. The League failed to stop aggression and mass murder by the Axis powers, and was replaced by the U.N. after the end of World War II. Stamps issued for use by the League and various other international organizations are listed as Swiss officials. I favor all of the scarce and undervalued stamps issued by these international organizations, but initially will focus on those issued for the League, which I've listed, along with quantities issued and Scott '10 Catalog Values (for used) , below:

-1922-31 Overprint (Scott #2O1-30; 11,300; $ 555.35 )

-1930-44 Overprint, grilled gum (Scott #2O2a-26a; 6,500; $ 751.75 )

-1935-36 Overprint, grilled gum (Scott #2O31-34; 75,000; $ 19.25)

-1922-25 Overprint, ordinary gum (Scott #2O31a-34a; 75,000; $ 53.00 )

-1928 5fr Blue (Scott #2O35; 12,500; $ 87.50)

-1932 Overprint (Scott #2O36-41; 50,000; $ 107.20)

-1934 Overprint (Scott #2O42-46; 50,000; $ 23.00)

-1937 Overprint, grilled gum (Scott #2O47a-55a; 20,000; $ 20.95)

-1937 3fr Orange Brown (Scott #2O56; 8,000; $ 190.00)

-1938 Overprint (Scott #2O57-60; 34,000; $ 19.90)

-1938 Circular Overprint (Scott #2O61-64; 24,000; $ 26.00)

-1939 Overprint (Scott #2O65-67; 25,300; $ 58.50- $19.75 unused)

-1942-43 Overprint (Scott #2O68-69; 84,500; $ 2.70)

-1944 Overprint (Scott #2O70-90; 42,464; $ 75.40- $ 40.30 unused; $ 65.00 NH)

As these issues are all overprinted Swiss stamps, much of the current demand for them comes from collectors of Switzerland. A far greater proportion of the Swiss population are stamp collectors than are Americans, and the level of interest there is comparable to that which exists Germany.

Switzerland, a nation of 7.8 million people,is one of the richest countries in the world by per capita, with a nominal per capita GDP of $67,384. The country experienced slow growth in the 1990s and the early 2000s, and was hurt by the global financial crisis, which has resulted in greater support for economic reforms and harmonization with the European Union.

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