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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Stamp Investment Tip: British Columbia and Vancouver Island

British Columbia and Vancouver Island, a British colony which joined the Canadian Confederation in 1871, issued eighteen stamps between 1860 and 1869. All are scarce and worthy of consideration as investments, as the market for Canada and B.N.A. looks very bullish long-term. The Canadian provinces are particularly interesting, as they appeal to both collectors of Canada and British Commonwealth.

Quantities issued are known for some of the issues, including the 1869 Surcharged Colony Seal stamps (Scott #14-18), of which only 4,800 of each were issued. Scott '10 Catalog Values for these, unused or used, range from $ 725.- to $ 1,750.-, and covers are especially rare. The designs for these stamps were narrowly spaced when they were printed, so centering tends to by abysmal. Expect to pay a premium for stamps with the perfs clear on all four sides. Considering the low printing for this 140 year old issue, and the fact that most of these stamps are poorly centered, it is likely that no more than a few hundred of each exist in sound, Fine or better condition.

With a population of about 31 million, Canada is one of the world's wealthiest countries, and one of the world's top ten trading nations. GDP growth has averaged 2.2% over the past five years, which takes into account the 0% growth of 2009 due to the global financial crisis. Canada's population is expected to age significantly over the next decades, thereby bolstering its population of serious collectors. Canadians over 60 are projected to increase from 16.7% of the population in 2000 to 27.9% in 2025, and 30.5% in 2050. Consequently, in the future, many more Canadians will be spending time working on their stamp collections on cold winter days.

Those interested in learning more about investing in stamps are encouraged to read the "Guide to Philatelic Investing" ($5), available on Kindle, and easily accessed from any computer.

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