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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Stamp Investment Tip: 1922 Malaya-Borneo Exhibition Issue

In 1922, an exhibition showcasing the economic potential of British Malaya and North Borneo was held in conjunction with the Prince of Wales' visit to Malaya. Three Malayan States, North Borneo. and the Straits Settlements issued sets commemorating the exhibition by overprinting regular issues. All are scarce and undervalued, and have dual market appeal to collectors of British Commonwealth and Malaya/Malaysia. I've listed them, along with quantities issued and their Scott '10 Catalogue Values for unused, below:

- Malaya-Kedah- Sc.#3a-33a (8) - 7,358; Scott '10 CV= $ 131.25
- Malaya-Kelantan- Sc. #3a-23a (9) - 1,159; Scott '10 CV = $ 393.00
- Malaya-Trengganu- Sc.#8a-24a (11)- 776; Scott '10 CV = $ 567.00
- North Borneo - Sc.#136a-53c (14)- Est. under 20,000; Scott '10 CV = $ 94.40
- Straits Settlements - Sc.#151d-99d (19)- 3,825; Scott '10 CV = 624.75

A rare error variety exists of one of the stamps of the Kedah set: the 25c Red Violet and Blue with inverted overprint (Scott #13b, with a Scott '10 Value of $ 1,200.- as unused). Purchase it conditional on obtaining expertization.

Also, the Straits Settlements set is of interest to collectors of Singapore.

With a population of over 28 million, Malaysia is an emerging market nation and the 29th largest economy in the world. It has abundant minerals and petroleum, vast forests, as well as a thriving agricultural sector. Nevertheless, over the last four decades, the Malaysian government has committed the nation to a transition from reliance on mining and agriculture to manufacturing, and is moving to conserve its remaining forests and reforest the overcut areas. The government has recently taken steps to make Malaysia more business-friendly, and the number of Malaysians living in poverty has also decreased. As of 2007, average wages were around $34 per day, up from about $9 per day in 1999. Annual GDP growth has averaged almost 6% over the last five years, although the country is taking a hit in 2010 as a result of the global financial crisis.

Those interested in becoming part of an international community of stamp collectors, dealers, and investors are encouraged to join the "Stampselectors" group at Facebook. The group hosts lively discussions concerning stamp investment and practical aspects of collecting, and provides a useful venue for those who wish to buy, sell, or trade stamps. 

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