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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Stamp Investment Tip: Palestine 1918 1pi Deep Blue (Scott #1)

In November of 1917, the British Egyptian Expeditionary Force (E.E.F.) occupied Palestine, formerly a Turkish emirate. Initially, the E.E.F. had given civilians basic postal services for free, with additional services paid with British or Indian stamps. Free mail was withdrawn in February, 1918. with the issuance of the first stamps, including the 1pi Deep Blue (Scott #1), which as valid in Palestine, Cilicia, Syria, Lebanon, and Transjordan. Prior to the British Mandate in Palestine, Hebrew was not an official language, so these stamps bore only Arabic and English inscriptions. 24,000 were issued, and Scott '10 values the stamp at $190.00 for unused, and $105.00 for used. The stamp was issued without gum, which makes preservation easier. Covers are particularly desirable.

Stamps of Israel and the Palestine Mandate are popular among stamp collectors in Israel and among Jewish collectors throughout the world. Stamps of the British Mandate Period are of particular interest from an investment standpoint, because they also appeal to British Commonwealth collectors. In all likelihood, the vast majority of Palestine #1s were used and discarded, and there remain no more than three to six thousand, in any condition.

Israel is considered one of the most advanced countries in the world in terms of economic development. As a technology powerhouse which leads the world in the number of scientists and engineers per capita, it also has the second largest number of start-up companies after the U.S.. Israel's main burden is having to spend much of its GNP on defending itself from some of its more bellicose neighbors. Should peace break out, trade will grow exponentially, and Israel could serve as a model for economic development in the Mid-East and much of the Third World. In that event, the better stamps of Israel and the Palestine Mandate will increase dramatically.

Those who wish to learn more about stamps of Israel and the Palestine Mandate should consider purchasing a Bale Catalogue, which classifies and values many items not listed in Scott, including forerunners, errors, varieties, machine-vended stamps, revenues, postal stationery, and booklets.

Those interested in joining a community of stamp investors, dealers, and collectors are welcome to join the "Stampselectors" group at Facebook. The group provides a useful venue for those who wish to buy, sell, and trade stamps, and a forum for those who wish to discuss philatelic investing and practical aspects of stamp collecting.


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