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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Stamp Investment Tip: Paraguay 1963 Orchid Souvenir Sheet (Scott #C315)

In 1963, Paraguay issued a souvenir sheet picturing the Cattleya cigas Orchid (Scott #C315). Only 2,750 sheets were issued, and Scott prices it unused at $ 62.50. Flower topicals are extremely popular among collectors, so acquiring this rare orchid may turn out to be a smart way to invest in Paraguay.

The main drawback to investing in certain Paraguayan souvenir sheets from the '60s and later is the question of legitimacy: quite a few were issued solely to milk collectors and never saw any postal use. Scott does not list the most egregious issues, but it does list many which fall into a gray area. This sheet does seem to have been used postally, and the combination of low issuance quantity, low catalog value, and topical appeal make it a low-risk speculation.

With about 6 1/2 million people, Paraguay is an emerging market nation with the potential to become a major agricultural exporter. Its subtropical climate allows for 5 harvests every 24 months, and it has vast tracts of virgin arable land. In addition, manufacturing has shown strong growth in the production of edible oils, garments, organic sugar, meat processing, and steel. Annual GDP growth has averaged 4.5% over the past 5 years, and was steadily increasing until it experienced a recent slight decline due to the global financial crisis.

I have begun a new blog, "The Stamp Specialist", which will feature my buy prices for stamps which I am interested in purchasing. I've just posted a buy list for Paraguay, including the souvenir sheet recommended in this article. Viewing dealers' buy lists every now and then is an excellent way to keep current on the vagaries of the stamp market.


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