Sunday, October 10, 2010
In 1948 and '49, the Kingdom of Bahrain, then a British-protected territory, surcharged a portion of Great Britain's George VI stamps of the time, issuing a set of nine stamps (Scott #72-80). Only 28,994 sets were issued, and Scott '11 values the unused set at $ 128.75. Most of these stamps were used and probably discarded, and I estimate that no more than 5,000 to 10,000 sets remain, in any condition.
I favor all of the better stamps of the affluent Gulf States, and this set has the added attraction of appealing to British Commonwealth collectors.
Bahrain, a country of about 740,000, has the fastest growing economy in the Arab world. With oil reserves estimated at 150-200 million barrels, Bahrain is not as oil-rich as some of the other Gulf States, but has met the challenge by successfully diversifying into banking and financial services, and is now considered a major financial center. Annual GDP growth has averaged 6.5% over the past 5 years. Bahrain is also developing its natural gas industry, as it has gas reserves equivalent to about another 580 million barrels of oil.
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 discuss philatelic investing and practical aspects of stamp collecting.