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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Stamp Investment Tip: Hungary 1934 Franz Liszt Souvenir Sheet (Scott #486)

In 1934, Hungary issued its first souvenir sheet, honoring composer Franz Liszt (Scott #486). 50,000 of this Music topical were issued, and Scott '11 prices it unused at $60.00 ($140.- for NH) . As with many Hungarian issues from the 1920s on, an imperforate version of the souvenir sheet exists, and it is considerably scarcer than the regular issue. While the quantity issued of the imperforate version is not known, I estimate that no more than 5,000 were produced.

While recent economic reversals in Europe have hurt the stamp market there, I feel that for most of the countries, the situation is unpleasant but short-term. In the meantime, there are opportunities to pick up bargains, and scarce items with topical appeal are worth considering.

After a difficult transition from a centrally-controlled economy to capitalism, Hungary has experienced moderate economic growth until it was impacted by the 2008-09 financial crisis. As a result of the global financial mess, GDP growth has been almost flat over the past five years. As the newest member of the European Union, this nation of 10 million receives nearly a third of all direct investment flowing into Eastern Europe. Agriculture, metallurgy and mining, and tourism are major components of the economy.

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