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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Stamp Investment Tip: Bahrain 1948 Royal Wedding (Scott #62-63)

In 1948, the Kingdom of Bahrain, then a British-protected territory, issued a set of two stamps celebrating the Silver Wedding Anniversary of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (later the Queen Mother- Scott #62-63). 21,984 sets were issued and Scott '11 prices it unused at $48.75 .

Issues of Bahrain, especially those of the British period, are sought after both in Bahrain and among British Commonwealth collectors, and British Royal Family issues have additional topical appeal.

Bahrain, a country of just under 800,000, 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.

There are a number of scarce issues from the Gulf States which I view as bargains. Assuming that these countries can maintain their economic growth, diversify away from their current near-total dependence on oil revenues, and avoid internal political instability or military conflicts with some of their noisier neighbors, their better stamps should all do well.

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