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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Stamp Investment Tip: Kazakhstan 1997 Zodiac Souvenir Sheet (Scott #187b)

In 1997, Kazakhstan issued an interesting souvenir sheet picturing the twelve signs of the Zodiac (Scott #187b). Only 10,000 were issued, and Scott '12 prices the unused sheet at $7.50 .

Many of the new and newly resurrected nations of Central Asia and Europe have issued quite a few stamps and souvenir sheets in very modest quantities, and some of these represent interesting opportunities for speculation for those who wish to "get in on the ground floor." As these countries have only recently begun issuing stamps, their collector populations are minimal, although they are unlikely to remain so, especially if the countries prosper. The best way to play them is to target popular topicals with low issuance quantities, as these will have worldwide appeal, whether interest in the countries' stamps grows significantly or not.

A nation of 16 million, Kazakhstan is known to many outsiders from the somewhat demeaning film comedy "Borat." It is the 9th largest country in the world, with a territory greater than that of Western Europe, although its population density is less than 15 per square mile. Kazakhstan has plentiful reserves of oil, natural gas, uranium, chromium, lead, zinc, manganese, coal, iron, and gold. It also has a major agricultural sector, and is the seventh largest producer of grain. Annual GDP growth has averaged 6% over the last 5 years.

Those interested in becoming part of an international community of stamp collectors, dealers, and investors are welcome to join the "Stampselectors" group and organization page at Facebook. These host lively discussions concerning stamp investment and practical aspects of collecting, and are also excellent venues for those who wish to buy, sell, or trade stamps.


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