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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Stamp Investment Tip: Cuba 1937 Writers and Artists Issue (Scott #340-54,C24-29,E10-11)

In 1937, Cuba issued a magnificent compound set showcasing the panorama of history and culture in the Americas (Scott #340-54,C24-29, E10-11). This set is sometimes referred to as the "Writers and Artists" issue, because proceeds from its sale benefited the Association of American Writers and Artists. Only 17,850 sets were sold, and Scott '11 prices it unused at $121.75 ($160.- for NH).

As with most of Latin America, Cuba has issued many stamps which I feel are grossly undervalued. This set has wide appeal throughout Latin America, and should do very well, especially after Cuba rejoins the free world. Note that "gloppy" or toned gum are typical defects found on many of these sets, so select for those that have clean gum.

I believe it inevitable that Cuba will join the fold of more-or-less free nations, and that tourism and trade will explode as a result. Currently, the average wage of each of the 11 1/2 million people living in this "socialist utopia" is under $20 per month, and GDP per capita is 107th in the world. Annual GDP growth has been high, averaging 6.4% over the last 5 years, but given the levels of corruption and favoritism shown to high ranking Communist Party members, it's an open question whether much of that new wealth has been filtering downward. Eventually, something will have to give. The current market for Cuban stamps, especially of the Pre-Castro Period, is bolstered by interest of stamp collectors within Cuban-American community, currently about 1.6 million strong, and far wealthier than their compatriots on the island. Interest in Cuban stamps is likely to increase, especially given the likely prospect of a replacement of the stale, "gerontocratic" regime within a decade or so.

I have begun a new blog, " The Stamp Specialist ", featuring my buy lists for stamps which I wish to purchase, including some Cuban stamps. Periodically viewing dealers' buy lists is an excellent way to remained informed about the state of the stamp market.

Those interested in becoming part of an international community of stamp collectors, dealers, and investors are welcome to join the "Stampselectors" group at Facebook. The group hosts lively discussions concerning stamp investment and practical aspects of collecting, and is also a useful venue for those who wish to buy, sell, or trade stamps.

1 comment:

  1. I have some very good contact there, and very few people there have good stock of Cuban issue - and that who have it, know well market prices! When talking about "utopia" - believe me, they live much better than all of us in more "democratic" countries - 20$ per month is not measure for quality of life - believe me.

    Sometime - I have feeling, that collectors from Cuba, have more valued stock of stamp than me!

    When is talking about "classic" period and price of this material, not just Cuba have good rating, but also all other "communist" countries, like China, SSSR, CSSR and other, have it well ranged. And yes - market are "hungry" for that!

    best regards