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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Stamp Investment Tip: Paraguay 1939 Peace Conference (Scott #355-61, C113-21)

In 1939, Paraguay issued a compound set of sixteen stamps commemorating the First Buenos Aires Peace Conference (Scott #355-61, C113-21). This set was issued in the aftermath of the Chaco War, a pointless and bloody territorial conflict between Paraguay and Bolivia, ignited in part by the issuance of postage stamps by these countries showing maps with different boundaries. Only 5,000 sets were issued, and Scott '11 prices the unused set at $42.30.

The set should do well based on the growth of stamp collecting in Paraguay as well as interest in Latin American stamps in general. It is a memorial to the tens of thousands of soldiers who died needlessly in the war, and brings to mind Voltaire's comment: "The only way to comprehend what mathematicians mean by Infinity is to contemplate the extent of human stupidity."

With about 6 1/2 million people, Paraguay is an emerging market nation with the potential to become a major agricultural exporter. Its subtropical climate allows for 5 harvests every 24 months, and it has vast tracts of virgin arable land. In addition, manufacturing has shown strong growth in the production of edible oils, garments, organic sugar, meat processing, and steel. Annual GDP growth has averaged 4.5% over the past 5 years, and was steadily increasing until it experienced a recent slight decline due to the global financial crisis.

I have begun a new blog, "The Stamp Specialist", which will feature my buy prices for stamps which I am interested in purchasing. I've just posted a buy list for Paraguay, including the souvenir sheet recommended in this article. Viewing dealers' buy lists every now and then is an excellent way to keep current on the vagaries of the stamp market.


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