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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Stamp Investment Tip: Guatemala 1939 Air Officials (Scott #CO1-6)

In 1939, Guatemala overprinted 8,083 of its Central American Presidents sets of 1938, issuing its first Airmail Official set (Scott #CO1-6). Scott '11 prices the unused set at $ 6.60.

Aside from the fact that I favor all undervalued issues of Latin America, the Presidents set has obvious appeal throughout Central America. The inexpensiveness of this set is astounding, considering its minuscule printing quantity. Even given Guatemala's current economic conditions, it would still be cheap at five times its current catalog value. It is possible that it's been overlooked because it's an air official set, languishing, for now, in Back-of-Book obscurity.

With a population of about 14 million, Guatemala is a poor but developing country. Since the end of the Civil War in 1996, the country has witnessed a successful transition from authoritarian dictatorship to democracy, although major inequities in income still need to be addressed. In recent years the export sector has grown dynamically. Some of Guatemala's main products include fruits, vegetables, flowers, handicrafts, and textiles. The 1996 peace accords that ended the decades-long Civil War removed a major obstacle to foreign investment, and tourism has become an increasing source of revenue. Annual GDP growth has averaged just under 5% over the last 5 years.

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 Guatemala, including the set and 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.

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


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