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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Stamp Investment Tip: Romania 1959 Founding of Bucharest Anniv. Souvenir Sheet (Scott #C71)

In 1959, Romania issued an airmail souvenir sheet commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the founding of Bucharest (Scott #C71). The sheet pictures Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, commonly known as Vlad the Impaler and the basis for Bram Stoker's Dracula, the most famous vampire novel of all time. 30,000 were issued, and Scott '11 prices the unused souvenir sheet at $125.00.

Despite Vlad's reputation as having been one of the cruelest and most bloodthirsty tyrants of all time, he is remembered in Romania as a national hero who stood up to foreign and domestic enemies.

The souvenir sheet should do well as a bet on the growth of Romania's economy, and possibly also because of its interesting subject. I favor many of the scarce sets and souvenir sheets of the former Eastern bloc countries, because their values have plenty of room for increase as these economies play catch-up and develop within the free-market fold.

A nation of 22 million people with a GDP per capita of $ 12,285.- (about 46% of the EU average), Romania is considered an upper-middle income country. It's main exports are clothing and textiles, industrial machinery, electrical and electronic equipment, metallurgic products, raw materials, cars, military equipment, software, pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals, and agricultural products. Annual GDP growth has averaged about 4% over the last ten years.

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