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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Stamp Investment Tip: Penrhyn Island 1903 Overprint (Scott #10-12)

In 1903, New Zealand overprinted three stamps picturing birds from its 1898 Issue in thee for use on Penrhyn Island, one of its dependencies
(Scott #10-12). The overprint utilized the local Cook Islands Maori language, to facilitate use by the 395 natives who lived on the island. Penrhyn Island later was administered as one of the Cook Islands, which attained full independence in 1973.

13,800 sets were issued, and Scott '11 prices the unused set at $91.50.

It might seem reasonable to wonder why StampSelector would recommend issues from obscure islands in the South Pacific that have small populations and about which few people even know.
Generally, I am recommending these issues based on their low printings increasing external demand. Aside from the growth in interest among British Commonwealth collectors, many of these islands were once dependencies of either Australia or New Zealand, which issued stamps for them, and philatelists in these countries consider them as similar to former colonies.

Hence, the primary sources of demand for the stamps of Penrhyn Island will not be found among the few hundred Penrhyn Islanders or the 20,000 or so Cook Islanders, but in New Zealand and among the collectors of British Commonwealth worldwide.

New Zealand is a modern, prosperous nation of about 4.3 million people, with a GDP of $115 billion. Over the last 10 years, annual GDP growth has averaged about 3%. The economy was hurt by the recent global financial crisis, and is beginning to recover. In 2005, the World Bank praised New Zealand as being the most business-friendly nation in the world. The nation has a stamp collecting demographic similar to Great Britain's, and the demand for better material should increase dramatically as population aging accelerates. The percentage of New Zealanders aged 60 and over will rise from 18% in 2009 to 29% in 2050.

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