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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Stamp Investment Tip: British East Africa 1890-94 Sun and Crown (Scott #14-30)

The Imperial British East Africa Company administered the territory which was later to become Kenya from 1888 to 1895, when the territory became a British protectorate. Between 1890 and '94, the Company issued a set of seventeen stamps picturing a sun and crown, symbolizing "Light and Liberty" (Scott #14-30). 1,500 sets were issued, and Scott '12 prices the unused set at $752.50 . Most of the stamps in the set had printings in the mid-10,000s, but the two key stamps, the 8a Gray (Scott #24 ; CV=$350.00) and the 1r Gray (Scott #26; CV=$275.00) had printings of 1,500 and 2,400, respectively.

I recommend either purchase of the complete set, if found in F-VF or better, LH condition, or the key stamps individually. The set represents a conservative investment based on the growth of British Commonwealth collecting alone, but should a significant collecting population develop within Kenya, it will do very well indeed.

A nation of 41 million people, Kenya has the largest GDP in East and Central Africa. The country traditionally produces world renowned tea and coffee, and more recently has become a major exporter of fresh flowers to Europe. It is generally perceived as Eastern and Central Africa's hub for financial, communication and transportation services, and has a service industry driven by a steadily growing tourism sector. Annual GDP growth has averaged about 5% over the past five years.

Those interested in joining a community of stamp investors are welcome to join the "Stampselectors" group on Facebook. The group provides a valuable forum for those who wish discuss this blog, as well as trade or communicate with stamp collectors, dealers, and investors from all over the world.

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