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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Stamp Investment Tip: Laos 1956 Birth of the Buddha Anniv. (Scott #27-29, C20-21)

In 1956, Laos issued a compound set of five stamps celebrating the 2,500th Anniversary of the Birth of Siddhartha Gautama, otherwise known as the Buddha (Scott #27-29, C20-21). The printing quantity is not known for this set, but it was probably in the low ten thousands, and Scott '12 values it at $72.00 .

Laotian stamps of the '50s and early '60s utilize beautifully engraved designs, a tradition inherited from the French which is characteristic of many of the stamps from their colonies and former colonies. The Buddha's Birth Anniversary set has multiple appeal, among collectors of French Colonies/Area, Indochina, Laos, and Buddhism Topicals.

A nation of 6.3 million, Laos is a poor, though rapidly developing nation which is heavily dependent upon trade with its neighbors, China, Thailand, and Vietnam. Subsistence agriculture still accounts for half of the GDP and provides 80 percent of employment. However, the mining and tourism sectors are growing rapidly, and the government is taking steps to significantly upgrade the country's infrastructure, with the help of foreign aid. Annual GDP growth has averaged over 7% over the last 5 years.

Those interested in learning about investing in stamps should read the Guide to Philatelic Investing ($5), available on Kindle and easily accessible from any computer.

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