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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Stamp Investment Tip: French Southern and Antarctic Territories 1966-69 Flora/Fauna Issue (Scott #25-28)

Four countries claim territory in the Antarctic and issue stamps for their territories. They are Australia (Australian Antarctic Territory), Great Britain (British Antarctic Territory), New Zealand (the Ross Dependency), and France (the French Southern and Antarctic Territories). Of these, the French territory, also known as French Antarctic and abbreviated as F.S.A.T. or T.A.A.F., is of most interest to philatelists, because most of the F.S.A.T. stamps were issued in modest quantities and many are beautifully engraved. Most stamps issued for the various Antarctic territories are sold to collectors, as only a few hundred scientists reside in research facilities in the Antarctic.

From 1966 to '69, the F.S.A.T. issued a set of five stamps picturing native animals and one local plant, the Phylica tree of Amsterdam Island. 40,000 were issued, and Scott '12 prices it unused at $433.00.

Demand for stamps of the French Antarctic is strong in France and among collectors of French Colonies/Area, and the Flora/Fauna set has obvious topical appeal. It is the territory's key set, and as such may be purchased as a conservative investment.

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