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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Stamp Investment Tip: Azerbaijan 2000 Reptiles Miniature Sheet (Scott #709)

In 2000, Azerbaijan issued a miniature sheet of four stamps picturing native reptiles (Scott #709). 25,000 were issued, and Scott '12 prices the unused sheet at $6.50 .

The sheet makes an interesting and low-risk speculation based on its appeal as an Animal topical, and as a bet on the economic growth of Azerbaijan and the development of a stamp market there. This recommendation is consistent with my belief that one of the best ways to play the new and newly resurrected countries of Europe and Asia is to focus on popular topicals with low printings.

Azerbaijan is an oil-rich nation of about 9 million people, which also has significant reserves of natural gas and various minerals. Agriculture and tourism are also important to the Azerbaijani economy. The country shares all the problems of the former Soviet republics in making the transition from a command to a market economy, but its energy resources brighten its long-term prospects. It has begun making progress on economic reform, and old economic ties and structures are slowly being replaced. Annual GDP growth has averaged a stellar 16% over the last 5 years, largely based on the frenetic development of the country's oil wealth - an estimated 7 billion barrels of reserves.

Those interested in viewing a list of scarce stamps with printing quantities of 100,000 or fewer should take a look at the StampSelector Scarce Stamp Quantities Issued List, which currently contains over 9,700 entries.

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