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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Stamp Investment Tip: Uruguay 1936-44 Artigas (474-83C)

From 1936-44, Uruguay issued a set of 14 definitives portraying Jose Gervasio Artigas, the "Father of the Uruguayan Nation" (Scott #474-83C). Only 3,000 sets were issued, and Scott '12 prices the unused set at $49.90 .

This set resembles two earlier sets of similar design (Scott #350-74 and 375-85), but may be distinguished by the differences in color, and because in the earlier sets, there were 7 dots in the panels below the portrait, whereas in the 1936-44 set, there are only 6.

As the set was issued over a period of about eight years and few Uruguayans of that period could afford to collect pricey stamps, it is likely that most of the sets were used as postage and discarded. I would not be surprised if fewer than 1,500 remain, in any condition.

With a population of about 3 1/2 million people, most of whom are of European or mixed descent, Uruguay has a stamp collecting population which will probably approach European levels in the years to come. Uruguay is one of the most economically developed, politically stable and least corrupt countries in Latin America, and is moving away from its dependence on agricultural exports and toward development of commercial technologies, especially software. Annual GDP growth has averaged a little over 3% over the last 5 years.

I have begun a new blog, "The Stamp Specialist", which will feature wholesale buy prices for stamps which I am interested in purchasing. It includes a buy list for Uruguay, and includes the set recommended in this article. Viewing dealers' buy lists every now and then is an excellent way to keep current on the vagaries of the stamp market.

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