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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Stamp Investment Tip: British Guiana 1889 Surcharge (Scott #112-28)

     British Guiana was a former colony of Great Britain in South America which attained its independence as the nation of Guyana in 1966. From a philatelic perspective, it is most famous for having issued the stamp that was once considered the world's most valuable, the unique 1856 1c Black on magenta (Scott #13).

In 1889, British Guiana surcharged eighteen stamps of its current revenue issue for postal use (Scott #112-28). All of the high values of the set from the $1 through the $5 are extremely scarce to rare, with fewer than a thousand of each issued.The quantity issued is unknown for the key stamp of the set, the $4 Green with Type II Surcharge (Scott #127A), but it was probably 100 or fewer. Scott '13  prices the unused set at $4,365.00.

I recommend purchase of the complete set in F-VF or better, LH condition, or any of the high values individually. As with many valuable overprinted stamps, these should be purchased conditional on obtaining expertization.

   This issue represents a conservative investment based on the projected growth in popularity of British Commonwealth stamps. Should a significant stamp-collecting population develop in Guyana, the set will be given an added boost.

   A nation of about 750,000, Guyana has a medium level of economic development, which is mid-way between the affluent countries of Europe and North America and the countries that are the poorest and most deprived.Its dominant industries are agriculture, mining, and fishing. Annual GDP growth has averaged about 4.5% over the past 5 years.

Those interested in learning more about investing in stamps are encouraged to read the Philatelic Investment Guide ($5), available on Kindle, and accessible from any computer.

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