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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Stamp Investment Tip: Latvia 2002 Fish booklet (Scott #556a)

In 2002, Latvia issued a set of two stamps picturing fish (Scott #555-56), along with a booklet (Scott #556a). Only 5,000 of the booklet were issued, and Scott '13 prices it unused at $15.00 .

The booklet has multiple market appeal among collectors of Latvia, Baltic States, and Animal topicals, the most popular thematic category. Furthermore, demand is enhanced for all Baltic States material by the tendency of collectors to focus on the region in general.

A nation of 2.2 million people, Latvia has diverse industries which include the production of synthetic fibers, agricultural machinery, fertilizers, radios, electronics, pharmaceuticals, processed foods, textiles, and timber. The centrally planned system of the Soviet period was replaced with a structure based on free-market principles. Riga, the capital, emerged as a regional financial and commercial center, which initially benefited the country but left it exposed to the worldwide economic tsunami which hit the banking sector in 2008. Until the onset of the global financial crisis, Latvia had the fastest growing economy in Europe. Over the last 5 years, the GDP has contracted by an average of about 1.5% annually, reflecting a 4.6% contraction in 2008 and an 18% disembowelment in 2009. Over the last two years, the economy has begun to recover.

Those interested in becoming part of an international community of stamp collectors, dealers, and investors are welcome to join the "Stampselectors" group at Facebook. The group hosts lively discussions concerning stamp investment and practical aspects of collecting, as is also an excellent venue for those who wish to buy, sell, or trade stamps.

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