Thursday, January 31, 2013
Between 1898 and 1903, the Portuguese issued a set of 29 stamps portraying King Carlos for Macao (Scott #75-103). Quantity issued information is not available for this set, but I estimate that 5,000 to 10,000 were issued, and Scott '13 prices the unused set at $710.50.
It is likely that most of these sets were used as postage and discarded.
In my opinion, all of the better stamps of the European and other foreign Colonies/Possessions in China should be considered for investment, as they have dual markets both in their former home countries and in China.
In 1999, Macao became a special administrative district of the People's Republic of China. With a population of about 500,000, Macao's economy is dependent upon tourism, much of it geared toward gambling, although important secondary sectors include apparel manufacturing and financial services. Annual GDP growth has been high, averaging over 9% over the last 7 years. The fact that much of Macao's economic growth has been driven by a regional monopoly on gaming is a little worrisome, because obviously there is no guarantee that the People's Republic won't relax restrictions on gambling in the rest of China, allowing more competition. Nevertheless, I feel that certain scarce issues of this former colony are grossly undervalued, given the number of collectors who will be bidding for them.
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.