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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Stamp Investment Tip: Newfoundland 1933 Balbo Flight Surcharge (Scott #C18)

Newfoundland issued several overprinted airmail stamps that served as postage on pioneer flights, which are of great interest to Aviation topicalists,  and include some of the great rarities of Aviation Philately. The rarities are unaffordable for the vast majority of collectors, but the lesser flight overprints are also quite scarce and worthy of consideration as investments.

In July of 1933, Newfoundland surcharged 8,000 of its 75c "Labrador, Land of Gold" airmails issued the month before for use on the Chicago to Rome Flight of General Italo Balbo.  Scott '13 prices the stamp unused at $325.00 ($500.-   for NH).

   I recommend purchase of the stamp in VF NH or LH condition, or used on a flight cover. The stamp is of interest to Aviation topicalists, and possibly also to collectors in Italy, as Balbo was a prominent Fascist and Mussolini's heir apparent. I'm unaware of any fake surcharges for this issue, but as with all valuable overprinted stamps, it might be prudent to obtain expertization as a condition of purchase.

Many of the better stamps of Newfoundland were issued in modest quantities. I intend to revisit them in the future, as I am "doggedly bullish" (to badly mix metaphors) about better British North America in general. This area is very popular among collectors of both Canada and British Commonwealth, and the better items represent solid investments, as interest in stamp collecting in Canada is much stronger than it is in the U.S. .

With a population of about 31 million, Canada is one of the world's wealthiest countries, and is one of the world's top ten trading nations. GDP growth has averaged 2.2% over the past five years, which takes into account the 0% growth of 2009 due to the global financial crisis. Canada's population is expected to age significantly over the next decades. Canadians over 60 are projected to increase from 16.7% of the population in 2000 to 27.9% in 2025, and 30.5% in 2050. Consequently, in the future, many more Canadians will be spending time working on their stamp collections on cold winter days.

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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