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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Stamp Investment Tip: Cook Islands 1921 Rarotonga Overprint (Scott #67-71)

   In 1921, New Zealand issued a set of five high value stamps for the Cook Islands, which it was administering, by overprinting its postal fiscal stamps of 1906-13 with the word "Rarotonga", the name of the territory's most populous island (Scott #67-71). The set is interesting because it portrays Queen Victoria, though issued years after her death. Only 4,320 sets were issued, and Scott '13 prices the unused set at $317.50 . 
The set  should do well based on its appeal to British Commonwealth collectors and demand from New Zealand.

While the population of the Cook Islands (about 20,000) is probably too low to sustain much of a stamp collecting population, there is significant demand for its stamps among collectors of British Commonwealth in general and in New Zealand in particular, because the islands were a dependency of New Zealand for many years, and still have strong links to that nation.

New Zealand is a modern, prosperous nation of about 4.3 million people, with a GDP of $115 billion. Over the last 10 years, annual GDP growth has averaged about 3%. The economy was hurt by the recent global financial crisis, and is beginning to recover. In 2005, the World Bank praised New Zealand as being the most business-friendly nation in the world. The nation has a stamp collecting demographic similar to Great Britain's, and the demand for better material should increase dramatically as population aging accelerates. The percentage of New Zealanders aged 60 and over will rise from 18% in 2009 to 29% in 2050.

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

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