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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Stamp Investment Tip: Aitutaki 1917-20 Overprint (Scott #19-27)

Aitutaki, one of the Cook Islands, was administered by New Zealand from 1901 through 1965. From 1917-20, New Zealand issued a set of stamps for the island by overprinting nine stamps from its 1915-22 George V set (Scott #19-27). 17,000 sets were issued, and Scott '13 prices the unused set at $36.65.

While the populations of Aitutaki (about 2,000) and the Cook Islands (about 20,000) are too low to sustain much of a stamp collecting population, there is significant demand for their 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 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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