Thursday, May 2, 2013
In 2002, Latvia issued a stamp honoring the Winter Olympics stamp (Scott #546), along with a booklet (Scott #546a). Only 5,000 of the booklet were issued, and Scott '13 prices it unused at $15.00 .
The booklet has multiple market appeal among collector of Latvia, Baltic States, and Sports/Olympics. Demand is enhanced for all Baltic States material due to 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, annual GDP growth has been flat, reflecting a 4.6% contraction in 2008 and an 18% disembowelment in 2009. Over the last four years, the economy has begun to recover.
Those interested in becoming part of a community of stamp collectors, dealers, and investors are welcome to join the Facebook "Stampselectors" group, which currently has over 1,600 members.