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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Stamp Investment Tip: Hawaii 1857-61 Kamehameha III (Scott 8-9)

Hawaii was an independent kingdom before the contrived planter's rebellion that  resulted in its annexation by the U.S. in 1893. During both periods, it issued many interesting and scarce stamps.

In 1857 and 1861, Hawaii issued two 5c stamps of identical design picturing King Kamehameha III, but on slightly different papers: the 1857 issue on thin white wove paper (Scott #8), and the 1861 issue on thin bluish wove paper (Scott #9). 10,000 of #8 and 20,000 of #9 were issued, and Scott '13 catalogs them unused at $700.- and $375.-, respectively.

I recommend purchase of both stamps, either unused or used. Condition and lack of gum are sometimes problematic with stamps that are over 150 years old, so I'd advise seeking examples that have original gum and are F-VF or better (with four decent margins). If buying examples with minor faults or no gum, then select for appearance and discount accordingly.

It is surprising that there are still many undervalued stamps of Hawaii, given that it's the most popular U.S. Possession among U.S. collectors, and that it is an important cultural and economic nexus between the U.S. and the Far East.
The Stamp Auction Bidders and Consignors Union (SABACU) provides a venue for discussing stamp auctions and represents the interests of stamp auction bidders and consignors in their dealings with stamp auctioneers. All stamp collectors and dealers are welcome to join.

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