Sunday, August 25, 2013
In 1937, Syria issued a set of eight airmail stamps picturing a plane flying over historic buildings (Scott #C80-87). 39,000 sets were issued, and Scott '13 prices the unused set at $16.45 .
It's likely that most of these stamps were used and discarded. The attraction of all better Syrian stamps issued by the French is that they have dual market appeal to collectors of Syria and French Colonies.
It is unclear how the current turmoil in Syria will be resolved. Nevertheless, there are many scarce issues from the French period which should do well based on the growth of French Colonies/Area collecting alone. Should the country ever wind up with a more democratic government and more fully compete in the global marketplace, all of the stamps of Syria with low printings will skyrocket, including many of the modern issues with printings of 50,000 or fewer, which are dirt-cheap.
The Syrian Arab Republic, a nation of 22.5 million people, is (or was) a middle-income country, with an economy based on agriculture, oil, industry, and tourism. It has low rates of foreign investment, and low levels of industrial and agricultural productivity. Until the current civil war, the somewhat corrupt and authoritarian government was slowly reforming its centrally planned economy in hopes of attracting new investment in the tourism, natural gas, and service sectors. Average annual GDP growth was a little over 4%, but the extent to which that growth benefited the population as a whole was unclear.
Those interested in becoming part of an international community of stamp collectors, dealers, and investors are welcome to join the "Stampselectors" group at Facebook. The group hosts 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.