Thursday, November 28, 2013
Four countries claim territory in the Antarctic and issue stamps for their territories. They are Australia (Australian Antarctic Territory), Great Britain (British Antarctic Territory), New Zealand (the Ross Dependency), and France (the French Southern and Antarctic Territories). Of these, the French territory, also known as French Antarctic and abbreviated as F.S.A.T. or T.A.A.F., is of most interest to philatelists, because most of the F.S.A.T. stamps were issued in modest quantities and many are beautifully engraved. Most stamps issued for the various Antarctic territories are sold to collectors, as only a few hundred scientists reside in research facilities in the Antarctic.
In 1968, the F.S.A.T. issued a set of a stamp honoring the World Health Organization (Scott #31).39,000 were issued, and Scott '14 prices it unused at $65.- .
Demand for stamps of the French Antarctic is strong in France and among collectors of French Colonies/Area, and this has obvious topical appeal as both a U.N. and Medicine Topical.
I continue to like the U.N. as a topic, long-term. The market for U.N.-related topicals should grow over the very long haul as institutions of world government develop in order to take on serious (and possibly existential) problems which can only be coped with globally. Despite the present inadequacy, corruption, and ineffectiveness of the U.N., I view its reform and gradual strengthening as a gradual but irresistible trend.