Wednesday, December 4, 2013
In 2000, Turkmenistan issued a souvenir sheet of 24 stamps picturing flags of various nations, and celebrating the United Nations' Declaration of the country's neutrality (Scott # 72). 5,500 were issued, and Scott '14 prices the unused sheet at $70.00.
The set has multiple appeal to UN and Flag topicalists, and I believe that focusing on scarce popular topicals is a prudent means of speculating on stamps of the newly independent nations of Central Asia. Whether or not demand develops within these countries for the stamps that they issue, there will always be worldwide demand for their most popular topicals.
A nation of 5.1 million, Turkmenistan is a largely desert country with nomadic cattle raising, intensive agriculture in irrigated oases, and huge gas and oil resources. It possesses the world's fourth largest reserves of natural gas, and is also the world's tenth largest producer of cotton. As in the Soviet era, central planning and state control pervade the system, although there is gradual progress toward greater privatization. Annual GDP growth has averaged over 8% over the last 5 years, mostly due to increasing demand for the country's oil.
Those interested in learning about investing in stamps should read the Guide to Philatelic Investing ($5), available on Kindle and easily accessible from any computer.