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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Stamp Investment Tip: Macao 1892-93 Newspaper Stamps (Scott #P1-3)

(P3-Best centering that I could find!)
 From 1892-93, Macao surcharged three stamps from its 1888 King Luiz series, issuing a set intended for postal use when mailing newspapers (Scott #P1-3). 60,000 were issued, and Scott '14 prices the unused set at $ 21.-  .

  This is precisely the sort of neglected back-of-book sleeper that should do well as interest in stamps of the Far East continues to grow. The overprint  varieties, which run between 6 and 9 times the cost of the basic stamps, are also worthwhile; I estimate that no more than a few thousand of each of these were issued. It is likely that the vast majority of these stamps were used as postage and discarded.

  While I often recommend obtaining authentication when buying overprinted stamps, it's not necessary for this set, since the basic (non-surcharged) stamps are actually worth more than the surcharged ones. Even the overprint varieties are not worth significantly more.

In my opinion, all of the better stamps of the European and other foreign former Colonies/Possessions in China should be considered for investment, as they have dual markets both in their former home countries and in China.

In 1999, Macao became a special administrative district of the People's Republic of China. With a population of about 500,000, Macao's economy is dependent upon tourism, much of it geared toward gambling, although important secondary sectors include apparel manufacturing and financial services. Annual GDP growth has been high, averaging over 9% over the last 7 years. The fact that much of Macao's economic growth has been driven by a regional monopoly on gaming is a little worrisome, because obviously there is no guarantee that the People's Republic won't relax restrictions on gambling in the rest of China, allowing more competition. Nevertheless, I feel that certain scarce issues of this former colony are grossly undervalued, given the number of collectors who will chasing them.

The Stamp Auction Bidders and Consignors Union (SABACU) is a forum 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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