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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Stamp Investment Tip: Panama 1936 Arosemena Surcharge (Scott #C19-20)

In 1936, Panama issued a pair of airmails commemorating the centenary of the birth of  President Pablo Arosemena by surcharging two stamps from its 1924 regular issue (Scott #C19-20). Arosemena was a progressive statesman who worked tirelessly to promote parliamentary democracy. Only 200 of #C19 and 30,000 of #C20 were issued, and Scott '14 prices them unused at $400.00 and $1.00, respectively.

The better stamp (#C19)  should be purchased conditional on obtaining expertization, as fake surcharges exist. It honors a prominent individual of historical significance to
Panamamians. Though it is half as scarce as the U.S. Inverted Jenny, it may be had for less than a thousandth of the cost.

   The relatively common #C20 might also be a  good investment. In all likelihood, most were probably used as postage and discarded, so probably fewer than 10,000 remain, in any condition. A double surcharge variety exists (Scott #C20a; CV= $60.- as unused), but unfortunately, the cost of getting it expertized - a necessary expense when purchasing scarce overprints - is too high in relation to the current value of the stamp to make it a worthwhile investment.

  As with all Latin American stamps, there are many collectors who focus on the region as a whole, which supplements demand for the stamps of the individual countries.

   A nation of 3.4 million people, Panama is the fastest growing economy in Central America. Panama's economy, because of its key geographic location, is mainly based on a well developed service sector heavily weighted towards banking, commerce, tourism, trading. The handover of the Canal and military installations by the United States has given rise to large construction projects. Tourism has grown rapidly during the past 5 years due to the government offering tax and price discounts to foreign guests and retirees. The country also has valuable copper and gold deposits, which are beginning to be developed. Annual GDP growth has averaged over 8% over the last 5 years.

   "The Stamp Specialist" blog features my buy prices for stamps which I am interested in purchasing. I've posted a buy list for Panama. Viewing dealers' buy lists every now and then is an excellent way to keep up with the vagaries of the stamp market.

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