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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Stamp Investment Tip: Honduras 1953 UN Air Officials (Scott #CO60-68)


 In 1953, Honduras overprinted 10,000 of the sets of its United Nations Airmail Issue (Scott #C222-30), creating an Airmail Official set (Scott #CO60-68). Scott '14 prices the unused set at $22.20 .

The main reason that this set remains cheap is that Honduras is still a very poor country, and few of its citizens can afford to collect stamps. As far as philatelic investing goes, it qualifies as a "ground floor opportunity" (as described in one of my "general commentary" articles), for which the best strategy is to minimize risk by buying stamps of the country which have worldwide appeal, such as rarities and popular topicals, and then hope for additional increases in value as the country's situation improves. To some extent, Honduran stamp values are sustained by the tendency among stamp collectors to collect Latin America as a region, rather than focusing on individual countries.

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.

Honduras is a nation of about 7 1/2 million people, which has recently undergone a coup d'etat and constitutional crisis which threatened a reversion to dictatorship. The economy, which is largely dependent on agriculture and mining, has continued to grow, but the distribution of wealth remains very polarized, with average wages remaining low. 50% of the population still remains below the poverty line. Annual GDP growth has averaged 3.5% over the last five years, reflecting a 3% contraction in 2010 due to the reverberations of the global financial crisis.

I have begun a new blog, "The Stamp Specialist", which will feature wholesale buy prices for stamps which I am interested in purchasing. I've just posted a buy list for the Honduras. Viewing dealers' buy lists every now and then is an excellent way to keep current on the vagaries of the stamp market.

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