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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Stamp Investment Tip: Solomon Islands 1908-11 War Canoe (Scott #8-18)

   I'm initiating coverage of the Solomon Islands by recommending purchase of its 1908-11 War Canoe set (Scott #8-18). While I considered "beginning at the beginning" with the first set (Scott 1-7), which is also very scarce, excellent counterfeits exist of the first set (while they don't of the second), and it isn't expensive enough to make expertization worthwhile. 5,460 of the second War Canoes set were issued, and Scott '14 prices it unused at $ 272.- .

   The islands were a British protectorate until 1976, and early Solomon Islands issues appeal mainly to collectors of British Commonwealth as well as Australian collectors, because Australia has close ties to the Solomons. The later issues that are worth considering are mostly topicals.

  There are just over half a million Solomon Islanders, and the Islands' per-capita GDP of $600 ranks it as a lesser developed nation. More than 75% of its labor force is engaged in subsistence and fishing. The islands are rich in undeveloped mineral resources such as lead, zinc, nickel, and gold. Tourism, particularly diving, is an important service industry for Solomon Islands. Growth in that industry is hampered, however, by lack of infrastructure and transportation limitations. Over the last five years, annual GDP growth has averaged about 5%.
   I view the set as an inexpensive, conservative bet based on prospects for increased demand among British Commonwealth and Australian collectors.

  Those interested in becoming part of an international community of stamp collectors, dealers, and investors are encouraged to join the "Stampselectors" group at Facebook. The group hosts lively discussions concerning stamp investment and practical aspects of collecting, and provides a useful venue for those who wish to buy, sell, or trade stamps.     

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