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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Stamp Investment Tip: Paraguay 1962 Boy Scouts (Scott #638-45)

 In 1962, Paraguay issued a set of eights stamps honoring the Boy Scouts (Scott #638-45). 5,000 sets were issued, and Scott '14 prices the unused set at $7.75.

  This attractive set has dual market appeal among collectors of Paraguay and Boy Scout topicals. Worldwide membership of the Boy Scouts is estimated at 25 million, and Scouting topicals are extremely popular internationally. There is even a organization dedicated to promoting the collecting of stamps honoring Scouting - the Scouts on Stamps Society International (S.O.S.S.I.).

The main drawback to investing in certain Paraguayan  issues from the '60s and later is that of questionable legitimacy. Quite a few were issued solely to milk collectors and never saw any postal use. The Scott Catalog does not list the most egregious issues, but does list many which fall into a gray area, including this set. It is inexpensive because Scott notes its "questionable status." Nevertheless, the combination of low issuance quantity, low catalog value, and topical appeal make the set a low-risk speculation.

With about 6 1/2 million people, Paraguay is an emerging market nation with the potential to become a major agricultural exporter. Its subtropical climate allows for 5 harvests every 24 months, and it has vast tracts of virgin arable land. In addition, manufacturing has shown strong growth in the production of edible oils, garments, organic sugar, meat processing, and steel. Annual GDP growth has averaged 4.5% over the past 5 years, and was steadily increasing until it experienced a recent slight decline due to the global financial crisis.

 "The Stamp Specialist" blog features my buy prices for stamps which I am interested in purchasing. I've  posted a buy list for Paraguay. 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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