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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Stamp Investment Tip: Bolivia 1868-69 Arms (Scott #10-14, 15-19)

In 1868 and '69, Bolivia issued its first perforated stamps, two sets picturing its coat of arms and either nine or eleven stars (Scott #10-14 and #15-19). In each, the 500 centavos Black high value is particularly scarce, as only 2,000 of #14 and fewer than 1,000 of #19 were issued. Scott '11 values the unused sets at $1,222.50 and $3,643.- respectively, and the high values at $1,000.- and $3,500.- .

I recommend purchase of either set or high value. There were very few collectors of Bolivian stamps 140 years ago, and I'd be astounded if more than a couple hundred of either 500 centavos stamp remains. As with all Latin American issues, there are many collectors who focus on the region as a whole, which supplements demand for the better stamps of the individual countries. Although I'm not aware of any counterfeits of the the 500 centavos stamps, it might prudent to purchase either conditional on obtaining expertization.

A nation of about 11 million people, Bolivia is the poorest country in South America, despite being rich in natural resources. Along with substantial reserves of silver and tin, Bolivia has the second largest natural gas reserves in South America and 50%-70% of the world's lithium, for which demand is expected to rise significantly over the next decades, because of its use in making batteries for electric vehicles. Since 1985, the government of Bolivia has implemented a far-reaching program of macroeconomic stabilization and structural reform aimed at maintaining price stability, creating conditions for sustained growth, encouraging foreign investment, and alleviating scarcity. Annual GDP growth has averaged 4.6% over the last 5 years.

I have begun a new blog, " The Stamp Specialist ", featuring my buy lists for stamps which I wish to purchase, including some Bolivian stamps. I haven't listed the sets recommended in this article, but would be very interested in purchasing either of them, with certificates for the 500 centavos stamps, if offered at a reasonable price. Periodically viewing dealers' buy lists is an excellent way to remained informed about the state of the stamp market.

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