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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Stamp Investment Tip: Cook Islands 1893-94 Queen Makea Takau (Scott #9-14)

From 1893 through 1894, the Cook Islands issued a set of definitives picturing Queen Makea Takau (Scott #9-14). Only 7,200 sets were issued, and Scott '11 prices the unused set at $224.- .
The set is seldom found in any condition, and it wouldn't surprise me if fewer than 1,000 remain. Note that rough perfs and poor centering are typical of this issue, so attempt to purchase the set that is centered Fine or better.

While the population of the Cook Islands (about 20,000) is probably too low to sustain much of a stamp collecting population, there is significant demand for its stamps among collectors of British Commonwealth in general and in New Zealand in particular, because the islands were a dependency of New Zealand for many years, and still have strong links to that nation.

New Zealand is a modern, prosperous nation of about 4.3 million people, with a GDP of $115 billion. Over the last 10 years, annual GDP growth has averaged about 3%. The economy was hurt by the recent global financial crisis, and is beginning to recover. In 2005, the World Bank praised New Zealand as being the most business-friendly nation in the world. The nation has a stamp collecting demographic similar to Great Britain's, and the demand for better material should increase dramatically as population aging accelerates. According to a recent UN Report of Global Aging, the percentage of New Zealanders aged 60 and over is projected to rise from 18% in 2009 to 29% in 2050.

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