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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Stamp Investment Tip: Czechoslovakia 1921 Special Delivery Issue on White Paper (Scott #E1a-3a)

In 1918 and 1920, the newly formed nation of Czechoslovakia issued its first stamps, which were imperforate, and among which were its first special delivery stamps (Scott #E1-3). The stamps pictured Doves, appropriate symbols of the hope for peace following the senseless carnage of World War I, were issued on yellow paper, and are extremely common. However, in 1921, a special set of 3 was issued on white paper (Scott #E1a-3a). Only 12,500 of these "white paper" sets were issued, and Scott '11 values them unused at $113.25 . It is likely that they were produced mainly to generate revenue from sales to stamp collectors, but as with many such issues from countries with generally conservative stamp-issuing policies, the stain of questionable legitimacy gradually fades with the passage of time, until no one cares anymore.

Stamps of Czechoslovakia are very popular among collectors in Europe, and I expect that the number of stamps collectors in "former Czechoslovakia" will continue to grow.

The end of Communist rule in Czechoslovakia in 1989 was followed by the country's dissolution and division into two successor states- the Czech Republic and the Republic of Slovakia. With among the most developed industrialized economies in Eastern Europe, these republics have a combined population of about 16 million. They have privatized most of its formerly state-owned industries and have maintained annual GDP growth of around 4% over the past 5 years.

I view this set as a low-risk bet on the two republics' continued long-term economic development.

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

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