Sunday, September 27, 2009

Asian Collectors Get Passionate About Stamps

Duncan Mavin reports in the Wall Street Journal, "...Asians from China to India to Japan are emerging as serious buyers willing to fork over large sums for sought-after stamps, thanks in part to rising fortunes in the region, as well as the ease with which fledgling collectors can now get access to stamp dealers, auction houses and philatelic societies thanks to the Internet. This burgeoning group also is helping to lift the nascent market for stamps from Asia, at a time when the value of stamps from other regions is drooping."

Duncan pens, "Frowned upon in China as a bourgeois pastime during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), stamp collecting there has become popular in recent years. China's National Post and Postage Stamp Museum opened in Beijing in 1985 and collecting was actively encouraged by the government, possibly to promote a patriotic interest in the nation's history. By some estimates, there are now 15 million active stamp collectors in China, out of 50 million world-wide."

Louis Mangin, director of Hong Kong-based stamp broker Zurich Asia is quoted in the piece as saying, "In the U.S. and U.K., stamps, like other collectibles, have fallen in value during the past two years because of the financial crisis. This has not been the case in China, or other Asian markets, based upon bidding at our auctions," says . Just last week at a Zurich Asia auction in Hong Kong, a rare Chinese stamp from 1897 sold for HK$2,587,500 (about $334,000), including a 15% buyer's premium. The sale, to an anonymous buyer from China, set a world auction record price for a single Chinese stamp."

Shown above is that stamp.

Click here to read the entire article and to see a slide show of increasingly valuable stamps.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM