5 New Year Top Tips

The Stamp Man

The Stamp Man

2019-01-11 14:55:18

The safe haven of stamps

I start this year with optimism and an eagerness to get back into my stamps.

Don’t get me wrong. I cherished the festive season with my family, but I do get bored after two weeks of eating and drinking and not much else.

I find now I’m getting a bit older, I follow the news (and the weather) much more than I used to.

Everything just seems so volatile and unsure just now – the stock market, Brexit, exchange rates, climate change. The list goes on…

Stamps and other fine quality collectibles provide us with security from all that - safe and steady, slow but sure.

As stamps are not currency dependent, they have always been most popular as an investment during times of political and economic instability.

With uncertainty over the “deal” or “no deal” Brexit scenario in the UK, the biggest worries for investors right now are a crash in property values and rising inflation.

It is therefore no surprise that we are seeing a rising trend of interest in stamps and other collectibles.

A new study from Credit Suisse and the London Business School included a chapter, for the first time, on returns from collectibles. Their research showed that on average high net worth individuals hold 6% of their portfolio in collectibles.

This doesn’t sound like very much to me and it will be interesting to see how this grows over the coming year.

My 5 Hot New Year Tips

Every year at this time I like to go through my stockholding and pick out the stamps I recommend as investment tips for 2019. In summary, these stamps I think are: 

  1. Beautiful to behold
  2. Of a premium-grade quality
  3. Good value at the current price
  4. A safe bet showing long term steady price growth
  5. Potentially capable of rising in value in the next year

I have selected 5 stamps across different price ranges for you. So, forget all that uncertainty and stick (pardon the pun) to the safe haven of stamps… 

My Top Tip for under £100 ($130)

Brunei 1922 “Malaya Borneo Exhibition” 10c purple/yellow, variety short 'N', from 6th and 12th columns.

A very fine used example with type D5 circular date stamp, dated '24 APR 1922'. Very rarely found used.


Price: £90 ($117)


Reasons I recommend it as a hot tip: 

  • It is ridiculously under-valued for such a rare stamp and I would consider it still cheap at 5x the price 
  • An atmospheric “work of art” design depicting life in this remote and beautiful part of the world 
  • A perfect upright circular date stamp, making it one of the best quality used examples you could ever hope to find

My Top Tip for under £500 ($652)

Lagos 1884-6 5s blue, SG28, watermark CA.

Very fine used example with large part 'MY 21 91' circular date stamp.

Only 600 issued and rare in this quality. 

Price: £500 ($652)


Reasons I recommend it as a hot tip: 

  • I very rarely ever get the chance to handle this stamp and never before in such fine quality
  • Lightly cancelled, well centred used examples normally command a premium value to SG catalogue prices. I am able to offer you this at the current catalogue price of £500 
  • Only 600 were printed of this stamp with much fewer surviving. With a maximum market capitalisation for this issue of 600x£500 = £300,000, there is plenty room for future price growth, vis a vie, its fair value

This African rarity from the Nigerian state of Lagos is in a sector of our market I expect to flourish over the next 10 years. Nigeria is now ranking among the world’s fastest growing economies. You can read more about this here.

My top tip for under £1,000 ($1,300)

Indian Convention State Chamba 1887-95 ½a blue-green, error "CHMABA", SG1a.

Very fine example with original gum. Occurs once per sheet, July 1891 printing. Only 120 possible examples with a low survival rate. An exceptional example.

Price: £850 ($1,109)


Reasons I recommend it as a hot tip: 

  • This is an iconic and “humorous” stamp error caused by the manual processes of overprinting used within Indian States at that time. The Indian stamp market has proven one of the fast growing areas in recent years 
  • It shows strong historic growth in value over the past 10 years, up from £375 to £850 (127% increase) 
  • It is an exceptional quality example showing barely any depreciation from its original printed condition 137 years ago 
  • With only a possible 120 examples, and far fewer surviving copies, the maximum market capitalisation remains very low at just £102,000

My top tip for under £5,000 ($6,500)

Great Britain Queen Victoria Surface Printed 1882 £5 Orange Plate 1, SG137.

Very fine used example lettered DK, neatly cancelled by a Chester circular date stamp for NO.10.1899.

A most attractive and desirable used example of one of the most coveted stamps of GB philately.

 Price: £4,500 ($5,870)


Reasons I recommend it as a hot tip: 

  • This is one of my favourite stamps and considered the stamp that every GB stamp collector aspires to own 
  • Its enduring popularity is reflected in its long term rising value, showing average growth of 9% pa over the 18 years since the turn of the century 
  • I am able to offer you this at a price of £4,500, 5% discount on the current SG catalogue price of £4,750. The SG catalogue states: “for well-centred, lightly used +75%”. This is an attractive used example and worthy of a premium to the basic catalogue price, making it even better value
  • The price of this internationally coveted stamp has not shown much growth in recent years and, in my opinion, is overdue an upward price correction 

Blow the budget, buy the best

Great Britain 1851 2d Violet blue (Thicker lavender tinted paper) Plate 4, SG15aa.

Superb unused original gum example with four very large to enormous margins lettered SE. The best quality example we have ever seen of this beautiful and very difficult stamp to find.

Accompanied by a 2001 British Philatelic Association (BPA) Certificate.

 Price: £28,000 ($36,523)


Reasons I recommend it as my TOP tip: 

  • This rare shade of the world’s second postage stamp, the “Two Penny Blue” is considered one of the classics of GB philately 
  • It is rarer than hen’s teeth. With less than 20 known surviving examples, it hardly ever appears on the market for sale 
  • This example is the finest example I have ever seen - completely unblemished, with full original gum and four large margins 
  • It is one of those classic stamps providing historical proof of the power of compounding in rare stamp investment over the long term. It was priced in the SG catalogue at £7,500 in 2000 and is now priced at £28,000, growth of 273% in 18 years 
  • It is valued at £10,000 less than the standard Two Penny Blue despite being much rarer. It is worth far more than the current price, in my opinion, and the SG catalogue is long overdue a price increase. I know of one dealer who is currently asking £50,000 for a similar quality example to the one I am offering to you today

What to watch out for in 2019

Demand in certain areas is very strong at the moment and often my stamps sell before I even get the chance to list them on our website. By reading these e-mails, you often benefit from first refusal on new acquisitions.

I have a lot of stamp collections to describe (there are only so many hours in a day), but keep watching our website for new high quality rarities I will be adding in the coming months.

We will soon be extending our offering in rare coins, which is an area we are experiencing considerable interest in at the moment.

I will also continue in my attempts to secure rare stamps from the most popular selling countries of China and India, but I will not compromise on my quality controls.

To purchase any of my hot tips, you can also email me at mike@paulfrasercollectibles.com.

Alternatively, you can call us on +44(0)1534 639998.

It’s a new year and a good time to extend your collection in rare stamps.

I very much look forward to being of service to you in the year ahead.

Kind regards


Mike Hall

CEO, Just Collecting

PS. Our website only includes a portion of what we have available to sell. So, if there is a specific stamp you are looking for, please e-mail me at mike@paulfrasercollectibles.com and I will let you know whether I can help.

 Come and join us on JustCollecting – the community for collectors

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