Our Chairman’s Top Picks

The Stamp Man

The Stamp Man

2019-08-05 20:11:53

Our Chairman’s Top Picks

Paul Fraser is a name you may have heard of? 

He is our Chairman…

Though, you probably know him better as the “autograph man”.

I have known Paul for over 20 years and he taught me almost everything I know about autographs and memorabilia.

His love of collectibles started when he opened a collectible records shop in Bristol, England in 1976.

Paul sold his first autograph in 1978 - a signed Beatles album for the price of £45.

Today, that album would be worth around £35,000.

40 years on and Paul is still helping collectors and investors achieve impressive results. One investor went so far as to say about Paul,

“Paul Fraser knows collectibles like Warren Buffet knows stocks” – Steve Sjuggerud, Daily Wealth 2005.

Paul is a world-renowned Beatles memorabilia expert. He handled the deal that took John Lennon’s childhood stamp collection, complete with his earliest known signatures, to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC. It is still displayed proudly in their museum today.

Paul’s “secret” comes from the 20 years he spent as Chairman and owner of the world’s most famous stamp company, Stanley Gibbons. During his time there he handled over $300 million of investment grade collectible sales.

He sold out of the stamp business and left Stanley Gibbons in 2008 to set up Paul Fraser Collectibles.

But… stamps have a habit of getting you hooked on them.

And, Paul was no exception.

Despite that, he remains the autograph man, but… with a secret passion for stamps.

He doesn’t talk to people much about his interest in rare stamps.

Apart from me that is…

How you can benefit from Paul’s secret passion

I asked Paul to do me a favour for this week’s blog…

I asked him to go through all our stock and pick out his top picks across a range of price levels.

I also asked him to give me a one-liner on why he picked each stamp to recommend to you.

I think Paul is the shrewdest person I know. When you take a look at the stamps he has picked out for you today, I think you will agree with me.

Take it away Paul…

Under £100

Dominica King George VI 1951 (1 July) 1c to $2.40 orange and black, SG121/134. A beautiful stamp issue of stunning design. A fine quality unmounted mint set with fresh colours.

Price: £40


Paul Says: “These British Empire stamps epitomise the stunning quality of stamp designs from a bygone time.”The designs depicted within this stamp issue are quite delightful.

Our price of £40 is 20% below the Stanley Gibbons listed catalogue value of £50.

It is also worth pointing out our set is in unmounted mint condition. Stanley Gibbons catalogue values are for mounted mint examples, making this set exceptional value.

£101 - £200

North Borneo 1897-1902 16c green and chestnut 'Train', SG107, perforation 13½ x 14.

Brilliant and unmounted with full original gum. Very scarce in this exceptional condition and a lovely stamp.

Price: £170


Paul Says: “A real eye catcher – remarkable quality and a miniature work of art”.I remember Paul asking me how much this stamp was when I was describing it for sale.

When I told him, he shrugged in what I think was disbelief. He holds an overall view that there are still lots of British Commonwealth & Empire stamps which look ridiculously under-valued.

The stamp market is an imperfect one. So, there is always going to be pricing anomalies. This stamp is a prime example.

Think about it for a second…

This stamp is over 100 years old.

Obviously, that makes it scarce.

But, more than that…

This example is the best quality you can own.

Most specifically, it has all its original gum. This is something you almost never see in stamps from this age and from a country with a humid climate.

Yet… its yours today for just £170!

£201 - £500

Australia 1915 5 shillings grey and yellow, watermark 5, lightly cancelled by two-part strikes of 'WHIM CR(EEK)' circular date stamps with excellent perforations and centring. Scarce so fine. Used. SG 30

Price: £295


Paul Says: “An extremely lightly used example of one of my favourite stamps and at a good price”.Australia’s first stamp, the “Kangaroo and Map” created huge controversy…

It deviated away from the customary design for British Empire stamps to feature the King’s portrait.

Instead, most agreed this bold representation of the nation of Australia was a terrible design.

The Kangaroo was particularly cliché.  

Despite the vocal displeasure in the design at the time, the stamp went on to become one of the most popular stamps of the world.

They have even become the subject of entire collections devoted to just the “Kangaroo and Map”.

The SG catalogue price for a used example of this stamp is £350 meaning it is available to you today at a 16% discount.

It’s so lightly used it’s almost mint. A fine quality example would set you back £1,000.

£501 - £1,000

Great Britain 1902 5 shillings carmine, SG263. A very fine unmounted original gum marginal example printed by De La Rue. GB Specialised Catalogue No: M51(1).

Price: £800


Paul Says: “A no brainer investment recommendation for such a classic stamp priced below SG catalogue value yet above SG catalogue quality”.A classic and very attractive looking stamp from the popular reign of King Edward VII.

It is available to you at a £50 discount to SG catalogue value.

It should rightfully be priced at a premium…

This is a marginal mint example in perfect condition with full original gum and rarely seen in such quality.

I agree with Paul on his assessment of its investment credentials. The historic growth in its value speaks volumes.

The real money in stamps comes from a Warren Buffet style of investing, ie. buy and hold for the long term.

The King Edward VII 5 shilling carmine appears in the 1999 SG catalogue at £140. 20 years later, it has increased to £850, an increase of 507%.

£1,001 - £2,000


China 1912 “Commemorating the Revolution”, Dr. Sun Yat-sen set of 12 to $5 slate, SG242/53.

A mint set of fresh appearance with some gum toning or other small imperfections, all to be expected for this issue. The stamps all benefit from being unused with part to large part original gum.

Price: £1,450


Paul Says: “I’m not sure what Mike was thinking when he priced this set, simple recommendation to make as such a bargain”.On reflection, Paul may have a point on my pricing…

The offer price today is £1,450 compared to a current SG catalogue value of £3,000, 52% discount.

I am selling these on behalf of a client who instructed me to price them for a quick sale. So, that is what I have done.

They are well worth snatching up at this price being one of the most important commemorative sets of stamps from China marking the formation of the Republic of China.

Sun Yat-sen (12 November 1866 - 12 March 1925) was a Chinese politician, physician and philosopher who provisionally served as the first president of the Republic of China. He’s called the "Father of the Nation".

These commemorative stamps honour his instrumental role in overthrowing the Qing dynasty during the Xinhai Revolution of 1911. The revolution led to the removal of China's last imperial dynasty and established the Republic of China. 

£2,001 -£5000

Great Britain 1915 10s Deep blue "seahorse", SG411.

A very fine, unmounted original gum example of the rarest deep blue shade, printed by De La Rue. Full perforations and superb centring.

Price: £5,000


Paul Says: “The hardest colour shade to find of Britain’s favourite stamp design and in this quality a philatelic gem of the highest grade”.The “seahorse” stamps were the most successful British stamps ever issued. They are still recognised and adored by collectors all over the world over 100 years after it was first issued.

They are probably the most collected stamps from Great Britain after the penny black.

I cannot stress enough how rare this particular shade is. It’s hard enough to find in mint condition. This stamp ticks every box for quality: 

  1. Fresh colour and clean of any marks
  2. Mint uncirculated condition
  3. Full original gum
  4. Well centred
  5. Full perforations

You won’t find a better quality example anywhere. And, it is available for you today at a 9% discount to the SG catalogue value.

I can only find one other available on the market today from another high value stamp dealer. They are offering one at £5,500 and, in my humble opinion, our one is of superior quality.

This rarity’s historic growth in value illustrates it as a sound investment. It is up in the SG catalogue from a price of £1,500 to £5,500 in the past 20 years, 267%.

Having said that, I do not think its current value is high enough. Based on its rarity and desirability, and compared to the higher valuations put on some of its poorer cousins, it looks under-valued.

£5,001 - £10,000

Great Britain Queen Elizabeth II 1988 13p Christmas - error of value, SG1414a.

A very fine unmounted mint with full original gum example of this rare and famous error of value accompanied by normal for comparison.

Price: £9,750


Paul Says: “One of the TOP 3 most famous modern GB stamp errors of value – with only 10 known, you may not get another chance to own one.”With modern printing methods and stringent quality controls, by 1988, errors such as this should not exist.

The 13p 1988 Christmas error has an interesting story behind its existence…

Production was in full swing for the 13p second class stamp in the run-up to Christmas when the government decided on a Scrooge-like rise in the rate to 14p. Wanting to take advantage of the increased rate, the Post Office immediately changed tack to make sure only the 14p was available.

But they overlooked the fact they were already being inserted into the yearbook of 1988 commemorative issues.

The yearbooks included the 1988 Christmas set containing the 13p denomination.

The 13p denominations should have been replaced in the yearbooks, but some slipped through the net.

The recognised authority on modern GB stamp errors, Pierron record only 10 mint examples in existence.

To me, this makes for an excellent investment and, at a price of £9,750, has potential for material growth in value over the long term.

The most famous stamp error of value from Great Britain is the 1976 13p roses error with the value missing. There are only three examples of this error, two of which are in the Royal Philatelic Collection. This is now valued at a staggering £140,000.

Listen to our Chairman, Act Now

From experience, when our Chairman talks, you listen.

His 40+ years of experience have made him pretty astute at spotting value and quality.

His eye for detail and knowledge of price realisations from around the world are awe-inspiring.

Normally, he helps our readers find some of the best quality and most fascinating autographs, ephemera and memorabilia in the world.

He usually stays quiet about his passion for stamps. Today, he’s made an exception for me.

He has his following, those that have done well buying high quality collectibles from him over the years.

So, I don’t expect these offers to hang around long.

The quickest way to make sure you get in first is to order from our website. Simply, follow the “CLICK HERE TO BUY IT NOW” buttons under each stamp to purchase securely from our online store.

Alternatively, please reply to this e-mail with your order and we will reserve your stamp(s) straight away and process your order for you on Monday.

I will leave you with one of Paul’s favourite musings:

“My biggest regrets are always in the things I didn’t buy”.

 Kind regards

Mike Hall CEO Just Collecting

PS. Did you miss out on last week’s BARGAINS offer? I still have one available. This is your last chance to benefit from my summer sizzler price and secure this major British Empire rarity at a 27% discount to the price a poorer quality example fetched at auction 13 years ago!


Enjoyed this email? Try these:

May 17, 2019: The Weird and Wonderful World of Stamps

May 10, 2019: Don't overlook the most obvious investment in stamps 

April 26, 2019: 10 Secrets to Successful Stamp Investing 

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