The Next Big Thing in Stamp Collecting

The Stamp Man

The Stamp Man

2018-04-13 11:05:02

Why Stamps from Africa could be the next big thing

It’s safe to say, not many of us really knew just how big the Asian boom in stamps would be.

Some shrewd investors, who bought stamps from China and India, made huge returns.

Based on the Stanley Gibbons “China 200 Market Study”, buying all the stamps in their index would have cost you £1.19 million in 2006…

Based on their last updated catalogue, which came out in 2015, those same stamps were listed at £5.12 million. That’s growth of 330% over 9 years (37% average per annum).

So how do we predict the next big thing in stamp collecting?

The most consistent correlation, based on historical experience, is that a strong economy results in a growth in the numbers within the middle class. More disposable income means more stamp collectors and therefore prices will likely rise based on higher demand for what is a scarce and declining supply of rare stamps available.

I suggest it is worth listening to a respected past colleague of mine, Hugh Jefferies. He has held the responsible position as Stanley Gibbons Catalogue Editor for more years than I can recall. In his introduction to the “2018 Commonwealth & British Empire Stamps” he said:

The first and foremost thing to report is that the market for Commonwealth stamps remains very healthy indeed”

He then went on to explain:

“With inflation continuing to run at historically low levels and the effects of the currently weak UK currency not having had an impact on stamp pricing, we can be sure that those price increases which have been made are the result of increased demand from collectors” [Emphasis mine]

It is clear from the last edition of the Stanley Gibbons catalogue that there continues to be a significant number of price rises for stamps from India and Australian states. This follows strong growth witnessed in these areas in recent years.

It is also interesting to note the recent increases in stamps from some other areas, especially Africa and the Middle East.

With Kenya and Nigeria now ranking among the world’s fastest growing economies, the African stamp market looks well poised to experience a significant price uptick in the future.

The future belongs to the youth

I believe the huge young population of Africa presents the potential for explosive economic growth.

Africa has seen rapid population growth in recent years. By 2050, the UN predicts there will be 2.5 billion Africans, representing about a quarter of the global population.

This creates an explosion in the working-age population. These young Africans are better educated than their parents were and have the real chance to accumulate wealth and purchasing power to boost economic growth.

The World Bank estimates that the “demographic dividend” in Africa could add $500 billion per annum to African economies for the next 30 years.

Remember, Africa has natural resources. Africa is rich in mineral and natural resources with large parts of its terrain teeming with wildlife and magnificent plant life.

It contains 99% of the world's chrome resources, 85% of its platinum, 70% of its tantalite, 68% of its cobalt, and 54% of its gold, among others.

By rights, it should be one of the wealthiest parts of the world.

It is a place of natural beauty and wonder. I have vibrant and fond memories of my visit there. The young people I met in Africa showed strength of character not necessarily evident in the youth from many other parts of the world today. I, for one, believe in their ability to help the continent of Africa reach its true potential.

Obviously, Africa still has its problems, including poverty, disease and illiteracy. But, there are reasons to be hopeful of a better future…

Primary school enrolment has risen to 80%, wages are rising, and diseases such as HIV and malaria are slowly being combated.

The well-known barriers to business in Africa are also being removed. Interest rates are coming down, electricity supply and internet access is improving.

Finally, Africa’s move to create a single continental market is expected to create an economic revolution. Africa is well placed to become more integrated, united and prosperous.

The next explosive growth market

I think stamps from Africa show interesting investment potential. They possess all the classic traits I like to see in an investment. Let me explain…

  1. High quality Africa has an interesting geographical and political history which leads to an absorbing philatelic history, giving a wide range of areas of specialisation  
  2. Cheap – In comparison to most other countries, many rare stamps from Africa still trade for less than £1,000 ($1,419), making them good value for money  
  3. On an uptrend – Recent price rises and higher auction realisations suggest that collectors are on borrowed time in enjoying the current “low” prices for rarities from Africa 

To enable you to get in to this exciting market, I have taken the time to build a collection of high quality rare stamps from the continent of Africa. The collection boasts 40 rare and high quality philatelic items with an asking price of £34,000 ($48,256).

Some interesting observations:

I checked the prices of all these stamps with the 2007 and 2017 Stanley Gibbons Part I catalogues (considered the philatelic “bible” for Commonwealth stamps).

The key points I would draw your attention to are:

  • 34 of the 40 rarities are priced at below £1,000 ($1,419)
  • The collection shows only modest growth over the past 10 years, up 27%(2.7% pa)
  • My asking price is 90% of the SG catalogue price  

Click here to view the full data table

So, it is clear the market is rising for African stamps, but the explosive growth witnessed in Asia has not yet occurred.

This is a good chance to get in to the next big thing, before it happens!

The African Stamp Collection you can own today

The climate, together with mishandling, has led to many stamps from Africa being damaged or destroyed. This is good for investment purposes, as prices should rise with a diminishing supply, but it makes my job of buying quality rarities so much more challenging.

What I have put together is a fascinating collection encapsulating the essence of Africa. At a price of £34,000 ($48,256) and with a 10% discount to SG catalogue prices, there is substantial room for growth in value for the years ahead.

 Click here to view the African Stamp Collection

My personal favourite in the collection is actually one of the lower priced items:


Sudan 1927-41 8p emerald and black, watermark. SG, ordinary paper, lower right corner block of 4, brilliant example unmounted with full original gum.

A scarce positional piece. Unmounted Mint. SG 45ca  Price: £295 ($419)

CLICK HERE TO BUY

This is known as the “Camel Postman” of Sudan. It is considered by the famous printers De La Rue as the “most satisfactory” in their long history of stamp production. 

It was first issued in 1898 and was so successful that it continued until 1931 and effectively became the country’s symbolic emblem.

What makes this even more special is the rarity factor: it being a lower right corner block of 4 in brilliant quality and a scarce positional piece.

To secure the African Stamp Collection at today’s price, please e-mail me at mike@paulfrasercollectibles.com.

Alternatively call us today on +44(0)1534 639998.

 It would take you a long time to build a collection of this quality on your own and is a good start if you are looking to share in Africa’s potential future economic growth.

Kind regards 

 

Mike Hall

CEO, Just Collecting Limited

PS. If you are interested in purchasing the African Stamp Collection for investment purposes and don’t want the hassle of handling the stamps, we are able to offer you secure storage and insurance during your term of investment, together with an ongoing professional valuation service. I hope that by offering this service, you are more likely to come to us to sell your collection in the future.

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