Ethiopia — Ethiopia is one of those exotic countries with a small but dedicated and enthusiastic following in the United States. There are also avid Ethiopian collectors in England, the Scandinavian countries, Germany and France.
Ethiopia has a long and fascinating history. It is mentioned in Biblical accounts and was one of the first countries in the world to convert to Christianity.
It also was one of only two African countries that were independent in the 19th century. There is collector interest in all periods of Ethiopian stamps, from the first issue of 1895 to modern new issues.
Disaster struck in 1974 when the Derg, a communist junta with international communist backing, deposed the long-reigning Emperor Haile Selassie and imposed a one-party communist state. At least 500,000 Ethiopians died in the Red Terror and enforced famine.
After the Soviet Union withdrew military and economic support, the communist government collapsed in 1991. The leader of the Derg was convicted of genocide in 2006.
While the communists were in power, there was generally less interest in new Ethiopian issues.
Once the communists had been ousted, many collectors began looking for the sets they had ignored while the communists still held sway. Most are still very affordable, but prices have been rising for some.
One such is the July 12, 1982, set of five commemorating German bacteriologist Robert Koch and the centenary of his identification of the tuberculosis bacillus (Scott 1043-1047).
The United States National Institutes of Health reported in 2010 that Ethiopia has had a long struggle with tuberculosis. The Centers for Disease Control noted in 2012 that Ethiopia has one of the highest tuberculosis mortality rates in the world.
The 2014 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue values the stamp set in mint never-hinged condition at $5.85.
I recently saw a set sell in an online auction for $24.50 after spirited bidding from five bidders.
A Linn’s editor found this week’s recommended stamps on the zillionsofstamps.com website at the following price ranges:
Ethiopia, 1043-1077 — not found;
United States, 4377 — $10-$14.95, very fine, never hinged.
Tip of the week
United States — Saving full mint panes of 20 seems to be the way to go for many modern U.S. stamps, especially those issued in panes with large pictorial selvage to one side.
A good example is the 2009 42¢ Edgar Allan Poe stamp (Scott 4377).
The 2014 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values the mint pane of 20 at $23.50 against a face value of $8.40.
There is some demand for this mint pane in the aftermarket, and dealers’ stock are very thin. I have seen this pane offered for as much as $26, but if you shop around, I think you can find it in the $12 to $15 price range, and it is a good buy at that price.
blogEleanor Roosevelt said, “Great minds share ideas …,” and Linn’s is fortunate to have thoughtful leaders of the stamp hobby on its Editorial Advisory Board. Board members participated in a lively discussion of “The State of the Stamp Hobby” Aug. 21 at the American Philatelic Society Stampshow in Grand Rapids, Mich. Read More ›
August 19, 2015 01:58 PMIn an unusual development for our hobby, the Office of Inspector General of the United States Postal Service is blogging about stamp collecting. Read More ›
August 17, 2015 12:19 AMFrom 1967 to 2006, Royal Mail (Great Britain’s post office) advertised all new issues with posters displayed in post offices. Most of these posters had pictures of the stamps along with basic information such as the date of issue, instructions for first-day covers, etc. Some were a little more elaborate. Read More ›
August 14, 2015 09:46 AMWill the United States Postal Service issue a Christmas stamp this year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the classic television musical special A Charlie Brown Christmas? Read More ›
Watch as Linn’s associate editor Michael Baadke discusses happenings at the recent APS Stampshow from the show floor.
Watch as Linn's/Scott editorial director Donna Houseman discusses the early release of the new U.S. Elvis stamp, the possibility of a Peanuts stamp and Linn's at the upcoming APS Stampshow.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News managing editor Chad Snee discusses highlights of Robert A. Siegel Auction Rarities Week sales in late June, and reports that the 49¢ price for a first-class United States stamp will remain in effect until April.
Watch as Linn’s senior editor Denise McCarty discusses the hiring of a new executive director of the American Philatelic Society, the new Linn’s Editorial Advisory Board and the upcoming APS Stampshow.
It is always a treat to get to see stamp dealers’ own collections.
In the recently concluded Linn’s United States Stamp Popularity Poll, the Circus Posters set of eight stamps was chosen as the overall favorite issue of 2014.
Dispersal of the splendid Daniel B. Curtis collection continued March 25, with Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries gaveling items from United States back-of-the-book and possessions.
The 175th anniversary of the first postage stamp, Great Britain's Penny Black, is May 6, but the stamp was placed on sale May 1, 1840, for mailers to use beginning on May 6, the designated issue date.