People’s Republic of China — For all of its quirks and jerks, ups and downs, the Chinese market remains the most active and the most volatile in the world. This is driven by several factors. One is genuine collector interest both in China and abroad. Another is heavy speculation and investment in China.
The key to not losing your shirt in collecting China is knowing when to buy what. The market tends to move in undulations. If you buy a given issue at the crest of the wave, you will be paying more than you should. But buying at the wave’s trough can make you a winner.
On Nov. 5, 1956, China issued a three-stamp set commemorating the Eighth National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (Scott 301-303). The design used for all three stamps in the set shows the Tiananmen or Gate of Heavenly Peace in Beijing.
Built in 1420 during the Ming Dynasty, the gate is the entrance to the old Imperial City. The gate was burned down and rebuilt several times. The last major construction overhaul was carried out in 1969-70.
There is genuine demand for this set, as there is for most other early issues of the People’s Republic of China.
The 2014 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue values the set in mint, never-hinged condition at $69.50. I think you can find it in the $60 to $70 price range, and it is a good buy at those prices.
A Linn’s editor found this week’s recommended stamps on the ZillionsofStamps.com web site at the following price ranges:
People’s Republic of China, 301-303 — not found.
Hawaii, 35 — $6, fine-very fine, unused original gum; $4.50, fine-very fine, unused no gum.
Tip of the week
Hawaii — One of the most attractive collecting areas in United States possessions is Hawaii. Hawaii issued stamps as both a kingdom (from 1851 to 1891) and as a republic (from 1893 to 1899).
Many of the early issues are beyond the reach of all but the wealthiest collectors. But many of the issues from 1860s to the 1890s showing portraits of the Hawaiian royal family are quite affordable.
A good place to start is with the 1875 2¢ brown King David Kalakaua stamp (Scott 35).
The 2014 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values this stamp at $22 in mint, never-hinged condition, $9 in unused, original-gum condition, and $3 in used condition. The stamp is quite common and easily acquired in used condition, but surprisingly elusive in mint, never-hinged condition and in unused, original-gum condition.
If you find it offered in either of those conditions at the Scott catalog values, it is a great buy. — H.G.
blogIn this column in the Aug. 24 issue of Linn’s, I referred to the American Philatelic Research Library in Bellefonte, Pa., as a “gift to stamp collectors.” The BNAPS library and the APRL are two of many libraries available to stamp collectors, and some philatelic libraries are available online. Read More ›
blogIt’s often been said that one of the salutary benefits of collecting stamps is the friendships made along one’s philatelic journey. If I were asked to place a value on the bonds thus forged with collectors in locales near and far, I would be rich beyond measure. A few of these hobby friends I have never met in person. Read More ›
blogToday, Nov. 11, 2015, is Veterans Day. Over the years, a number of United States stamps honoring those who have served in our nation’s armed forces have been issued. Read More ›
blogMy previous blog post focused on a mystery: the apparent indentations of paper clips on United States Purple Heart forever stamps that were used to mail payments to the circulation department of my employer, Amos Media in Sidney, Ohio. Read More ›
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News senior editor Denise McCarty discusses Great Britain’s final stamp issue for 2015, a Star Wars prestige booklet, and reveals what is included in its stamp program for 2016.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News managing editor Chad Snee discusses a registered 1967 cover from Qatar that recently sold for almost $1,200 and the latest discovery of an Upright Jenny Invert pane.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News editorial director Donna Houseman announces that Linn’s has been named official daily publisher of World Stamp Show-NY 2016 and provides an update on the reorganization of the Scott catalogs.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News senior editor Marty Frankevicz reports on the suspension of Canada Post’s cluster box conversion plan after the election of a new prime minister.
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.