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.
blogWhen this cover was listed on eBay in mid-September, it didn't take long for some knowledgeable collectors to recognize this piece of postal history for the gem that it is: an early trans-oceanic survey cover for a Pacific route that included Midway Island, which would become famous as the location of a pivotal 1942 naval battle during World War II. Read More ›
blogThis month marks my fifth anniversary writing the monthly auction report for Linn’s Stamp News. That’s 60 columns, totaling more than 100,000 words (enough for a decent-sized novel), all about our favorite hobby. Read More ›
blogIn mid-September I traveled to London, England, to attend Autumn Stampex, one of two British national stamp shows sponsored by the Philatelic Traders’ Society, Great Britain’s national stamp dealers association. The show took place Sept. 16-19 at the Business Design Centre in Islington (central north London), a comfortable and attractive venue for a stamp show. Read More ›
September 28, 2015 03:30 AMAfter the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, postal workers not only saved the mail, they saved the new post office building. Read More ›
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News senior editor Denise McCarty discusses current events that relate to the stamp hobby, including the relocation of a stamp show in Sweden due to the Syrian refugee crises, and new stamps honoring Pope Francis and the British monarchy.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News associate editor Michael Baadke talks about a record fifth win for wildlife artist Joseph Hautman in the federal duck stamp art contest, and see the painting that will appear on next year’s federal duck stamp
Watch as Scott catalog senior editor Marty Frankevicz questions Bolivia’s choice for the design of a 2013 stamp honoring the country’s efforts to protect its migrants in foreign lands.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News managing editor Chad Snee discusses the discovery of the upright Jenny Invert pane received in an order from Stamp Fulfillment Services in Kansas City, Mo., and also reports on the Confederate Stamp Alliance.
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.