By Henry Gitner and Rick Miller
China — The China market is definitely weaker than it has been in recent years. Many People’s Republic of China sets that used to sell for nearly 100 percent of Scott catalog value are now selling for around 50 percent of catalog value.
A speculative bubble in the China stock market has been draining Chinese investors away from stamps.
This stock market seems to have overcome some of the mistrust once held by many Chinese investors, and is drawing a lot of investor money away from stamps and coins.
But in general, early issues of the People’s Republic of China remain quite strong. This market strength is more collector-driven than investor-driven.
A good set to look for is the Rural Women’s Teachers Day and International Working Women’s Day set of four (Scott 1218-1221) issued March 8, 1975.
The 2015 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue values the set in mint never-hinged condition at $87.50. It is a very good buy in the $65-to-$75 price range.
Tip of the Week
United States — Parcel post stamps remain very popular with U.S. collectors.
Only one set of 12 stamps (Scott Q1-Q12) was issued in 1913. Printed in an eye-appealing shade of carmine-rose, they feature classic engraved designs of period Americana.
Initially, only parcel post stamps could be used to pay for the service, and the parcel post stamps were not valid for regular postage. This changed July 1, 1913, ending the need for special parcel post stamps and freeing up remaining stocks for use as regular postage.
The 5¢ Mail Train and Mail Bag on Rack stamp; 10¢ Steamship Kronprinz Wilhelm and Mail Tender, New York stamp; 15¢ Automobile Service stamp; and 20¢ Airplane Carrying Mail stamp (Scott Q5-Q8) have long been popular with topical collectors as well. The 20¢ stamp also has a claim to be the first regularly issued stamp to depict an airplane.
Sometimes overlooked is the 4¢ Rural Carrier parcel post stamp (Scott Q4). The stamp features an attractive design of a horse-drawn mail wagon. The 2015 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values the stamp in mint never-hinged condition at $85. In the grade of very fine it is a good buy at $68 (about 80 percent of catalog value).
A stamp in the grade of fine-very fine would be a good buy at about $47 (55 percent of catalog value).
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