By Henry Gitner and Rick Miller
Formerly the Jewel in the Crown of the British Empire, today India appears to be on the threshold of becoming one of the world’s great powers.
United from a series of rival and often warring minor kingdoms over a period of two centuries, India gained its independence from the British Empire in 1947.
Independence came at the cost of partition, as predominantly Muslim Pakistan separated from predominantly Hindu India. East Pakistan later left Pakistan to become Bangladesh.
India is popular with many collectors worldwide, especially among British Empire collectors and members of the Indian diaspora.
Stamp collecting in India has grown as many people became more affluent and could afford to collect.
A good set to look for is India’s first airmail set (Scott C1-6) issued in 1929-30.
The stamp design features an inset portrait of King George V, while the vignette depicts a DeHavilland Hercules biplane flying the mail above a lake with mountains in the background.
This classic and colorful set is popular with aviation topical collectors as well as with country and British Empire collectors. The 2016 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue values the set in unused hinged condition at $34.65 and in mint never-hinged condition at $60. It is a good buy at those prices. Be sure to avoid examples with toned gum.