World Stamps

The United Nations World Heritage Sites booklet worth pursuing

Apr 22, 2017, 5 AM
The United Nations 2002 World Heritage Sites, Italy booklet (Scott 834) is in demand and a good buy in the $15-to-$20 price range.

Tip of The Week — By Henry Gitner and Rick Miller 

When the United Nations Postal Administration began issuing stamps for its postal service in 1951, a great many collectors began to collect them.

In recent years, general disillusionment with the international organization as well as changes that made it harder for dealers and collectors to use older issues for postage saw U.N. stamps’ popularity decline greatly.

However, modern U.N. issues from about 2001 on from all three offices (New York City; Geneva, Switzerland; and Vienna, Austria) are surprisingly in demand. There are a couple of contributing factors.

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As with most modern stamp issues, quantities issued have plummeted, while face values have increased. Because of this, fewer dealers and collectors have laid in extensive stocks of modern issues.

A small following are maintaining their collections with new issues. And some collectors who inherit U.N. collections want to keep them current.

Modern U.N. booklets all have the World Heritage Sites theme. They are beautiful, and the stamps inside can only be acquired by buying the booklets. As with most modern issues, U.N. booklet dealer stocks are generally very low.

One booklet that sells especially well is the World Heritage Sites, Italy booklet (Scott 834) issued Aug. 30, 2002. The 2017 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values the mint booklet at $22.50.

This booklet is a great buy in the $15-to-$20 price range. This is just one example of a modern U.N. booklet that is in demand.

An interesting point about U.N. booklets is that the United Nations Postal Administration doesn’t provide first-day covers for the stamps in them in its subscription service. We don’t know of any private company that is servicing them. Perhaps Linn’s readers can tell us more about this situation.