World Stamps

Tip of the week: Bhutan 1973 Phonograph Record set

May 3, 2021, 8 PM
Bhutan’s 1973 Phonograph Record set of seven stamps (Scott 152-152F) is a good buy in mint never-hinged condition at $300.

By Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

Bhutan is an exotic Himalayan mountain kingdom known to collectors for its eclectic stamp program that often features odd, gaudy, quirky, and sometimes downright outrageous stamp issues.

On April 15, 1973, Bhutan issued a set of seven (five postage and two airmail) Phonograph Record stamps (Scott 152-152F). These weren’t just stamps commemorating phonograph records. They were actual phonograph records that can be played on any standard record player.

The recordings on the stamps feature Bhutanese history, folk songs and the royal national anthem.

Many collectors despised these record stamps as a gimmick unworthy of the hobby. Others, particularly topical collectors interested in music and recording, loved them.

The 2016 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue values the set of seven stamps at $400 in mint never-hinged condition.

The mint set is currently selling for about $300, and it is a good buy at that price.