Tip of the Week — By Henry Gitner and Rick Miller
The fall of European Communism and the collapse of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s led directly to the Bosnian War of 1992-1995.
After years of bloody fighting between the Serb, Croat, and Bosniak populations (sometimes aided by Croatians and Serbs from outside Bosnia), a tense peace was achieved.
Bosnia and Herzegovina exists as a fractured state with a central Bosniak government uneasily sharing power with semi-autonomous Croatian Herzeg-Bosnia, and Serbian Republika Srpska. All three governments operate postal systems and issue postage stamps.
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On Nov. 7, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 2. On board was Laika, a stray dog from the streets of Moscow. Laika was the first living creature to be launched into space.
Unknown to the public at the time, Laika died within hours of the launch from overheating. But she lived long enough to prove that mammals could survive being launched into outer space.
On Nov. 15, 2007, the Bosniak postal administration issued a 3-mark Space Flight of Laika on Sputnik 2 stamp (Scott 606). The design of the stamp shows Laika in her space harness prior to the launch of the satellite.
The 2018 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue values the stamp in mint never-hinged condition at $5, roughly the double-face value benchmark Scott assigns to new issues.
The stamp was issued in panes of 10, and mint panes are in demand from both space and dog topical collectors. The mint pane of 10 is a good buy in the $40-to-$50 price range.