An affordable Mauritius classic stamp
Stamp Market Tips by Henry Gitner and Rick Miller
The Indian Ocean nation of Mauritius has been in the news recently as the International Court of Justice, the United Nations General Assembly, and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea have all ruled that the British Indian Ocean Territory, an overseas territory of the United Kingdom, should be returned to Mauritius.
As a result of those rulings, the Universal Postal Union will stop registering, distributing and transmitting stamps bearing the words British Indian Ocean Territory. If the ruling stands, the British Indian Ocean Territory will become the world’s newest dead country in the philatelic world.
Mauritius was itself a British colony from 1810 to 1968. As such, it produced some world-class rarities that are valued at from five to seven figures. For something a bit more affordable by the average collector, look for the 36¢ Coat of Arms stamp (Scott 112) issued May 23, 1898, to commemorate the diamond jubilee (60th year) of the reign of Queen Victoria.
The Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940 values the stamp in unused, original gum condition at $13.50. A used example is valued at $27.50 with the value in italics.
The stamp is a good buy at up to Scott catalog value. The usual caveat applies that used examples must have identifiable correct in-period cancellations.
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