World Stamps

Hong Kong FDCs of 1930s-1970s in demand

Jan 18, 2021, 8 AM
There is strong demand for Hong Kong cacheted first-day covers from the 1930s to the 1970s. Prices vary according to the cachet. Image courtesy of H.R. Harmer.

Stamp Market Tips by Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

The market for mint never-hinged and unused hinged stamps of Hong Kong issued from the 1930s to the 1970s is not very strong at present. However, cacheted first-day covers from this period are in strong demand.

Some recent prices realized for these FDCs are informative: the 1937 Coronation issue (Scott 151-153) $50, $125, $400; 1941 Centenary issue (168-173) $150, $240; 1946 Peace issue (174-175) $150; 1948 Silver Wedding issue (178-179) $750, $900; 1949 Universal Postal Union issue (180-183) $180; 1962 definitive set (203-212) $375; 1966 Winston Churchill Memorial issue (225-228) $50, $55; 1967 South East Asia Commonwealth Cable (SEACOM) stamp (236) $21, $88; and 1973 definitive set (Scott 275-288) $500.

As you can see, some prices vary widely for a given issue. We think this is attributable to the desirability of the cachet. Which cachets are more desirable is not readily apparent to a nonspecialist collector, unless there is a cachetmaker catalog and we are not aware of one.

Other factors include addressed covers versus unaddressed (unaddressed are always more desirable); sound, clean and undamaged condition; and registered mail versus regular postage. But we believe that the cachet is the biggest factor in determining the price.

Interest in Hong Kong FDCs tapers off in the early 1970s for commemoratives and a bit later for definitives, probably due to FDCs being more readily available for later issues.

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