05 February 2011

New Stamps from Poland…


Field Hockey


Date of Issue- 4 February 2011 

Hi !  Here are some new stamps to be issued  this month by Polish Post. As usual all the stamps have  beautiful designs and depict each theme quite well. A very nice combination of colors has been used in deigning the stamps.I always have great appreciation for Polish stamps for their superb designs. This is all for Today……Till Next Post….Have a Great Time !





To be issued on 11 February 2011





Nationwide week of Cystic Fibrosis


To be issued on 28 February 2011



Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease that causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs and digestive tract. It is one of the most common chronic lung diseases in children and young adults, and may result in early death.

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is caused by a defective gene which causes the body to produce abnormally thick and sticky fluid, called mucus. This mucus builds up in the breathing passages of the lungs and in the pancreas, the organ that helps to break down and absorb food.

This collection of sticky mucus results in life-threatening lung infections and serious digestion problems. The disease may also affect the sweat glands and a man's reproductive system.

Read more


Press Clippings..


Stamps as long-term investment tools

Check these facts: Stamps are regularly sold for $1 million in auctions. The most expensive stamp in the world is worth $2.97 million. Stamps as an investment are usually immune to market jitters.


No wonder financial advisers suggest adding stamps to an investor’s portfolio. Investments in rare stamps can fetch annual returns of over 45%. On an average, rare stamps have given returns of about 10-15% a year in recent years. A caveat: Rare stamps are not a substitute for traditional forms of investments. They have given steady returns and occasionally (as in 2008) beaten the Sensex (see graph ).

Experts say that rare stamps should be seen as a long-term investment and one should stay invested for at least five to 10 years. The reason that the value of stamps has been appreciating is they are no longer in production and a vast majority of rare stamps are with collectors who prefer to hold on to their collection.
“They don’t come to the market very often and hence their rarity quotient, which makes them a stable investment option,” says Geoff Anandappa, investment portfolio manager, Stanley Gibbons, a stamp retailer.
Getting started: Rare stamps are quite expensive and an investor should be able to spare a minimum Rs 1-2 lakh for this asset.

The most popular stamps are from the mid-1800s to early 1900s, especially those from Great Britain and Commonwealth countries. The best way to buy these stamps in India is either from dealers, exhibitions and auctions. “The best and least expensive beginning is to buy general variety or world stamps from a dealer.
These will be an excellent foundation for your collection,” says Harsh Dalal, regional head (multi family office), Altamount Capital.

Rajendra Maru, a Bangalore-based stamp dealer, says one should always plan in a way that a full set is collected. “These are easier to sell and are worth more,” he adds. For example, Gandhi stamps, issued in 1948 and in different denominations, fetch about Rs 16,000-20,000 individually. But a complete set can go up to Rs 40 lakh. Also, keep an eye out for stamps with errors. An 1854 four-anna stamp, with the face of Queen Victoria printed upside down, was sold for Rs 76 lakh at an auction last October.
In 2007, the “Inverted Jenny” was auctioned for $1 million. The 24-cent stamp, issued in 1918 by the US postal department, has the image of an airplane printed upside down.


Quality checks: The value of stamps depends on factors such as demand trends, origin and condition. As a thumb rule, unused stamps are more sought after than used ones. Also, check the back in case of unused stamps. The original gum should be fully intact for it to fetch decent returns. In case of used stamps, there should be no damage to the paper, colour or perforations. “The postmark should be clear. But if a stamp is very rare, it could be an investment-grade even in a less-than-perfect condition,” says Anandappa.
Dalal says used stamps should be left attached to their original envelopes. “Do not soak or pull them off. And remember unused stamps should be left as you find them. If they are in blocks or strips, do not separate them,” he says.
Humidity can play havoc with your collection. It is a good idea to save stamps either in butter paper or a good stamp book.

Investment tool: “As an investor, you should focus on keeping a small number of stamps in your portfolio. Four to five high-value stamps should be sufficient,” says Anandappa.
“Invest in stamps issued between 1852 and 1937. These are the classics. Postage stamps issued by the erstwhile princely states are also much in demand,” says Sandeep Jaiswal, president, Stamps Inc, a US-based philatelic company. Another area that offers growth is postcards and envelopes. “These are truly undervalued and a savvy investor can do extremely well by getting into this area before it becomes a rage,” he says. According to Jaiswal a strict no-no is stamps issued over the past 30 years. “Their prices have gone up exponentially. But I think prices will crash. It is an artificial scarcity caused by hoarders,” he warns. There are no grading agencies in India, which can provide authentication certificates. However, there are websites that give details about a stamp

along with its value. 


The Economic Times 17 January 2011

Courtesy : Shrikant Parikh

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