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Stanley Gibbons' data shows rare stamps take some licking

The latest indices from Stanley Gibbons add weight to the view that persons of high net worth really should have rare stamps in their investment portfolio
Penny Black
As the old joke has it, philately will get you anywhere ...

The latest annual stamp index updates from collectibles specialist Stanley Gibbons (LON:SGI) show the enduring appeal of rare stamps as an investment proposition.

The GB30 Rarities Index, which charts the prices of the 30 rarest stamps of Great Britain, rose 2.4% in the latest year – the 45th year in a row that the index has shown an increase in value. The GB30 has shown a compound annualised growth rate (CAGR) of 10.03% over the last 45 years, adding weight to the view that rare stamps should form a part of the portfolio of high net worth individuals.

The GB250 index, which tracks the prices of the top 250 investment-grade stamps of Great Britain, rose 2.05% over the same period, and over the last 10 years the index has notched up an eye-popping growth rate of 165.72%, which equates to a CAGR of 10.27%.

'The indices show steady, sustained and sustainable growth in British stamps,” remarked Keith Heddle, the manager of Stanley Gibbons Investments.

“Tangible, heritage assets now increasingly form part of a balanced portfolio. As we continue to see economic uncertainty, uncorrelated alternative assets such as rare stamps and coins are being sought to buffer market volatility. 175 years on from the introduction of the Penny Black, the world's first stamp, the role of stamps may have changed somewhat, but they can still pack a punch when it comes to wealth preservation,” Heddle claimed.

Philatelists may be interested to learn that the best performing stamp in the GB250 Index over the past year has been the SG440d, described as a 1935 1d – that’s a penny in old money, young ‘uns – scarlet with a double impressions (where a second image has been printed over the first).

The SG440d rose in value from £20,000 to £24,000 over the year.

“The best performer over the past decade, however, is the SG7 - a 1d red-brown dating back to 1841, which has risen in value from £625 to £11,500 - a jump of 1542.86%,” Heddle noted.

That’s a price rise that even Moya Greene, chief executive officer of Royal Mail, would tip her hat to.

Shares in Stanley Gibbons were up 1.2% at 255.94p in early deals.

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October 03 2016

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