Rare stamp indices show continued long-term growth

| June 6, 2014 | 0 Comments

The latest Stanley Gibbons GB30 and GB250 Rare Stamp Indices have just been released.

Pleasingly for investors in tangible, alternative assets, they show compound annual growth rates (CAGR) of 9.06% and 11.78% respectively over the last ten years.

As ‘the world’s most valuable asset by weight’ and worth considerably more per gram than weapons-grade plutonium (and less volatile!), investment-grade stamps have consistently grown in value since records began, primarily due to the pressures of supply-demand economics. Stanley Gibbons and newspaper archive material from both the 1930s and 1960s refers to the upward curve of rare stamps – alongside other prestige collectibles such as art, fine wine and classic cars.

The Stanley Gibbons GB30 Rarities Index tracks the prices of thirty of Britain’s rarest stamps, with price history backdated to 1954. Since then, the Index has shown a CAGR of 9.3% and in 2008/09, the index jumped 38.6% and has continued to rise, demonstrating the lack of correlation with mainstream asset classes.

With the prestige stamp market driven primarily by the passion of collectors and increasingly, more considered investors, Stanley Gibbons compiled a broader Index in 2012 to illustrate market movements. The GB250 Index tracks the prices of the top 250 investment-grade stamps, with price history backdated to 2002.

Since inception the GB250 Index has grown overall by 287.92%, equivalent to a CAGR of 11.96%.

Managing Director of Stanley Gibbons Investments, Keith Heddle, said, ‘As predicted, after some significant trading both privately and at auction in recent years, the GB stamp market slowed slightly last year with the GB250 growing 2.64% in the last 12 months. However, we anticipate strong growth again as we head towards the ‘mother of all stamp shows,’ the decennial London philatelic exhibition in 2020 and have already seen signs of this at auction. The ten year performance – growth of 195.02% – emphasises the virtue of viewing rare stamps as a long-term investment.’

The best performer in the GB250 was a Queen Victoria nine pence stamp, the ‘9d pale straw’, which rose in value by 33.3% (£15,000 to £20,000). ‘Official’ stamps – stamps issued for government use- also performed well, contributing approximately half of the year-on-year growth of the index. Of the thirty-five ‘Officials’ tracked, twenty-three grew in value over the last twelve months, increasing by 8.35% in the last year.

Both Indices are listed on the Bloomberg Professional service, or terminal, under the tickers STGIGB30 and STGIGB25. Data is compiled from the Stanley Gibbons Great Britain Concise Stamp Catalogue, released 23rd May 2014, which is the standard reference work for Great Britain philately.

To view a short interview with Keith Heddle on the rare stamp market, click here <http://investment.stanleygibbons.com/news-and-research> .

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