Instant growth of Chinese stamp market

June 23rd, 2014

New figures for Channel Island based Stanley Gibbons’ China Market Study have been released showing 21.1% growth in the price of ‘vintage’ Chinese stamps since 2012.

Listing prices from 1989 to April 2014 for a cross-section of 200 rare, investment-grade stamps, the data sample shows a rise in value of more than £4million, starting at £358,254 in 1989 and valued at £4,522,300 in 2014. The stamps raised £787,950 between 2012 and 2014 alone.

“On closer study some PRC material was growing in price too rapidly, irrespective of quality,” says Keith Heddle, Managing Director of Investment at Stanley Gibbons. “Often, items were subject to speculation or being presented as gifts, which can create an artificial acceleration in the market. We took the decision to exclude PRC material from the study as, for an authoritative merchant like Stanley Gibbons, holder of the Royal Warrant, we wanted to maintain our focus on quality, authenticity and the type of rare material that is likely to grow in value consistently over the long term. This is what delivers rewards to investors and prestige collectors alike.”
The best performer in the study between 2012 and 2014 is stamp SG44b – a 9ca Empress Dowager stamp from 1897- which grew 108.3% (£120,000 to £250,000).

The best performer over the 25 years since 1989 is another 1897 stamp, a horizontal 2ca Empress Dowager pair of stamps, pale green with a 2c surcharge, which shows a compound annual growth of 22.7% over that time.

Empress Dowager stamps


“Our Asia footprint in both Hong Kong and Singapore, and our 158 years of undiminished philatelic expertise, mean we are perfectly poised both to acquire the right rare material and then to service the needs of investors and prestige collectors,” says Heddle who was actually born in Singapore.
With a developing investment climate in both China and the wider Asian region and with many Chinese wishing to acquire prestigious, heritage items both to preserve and grow wealth*, Stanley Gibbons opened an investment office in Hong Kong in 2012 and in Singapore in 2013. They will also be one of the primary sponsors of the major International Philatelic Exhibition in Singapore in 2015, which will no doubt re-ignite collecting and investing interest in SE Asia.