Backup Bidders

In the last ten years two main areas of philately have seen substantial rises in prices and popularity- Russia and China. But the increases have not been all in straight lines. Rather, for a period prices rise substantially, and then fall back either with general economic weakness or because of market demand. What has been interesting in the case of these two areas is that each time prices have fallen back a bit a strong cadre of American collectors have stepped in to buy, propping up prices and using the market lull to add these foreign stamps to their collections. This is a very healthy phenomena for the long term price structure of these two collecting areas. All of the so called “best bet” investment areas (for example, United States stamps or British Commonwealth) are strong not only because of intense internal demand but because philatelists world wide desire these stamps and are trying to obtain them. It’s not as if there aren’t enough Chinese or Russians who wish to collect their own stamps. But when a collecting area reaches the first rung of collecting interest and has a strong and maintainable price structure, it is almost always because their stamps sell well to the international community. It is nice to see that the rise in popularity and price of both Chinese and Russian philately is not to be short lived.

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