India And States Emerging

Certainly the stamps of India have increased in popularity in the last ten years. India is one of the more interesting countries to collect as it can be collected at any price point and with wide degrees of specialization. Most Indian stamps are inexpensive, often selling for less that a dollar a set. Even scarcer nineteenth century stamps sell for relatively small prices. The postal history of the country is fascinating. Collectors relish the early British commercial mail, the early military campaigns and how inexpensive and complex the independence period and the partition of Pakistan are. India, before 1948, was a complex federation of independent and quasi independent states. The Convention States (post offices operated by the British) and the Feuditory States (operated by the native rulers) each issued their own stamps and these are among the most interesting and (often) primitive in all of philately. What I like best about Indian philately are three things. First, the stamps are very scarce, even rare, compared to their price. Stamps that we don’t see for years can sell for only a few dollars. Many collectors like the search and Indian philately will provide you with plenty of that. Second, most of the good philatelic literature on India is written in English so that English speakers are on an even footing with indigenous philatelists (don’t underestimate this point when looking for a specialty!). And third, though the price of Indian stamps have increased dramatically in the last ten years, they are still quite cheap compared to China and Russia, the two great philatelic growth engines of recent times. India offers complex and interesting stamps and postal history, rarity at value pricing, and the probability of large price increases in the years ahead. If you are looking for a new specialty, you could do far worse than that.

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