Throughout philatelic history, writers have been predicting the next great philatelic area-the next specialty that will take off in price. Predictions are usually founded on one of two criteria that predict the supposed increase in the popularity that the stamps will undergo. Either the economy of the country will take off creating a pool of desperate collectors eager to buy the older issues that you should have put away (if only you had listened to the prognosticator). Or there is some intrinsic not fully understood rarity factor that collectors will ultimately discover and make them eager to buy stamps that you (had you listened to the prognosticator) should have put away in quantity. The problem with predictions is that they tend to be very accurate in hindsight and and we tend to forget all the ones that haven’t panned out. For the last fifty years Brazil was always going to be the next best country. The economy was going to boom and 120 million Brazilian collectors would enter the market. It was a great prediction well founded on the evidence and quite credible. Except that it never happened. The same is true for the Philippines and Mexico. The “Rarity Undiscovered” scenario has accounted for the increase in price of Confederate States stamps in the last twenty years but hasn’t produced any effect on the stamps of Saudi Arabia, classic Turkey and even the Cherry Blossoms of Japan all of which are very rare relative to price and (IMHO) very undervalued. When you pick a winner, you think you have got a theory. But to be a valid theory (and not just a good guess) it would have to pick losers as well.

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