Aden Stamps

What Can Be Done: Aden is an excellent country to collect for many reasons. First, Aden’s stamp issues are few. The first stamps were not issued until 1937 and the last issues were in 1965. Scott lists only 75 stamps and even including the issues of the Aden States of Kathiri and Quaiti there are barely 150 stamps. Second, Aden was (and is) a crossroads near the Persian Gulf. Aden was a way point for shipping and before Aden issued its own stamps, the stamps of India were used in Aden (these can be told by Indian stamps that have Aden cancellations). Such usages are scarce but easily obtainable. Such Forerunners (as the stamps of one country used in another before that country issued its own stamps are called) are an interesting part of our hobby. But they are usually very rare and expensive and Aden allows for an extensive Forerunner collecting experience for little money.


Aden stamps have performed well as far as price is concerned. Aden is collected as part of the India’s area of influence. India‘s economy and philatelic interest has greatly increased in the last decade and the price of Aden stamps has moved along with it. Putting together the country complete is within the abilities of almost all collectors and it represents one of the few British Commonwealth countries that is completable and a pretty good investment bet as well.


Specialty Albums: The issue of albums for many British area collectors is a difficult one. Most specialists collect either all of the British area or major areas (such as British Africa). For those collectors, the Scott Specialty series is a very good bet. Scott makes good quality albums and, though they have cheapened the binders in recent years, these albums are still a fine choice. But, if a collector only wants to collect Aden, a country that has issued few stamps, the collector is out of luck as far a commercially produced albums are concerned. There is no reason to buy a broad based album with many countries that you don’t need. The solution is to make your own pages, either through a software album package or on blank pages. Additionally, this will allow you expand your Aden collection should you wish to collect Forerunners.


Specialty Catalogs: For most of British Commonwealth the catalog of choice in the Stanley Gibbons catalog. Gibbons listings are more expansive than Scott but for Aden either Scott or Gibbons is a credible choice. Neither lists the Forerunners.


Availability of Material: Despite moderate cost, the stamps of Aden are hard to find. There are constantly listings for the Forerunners so become comfortable with the pricing structure for this material before you jump into collecting it.


Expense: How many popular British Commonwealth countries can you complete for under $500. Not many.


Overall Grade: B

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