With 18m philatelists and 870,000 new millionaires... China is world's #2 economy
What's more, collectible investments could see China become the world's #1 as early as 2030...
So it's official: China has now overtaken Japan as the world's second largest economy - and is predicted to supersede the US as world #1 by as early as 2030.
And news is particularly exciting for collectors and those with an interest in alternative assets.
The People's Republic is currently estimated to have around 18m devout stamp collectors among its population. Only today we've reported that the country's 870,000 new millionaires are increasingly turning to classic car investments.
What's more, Chinese stamps have regularly achieved big successes at auction.
Wangfujing Street is one of the busiest streets in Beijing: China is still
This year has been no exception, with recent auction blockbusters including a number of World Record prices at the $8m 'largest ever' Chinese and Asian stamps sale, held by Interasia, earlier this month.
And the Chinese philatelic fun doesn't end there: to mark China's ascension to the number two economic superpower spot, how about celebrating by acquiring your very own Complete People's Republic of China stamp collection, with specimens dating from 1949-2000?
The collection is being offered in Swedish auction house AB Philea's International stamps auction, with bids set to close on August 25.
The collection, spanning 1949-2000, includes many iconic designs from
The collection is contained within three older Shaubeck albums and is only missing a few varieties and never-issued stamps.
Iconic examples in the collection include several first issues and duplicates, including Workers, North East Postal Service, Gates of Heavenly Peace high value specimens, Radio Gymnastics originals, the Fish 1960 stamp, and Stage Art of Mei Lan-fang stamps both perforated and imperforated.
According to AB Philea, the "quality is a bit mixed, a few items have minor damage but several good items are in very fine quality... Cultural Revolution period in somewhat mixed condition..." while all the modern stamps are in very fine quality, with a few creases.
AB Philea says the 'quality is a bit mixed', but this comprehensive
The Cultural Revolution part of the collection includes Mao's Thoughts and a The Directives of Chairman Mao strip. Many of the stamps dating to 1970 are hinged, and nearly all of the post-1971 inclusions.
Because of the above discrepancies in condition, interested buyers are advised to inspect the collection first-hand before bidding.
Nevertheless, it is billed as "one of the best collections from this area for sale in the world at present time" and selling estimated at €31,500 ($38,500).
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Images: Nggsc (Beijing); AB Philea