Paul Fraser Collectibles has reported a great deal on the continuing powerful upward trend for Chinese stamps, and Chinese collectibles in general, in recent times...
And now rare stamp and autograph dealer, The Stanley Gibbons Group plc, has taken the initiative and announced the launch of a China Rarities Index to track the value of a cross section of Chinese stamps.
Unlike Stanley Gibbons GB30, SG100 and Frasers Rarities Indices (set up by our own Paul Fraser, also former Executive Chairman of Stanley Gibbons), the China Stamp Index is yet to be listed on Bloomberg terminals.
However, stamps have been selected by experts to provide a cross section of the China stamp market as a whole, using data gathered from third party auction prices mainly conducted in mainland China and Hong Kong.
Rare speciments like this Chinese Year of the Monkey stamp could herald years of success for China's stamp collectors and philatelists
Stanley Gibbons is one of a number of companies that are moving further into Asia's markets.
With the growing Asian interest in alternatives from wine, to art, to stamps widely reported by the financial press, it may come as little surprise to investors that the Index shows growth of 200% over the four and a half years. That's an average annual return of 44%.
A "Mei Lan-Fang 3y" stamp, featuring
"Performance like this during a time when most investments went down in value shows just how useful rare stamps can be as a means of wealth diversification," said Stanley Gibbons Director of Investment, Keith Heddle.
"The key is that rare stamps are an asset class not correlated with traditional investments."
The best performing stamp in the Index is the miniature sheet "Mei Lan-Fang 3y" which depicts a famous Chinese actor.
Valued at £2250 in November 2006, it is now listed on the Index at £20,000 - equal to an investment return of 789%.
"The worst performer in the portfolio still went up 54%. Not bad during a time when many investments delivered negative returns," continued Heddle.