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Rare stamp indices show continued long-term growth

The latest Stanley Gibbons GB30 and GB250 Rare Stamp Indices show compound annual growth rates (CAGR) of 9.06 per cent and 11.78 per cent respectively over the last ten years.

Investment-grade stamps have consistently grown in value since records began, primarily due to the pressures of supply-demand economics. 
Stanley Gibbons and newspaper archive material from both the 1930s and 1960s refers to the upward curve of rare stamps – alongside other prestige collectibles such as art, fine wine and classic cars.

The Stanley Gibbons GB30 Rarities Index tracks the prices of thirty of Britain’s rarest stamps, with price history backdated to 1954.  Since then, the index has shown a CAGR of 9.3 per cent and in 2008/09 the index jumped 38.6 per cent and has continued to rise, demonstrating the lack of correlation with mainstream asset classes.

With the prestige stamp market driven primarily by the passion of collectors and increasingly, more considered investors, Stanley Gibbons compiled a broader index in 2012 to illustrate market movements.  The GB250 Index tracks the prices of the top 250 investment-grade stamps, with price history backdated to 2002.

Since inception the GB250 Index has grown overall by 287.92 per cent, equivalent to a CAGR of 11.96 per cent.

Managing Director of Stanley Gibbons Investments, Keith Heddle, says: “As predicted, after some significant trading both privately and at auction in recent years, the GB stamp market slowed slightly last year with the GB250 growing 2.64 per cent in the last 12 months.  However, we anticipate strong growth again as we head towards the ‘mother of all stamp shows,’ the decennial London philatelic exhibition in 2020 and have already seen signs of this at auction. The ten year performance - growth of 195.02 per cent - emphasises the virtue of viewing rare stamps as a long-term investment.”

The best performer in the GB250 was a Queen Victoria nine pence stamp, the ‘9d pale straw’, which rose in value by 33.3 per cent (GBP15,000 to GBP20,000). ‘Official’ stamps - stamps issued for government use - also performed well, contributing approximately half of the year-on-year growth of the index. Of the 35 ‘Officials’ tracked, 23 grew in value over the last 12 months, increasing by 8.35 per cent in the last year.

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