High-value ‘miniature art’ with a twist

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“Most letters only cost a penny or two to mail at that point,” says Craig.

However, high value stamps of the day can be great investments and tend to appreciate by around 10% each year, he says.

A favorite is a five shillings stamp depicting the Sydney Harbor Bridge, produced in 1932. This stamp, in mint condition (previously unused) can range from $ 1,200 to $ 1,400.

Although this is a substantial amount, it is paltry compared to the £ 2 stamp of a kangaroo depicted on a red map of Australia first issued in 1912. “This one is extremely rare, with a price tag of several tens of thousands of dollars. ” Craig said.

If he admits that these stamps appeal to collectors with “deep pockets,” for bargain hunters and new collectors looking for a solid return on their investment, he suggests looking for decimal currency stamps released in the mid-1960s. Some of them were originally issued with a face value of just 30 cents, but are now worth $ 25, Craig says.

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“With most collectors, it’s about getting a complete set. And for the kids, that’s an important lesson – finish something you started, ”says Craig.

John Pearson, owner of the Pittwater Philatelic Service, began collecting stamps at the age of eight. He is now 63 years old.

“At first, I was supervised by a philatelic agent from the local post office,” says Pearson.

When asked to name his preferred area of ​​interest, he declared “the historic stamps of the 19th century”.

Although not part of his collection, a stamp that has long been on his radar is the “holy grail” of Australian philately – the “inverted swan” of Western Australia, circa 1854.

“Ironically, it’s the frame – or the fact that the swan was placed upside down in its frame – that makes it so precious,” Pearson says.

Priced at over $ 250,000 – in used condition – Pearson says he doesn’t expect to find one any time soon!

Stephen Crafti is a specialist in contemporary design, including architecture, furniture, fashion and decorative arts.

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