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Generally Speaking Which Country Stamps Are Rare For The Average Collector

 
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Valued Member

United States
51 Posts
Posted 03/14/2019   12:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add stampboylife to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Given that there are 195 or so countries in the world, which country stamps do you think are scarce? Or missing in your collection...

I understand stamps are not valued by country, but individually. However there has to be certain countries that are just hard to come by (eg. for an average collector in the USA). Like so far I have no stamps from North Korea, Nepal, Bhutan, Cyprus, Kazakhstan to name a few.

Just for kicks I would like to own a stamp from every country!
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Valued Member
United States
111 Posts
Posted 03/14/2019   12:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add AravindMichigan to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
@stampboylife..i wanted to ask this question too..glad you asked.i have nepal, bhutan and cyprus ,so I dont think they are rare..i am thinking north korea will be rare since going in and out of there is hard.i suggest you join a local stamp club..folks there will have stamps to trade with you from these countries..most of the people I have seen in my club are topical or focus on only some countries or just US.they dont seem to be interested in collecting all countries of the world.So they will be happy to give away other countries.What do you think are the rare countries you have now in hand?
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Valued Member
Thailand
86 Posts
Posted 03/14/2019   12:55 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BattleshipRB23 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Even before listing North Korea I would offer that Myanmar (formerly known as Burma this country issues very few stamps and rather infrequently) and South Sudan (which is virtually impossible to reach by international mail except occasionally and unreliably via Kenya or Ethiopia) are probably the two hardest currently existing countries to collect from.

The Bhutanese government purposely produces and sells stamps to collectors for profit so I would take Bhutan off your list of hard and/or difficult countries to collect from.

Some other hard to acquire countries, to the same degree as North Korea, would be Saudi Arabia and perhaps Moldova (which remains one of the poorest countries in Europe and is quite isolated).
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Edited by BattleshipRB23 - 03/14/2019 12:56 pm
Valued Member
United States
111 Posts
Posted 03/14/2019   12:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add AravindMichigan to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Battleship -i dont think Saudi is rare...lot of people from india work in saudi..so I have seen it common there.. I am pretty sure I have some of them .
i have to see if I have myanmar,moldova or south sudan.
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Valued Member
Thailand
86 Posts
Posted 03/14/2019   1:18 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BattleshipRB23 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
@AravindMichigan - Not "rare" good sir but rather "hard to acquire" or as the OP stated "hard to come by". I think that is what the OP had meant by "rare" in his subject title and thus I had replied in that regard.

Saudi Arabia is a low-issuing country like Myanmar sometimes only issuing 4-5 up to 20 new stamps in a year. There are some very difficult and quite recent issues to find postally used outside of the Kingdom for most of the world... but your point about India is well-taken but probably more an exception than the norm. Also, Saudi Post has never been known to be collector friendly and/or oriented in any way.
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Edited by BattleshipRB23 - 03/14/2019 1:24 pm
Valued Member
United States
51 Posts
Posted 03/14/2019   1:31 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stampboylife to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Good point, I will check out local stamp clubs.
My collection is just getting started, so I don't have any of the countries Battleship mentioned (South Sudan, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, Moldova). I will take inventory and get back on the countries I have the least representation.
My kid loves looking at different countries never heard of, and learning where they are located/geography etc. Very educational I must say.
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Valued Member
United States
111 Posts
Posted 03/14/2019   1:42 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add AravindMichigan to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
@BattleshipRB23 I see what you are saying.. I didnt know saudi issues only a few-good info..i will check my album and post some pics tomorrow.Another hard to acquire (especially now with political situation) is Libya. I acquired some of them when I was a kid since I lived there for 2 yrs.

@stampboylife My kid(she is 7) also loves it! I bought her a beginner stamp album (url below) which had listed all countries and helps identify countries too..so she ticks the index list of countries when she puts one in and she looks at that country in the globe.. yes- very educational!

https://www.amazon.com/First-Stamp-...p/048644113X
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
2595 Posts
Posted 03/14/2019   1:46 pm  Show Profile Check Battlestamps's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Battlestamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As a cover collector/dealer, the one European country I don't see many covers from any time period - Albania. CTO stamps however are plentiful. I've never come across a North Korean cover aside from FDCs. Saudi Arabia is pretty common. I've seen some Moldova covers annd a few from Myanmar. Bhutan and Nepal covers can be found on occasion - usually official or academia related. FDCs are common for both.
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Valued Member
Ireland
147 Posts
Posted 03/14/2019   1:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add FitzjamesHorse to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have also been giving this a lot of thought over the last six months or so.
Collecting "the world" is secondary for me. My main interest is Ireland. But I have about 22,000 stamps from all current nations. As noted above, there is no real consensus on how many nations there are. My own measurement is the 193 United Nations members plus Palestine, Taiwan, Vatican, Northern Cyprus and Kosovo plus the United Nations itself and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (populalaion THREE!!). There are of course another 50 or so territories which are not independent.
Yet several months ago, I decided to take a "stamp from each country" one step further by acquiring one piece of mail from the 199 "nations/entities".
In part I was motivated by some friends getting postcards for me thru PostCrossing or I bought them at stamp fairs etc.
Inevitably flea market/Collector Fairs have a lot of postcards that are really just cards from holiday destinations....notably southern Europe.
But as things stand today, I have postcards and/or items of commercial mail from 146 countries and a further three (Guyana, Central African REpublic and Cambodia) should be with me at the end of the week.
So I should have 149 from a total of 199.
Now I do not suggest that the 149 I have are the "easy" ones...some like Madagassy, Marshall Islands, Myanmar...were not as difficult as I thought they would be.
Of the 50 still to be obtained, they divide into two sections....those that regularly show on auction sites and those that do not.
In essence, Mail is about population size, economics, literacy and availability thru social connexion...for example USA has a connexion to say South Korea or Central America, much of the West Indies has a connexion to England and nuch of North Africa has a connexion to France.
In preparing an article for my own Blog, I can my "missing countries" as follows.
Europe....Bosnia Herzegovina, Kazahkstan, Georgia, Azerbaijan (my own experience is that these are rarely seen in auctions, online sales etc)
Oceania ...Tonga and Vanuatu can be found but Palau I have never seen.
Americas..Surianam is often seen as unaddressed FDCs but regular mail is not (obviously the former colonial power, Netherlands is the most likely place, Grenada and Dominica often show as vacation postcards,
Asia....East Timor (Timor Leste) I have never seen even though there is a large Timonese community in my locality. Tadjikistan, Kyrzhgia, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, I have never seen. Likewise PDR Korea. Maldives, Kuwait are available cheaply but Qatar and )especially Yemen) are seen but difficult and more pricey. While Syria and Afghanistan are war zones, this was not always the case. Commercial mail comes up often.
Africa....well I have seen Cape Verd and Angola but never Sao Tome-Principe or Guinea Bissau. There is a large Portuguese ex-pats near me. I have seen Namibia Swaziland, Ghana (surprisingly expensive) Sierra Leone, Lesotho (very cheap. Surprisingly perhaps Equatorial Guinea,Rwanda, Burundi, Liberia are often seen but Somalia and Eritrea seem to be rare.
South Sudan is almost impossible. I get all my kiloware from a charity based in Ireland and they have missions in South Sudan but mail is routed thru Kenya.
Francophone Africa is probably quite common in France but in my own experience some such as Mauritania, Niger, Tchad, Mali, Congo, Central Africa, Togo. Benin appear on sales lists but I have never seen Burkino Faso, Guinea, Djibouti or Comoroas.
my own interest is post-independent nations.and these are complete pieces of mail, either stamped envelopes or postcards. I expect that there will always be a handful that will be out of reach to the average collector...maybe 15-20.
As an aside, in kiloware last October, I identified 2,100 different stamps from 124 different nations...all donated in Ireland.
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Valued Member
Thailand
86 Posts
Posted 03/14/2019   1:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BattleshipRB23 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
@Battlestamps - ahhh Albania I completely forgot about that one! Good call.
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Pillar Of The Community
673 Posts
Posted 03/14/2019   2:03 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ClassicPhilatelist to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Well, depends on whether you are looking at "current countries", or including those that no longer exist.
Good luck finding a cover from the Confederated States of America for less than $125, which existed for only 5 years, 1860-1865 during the Civil War.
Or the Crimean Peoples Republic which lasted only 34 days. Not sure that would have given them time to print a stamp, if they reused what they already had, then postmarks from that period would be VERY interesting.
It looks like Carpatho may take the award overall, it was a country for less than 24 hours.


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Valued Member
United States
51 Posts
Posted 03/14/2019   2:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stampboylife to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
@AravindMichigan thanks I am buying that album!
And as @FitzjamesHorse said it, our journey starts to collecting "the world"!! No doubt you have thought about this in detail :) Thanks for sharing.
@ClassicPhilatelist you offer very good point about extinct countries, which grow the list & make it harder.
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Learn More...
United States
4402 Posts
Posted 03/14/2019   2:47 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Lower Slobbovia, Outer Punjabistan, Anakanapanistan, and Freedonia are all missing from my collection. Bonus points if you get the references for the last two.
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Pillar Of The Community
673 Posts
Posted 03/14/2019   2:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ClassicPhilatelist to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Any modern countries will be reasonably easy to get.
I lived in Saudi for 14 months back a couple years ago. There are plenty of post offices there.
I'm in the Maldives this week, they have a lot of pretty fish stamps here. Though the post is mostly inter-island, so have fun finding those.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
4129 Posts
Posted 03/14/2019   3:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add floortrader to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Stampboylife ---Good Question......The question you asked has a lot of different answers and depends who you are talking too.

First what do you consider a country ?

You can limit your answers to active countries ,do you include dead countries ,do you consider occupation stamps, revenue stamps and rebel groups who issue stamps . Your question can have a lot of different kinds of answers .
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Valued Member
Learn More...
356 Posts
Posted 03/14/2019   4:38 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Oracle of Delphi to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
revenuecollector - I usually look for elusive countries while muttering nyuk, nyuk, nyuk when waiting for my duck soup to be served for lunch.
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Edited by Oracle of Delphi - 03/14/2019 5:27 pm
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