Stamp Detective: China, 1965, Second National Games


01 August 2023
Our philatelic private eye spies another stamp set that’s likely to go up in value, this time examining a Chinese sport set in demand.

The market for Chinese material is extremely volatile. Many catalogue valuations appear to be far in excess of current market levels and in all probability new editions of the major worldwide catalogues will have modest decreases for several sets.

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However, there are also many sets for which there is strong demand. One such case is the eleven value sports issue released in 1965 marking the Second National Games. It is a nicely designed set featuring ten popular sports like football, weightlifting and basketball. The final stamp in the set is larger in size and shows the opening ceremony.

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At a recent auction in Europe, a nice unmounted mint set was up for grabs. With a stated Michel catalogue value of €660 (£560) it sold for €384 (£326) which includes the 20% commission charged by the auction company. 

Not many modern sets sell for more than 50% of the stated catalogue value but sports is a popular thematic which probably explains the strong interest in this particular set. For quite some time much of the better People’s Republic of China material has been picked up by collectors and investors from China.

Quality is of paramount importance when it comes to PRC material. In order to achieve high prices, the stamps need to be in perfect condition with pristine gum and free from spots of toning which is frequent if the stamps have been stored in a hot and humid environment.