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January 7, 2014

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Home » Metro » Entertainment and Culture

Market value of Horse stamps jumps 10-fold

The price for Year of the Horse stamps has soared more than 10 times its face value after they sold out quickly on Sunday.

Shanghai Post Co said about 230,000 zodiac stamps of the Year of the Horse were sold out in an hour after they went up for sale at 6:30am at local postal offices.

A full sheet of 20 zodiac stamps, priced at 24 yuan (US$4), jumped to nearly 300 yuan, said a dealer surnamed Wang at Lugong Stamp Market on Jumen Road, which is the largest of its kind in Shanghai.

Wang said zodiac stamps are popular among collectors because each zodiac stamp is issued every 12 years, making it difficult for stamp collectors to gather all the 12 zodiac stamps.

Besides, some of the zodiac animals are deemed as lucky and favored by the people, especially the elderly.

There are many traditional Chinese idioms and stories related to the horse, or ma in Chinese.

The idiom, ma dao cheng gong, literally means finding success on the arrival of a horse, while the phrase yi ma dang xian means taking the lead.

Moreover, zodiac stamps are given as a unique gift to family members, friends and clients as every Chinese has a corresponding zodiac sign.

A 59-year-old stamp collector, surnamed Fan, lined up for six days to buy the zodiac stamps at a postal office on Wusong Road. Fan told the Metro Express he wanted to buy the Year of the Horse stamps as three of his family members were born in the Horse year.

Another woman queued for four days at a postal office in Huangpu District to buy the stamps as a gift for her grandchild who will be born this year.

Wang said he sold about 300 sheets of the Year of the Horse stamps on Sunday.

He predicted a high demand for the stamps before the Spring Festival when people exchange gifts.

While people who queued up to buy the stamps were mostly the elderly, Wang said his clients included teenagers, the middle-aged and seniors.

“The supply of the Year of the Horse stamps are very tight,” said Wang. Many dealers at the stamp market said they didn't have it in the stock.

A customer, surnamed Sun, told Shanghai Daily that the price of the collectors edition of zodiac stamps usually costs around 400 yuan, about 10 times the face value of the stamps.

Sun, who works at a local trading company, said she bought zodiac stamps for her clients every year.

The Year of the Dragon stamps, issued in 2012, were the most expensive, costing over 600 yuan, mainly because dragon holds an important place in Chinese mythology and is the only animal that doesn’t exist among all the 12 zodiac animals. 



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