Thursday, August 21, 2008

Stamps and coins shine amid investment gloom

Noble Investments, the only listed UK coin dealer and auctioneer, is enjoying a renaissance in collecting as investors who have had their fingers burned in traditional markets seek out a cycle-resistant alternative.

"We've never seen business as strong as it has been this year," said Ian Goldbart, managing director of Noble Investments today, after announcing the £1.25 million acquisition of Surrey stamp trader Apex Philatelics.

Mr Goldbart's bullish assessment of the sedate world of collecting fits with statements last week from Britain's biggest stamps and memorabilia trader Stanley Gibbons, which said the "all-consuming passion" of collectors would insulate the sector from the wider economic slump.

Stanley Gibbons said the price of rare stamps showed no correlation with other assets and increased during downturns.

Mr Goldbart added that high-value stamps are increasingly considered a worthy investment opportunity.

"If it's an investment, then customers want something rare, not something that they could find again next week or next month," he said. . . .

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