Canada - Travel/Philately/Numismatics/Memorabilia Profile

Canada, a country in North America, has USA to the South and North (Alaska), North Atlantic Ocean to the East, and North Pacific Ocean to the West. Human presence in the Northern Yukon area dates as far back as 26,500 years ago. Canada has the second largest land area in the world and is among those with the smallest population density. Canada has a per-capita GDP of around $40,000 (ppp) making it a very wealthy country. It has vast amounts of natural resources in the form oil (second largest after Saudi Arabia) and natural gas, zinc, uranium, timber, etc. The two pillars of Canada’s export industry are energy and agricultural products.

Travel Resources:

Given its vast size, Canada has a wide variety of climates and scenic landscapes. In general, mid-May through mid August are considered tourist friendly. Canadian Rockies with its breathtaking views complimented by its serenity leads the list of many attractions – Niagara Falls, Vancouver/Victoria, Quebec, Montreal, the Northern Lights etc., are but a few of them. Canada is a great place to enjoy the outdoors to the fullest. Cuisines wise the culinary skills of the English speaking Canadians are based on English and American fare while that of the French speaking Canadians are closely related to the French.

ResourceISBN or ASINBest PriceDescription
Canada Eyewitness Travel Guides978-0756661038$17An introduction to Canada followed by region-wise coverage include Atlantic Canada (Newfoundland, Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island), Quebec, Ontario, Central Canada, British Columbia and Rockies, Northern Canada, and a detailed section that provides practical information (stay, eat, shopping, entertainment, etc).
The Milepost 2010: Alaska Travel Planner978-1892154279$20The best travel guide for the Alaska Highway covering Northwest Canada and Alaska. 30 major routes, 60 side trips, and 100+ maps. Ferry travel covered. Also, a pull-out plan-a-trip map. The annual updates of the book gives advance notice of construction or changes to the road network. One down-side is the number of Ads in the book.
Canada Road Map978-1894056090$4

Pathfinder Maps Publication.


Philatelic Profile:

The first stamps of the province of Canada were issued in 1851 and feature three different designs. The set of three stamps (Scott #1 to #3) are worth a small fortune – close to $110,000 for MNH and around half that for used. The most valuable among them is the 12p QV issue (Scott #3) at around $80,000 for MNH and $55,000 for Used. The designs show beaver, Prince Albert, and Queen Victoria. The same set was reissued in the 1852 to 1855 time-frame in woven paper instead of laid paper. The first two stamps in that set is also fairly valuable at around $1000 and $10000 for MNH and around $200 and $1200 for used. Certain varieties sell for even more. This was followed by a single issue (Scott #7) released in 1855 showing Jacques Cartier, the famous 16th century French explorer who first explored Canada. This stamp is also extremely valuable at around $6000 for MNH and $1500 for used. A few other reissues and certain other varieties in the QV theme dominated the scene until 1898. Significant among them is a set of eleven stamps (Scott #50 to #65) released on June 19 1897 showing QV portraits from 1837 and 1897. It was released to mark the sixtieth year of Queen Victoria’s reign. The set catalogs for around $3000 MNH and $1000 for used.

Below are other relevant stamp issues of Canada over the years:
  1. A set of eight stamps (Scott #96 to #103) released on July 16 1908 showing royal portraits and historic scenes. The set released to mark Quebec’s tercentenary catalogs for around $1700 MNH and $475 for used. The designs show Prince and Princess of Wales, Jacques Cartier and Samuel de Champlain, Queen Alexandra and King Edward, Champlain’s home in Quebec, Generals Montcalm and Wolfe, view of Quebec in 1700, Champlain’s departure for the West, and the arrival of Cartier at Quebec.
  2. A set of five stamps (Scott #141 to #145) released on June 29 1927 to mark the sixtieth year of the Canadian Confederation. The set catalogs for around $75 MNH and $15 used. The designs show Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, “The Fathers of Confederation”, Parliament Building at Ottawa, and map of Canada.
  3. A set of six stamps (Scott #211 to #216) released on May 4 1935 to mark the 25th anniversary of the accession to the throne of King George V. A sister set of eleven stamps (Scott #217 to #227) was also released on June 1 1935. The first set catalogs for around $40 MNH and $10 used and the second set for $210 MNH and $20 used. The designs in the first set show Princess Elizabeth, Duke of York, King George V and Queen Mary, Prince of Wales, Windsor Castle, Royal Yacht Britannia, and King George V. The second set shows King George V, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Confederation Conference at Charlottetown (1864), Niagara Falls, Parliament Buildings of Victoria in BC, and Champlain Monument of Quebec. 
  4. A set of fourteen stamps (Scott #249 to #262) released in 1942 to mark Canada’s contributions to the war effort. The set catalogs for around $200 MNH and $15 used. The designs show King George V, grain elevators, farm scene, Parliament Buildings, “Ram” Tank, Corvette, Munitions Factory, and a destroyer.
  5. A set of fourteen stamps (Scott #417 to #429A) released between 1964 and 1966 in the “Promotion of World Peace” theme. The designs include Three-Mapled-Leaf Emblem (Canadian unity), white trillium and Arms of Ontario, white garden lily and Arms of Quebec, Mayflower and Arms of Nova Scotia, purple violet and Arms of New Brunswick, prairie crocus and Arms of Manitoba, dogwood and Arms of British Columbia, lady’s slipper and Arms of Prince Edward Island, prairie lily and Arms of Saskatchewan, wild Rose and Arms of Alberta, pitcher plant and Arms of Newfoundland, fireweed and Arms of Yukon, mountain avens and arms of Northwest Territories, and maple leaf and arms of Canada. The beautiful set is surprisingly inexpensive at $3 for MNH and used. It is a great starter collection for collectors who would like to specialize in the ‘World Peace’ theme.
  6. A long set of seventeen stamps (Scott #586 to #601) released between 1972 and 1976 showing Great Men of Canada and local scenes. The set catalogs for around $15 MNH and $7 used. The designs show Sir John A. Mcdonald, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Sir Robert L. Borden, William Lyon Mackenzie, Richard Bedford Bennet, Lester B. Pearson, Louis St Laurent, Queen Elizabeth II, mountain sheep of Western Canada, grain fields in the Prairies, polar bears of the North, Vancouver in BC, and the seashore of Quebec. 
  7. A set of five stamps (Scott #909 to #913, #913a) released in 1982 to mark the International Philatelic Youth Exhibition held in Toronto in 1982. The set and the souvenir sheet each catalog for around $3 MNH and used. The design shows ‘Stamps on Stamps’ of the following Canadian Issues – Scott #1, Scott #102, Scott #223, Scott #155, and Scott #158.
  8. A set of twelve stamps (Scott #955 to #966) released on June 30 1982 to mark the first ‘Canada Day’. The set catalogs for around $7 MNH and $6 used. The designs show the following paintings: The Highway near Kluana Lake by A.Y.Jackson, Montreal Street Scene by Adrien Hebert, Breakwater by Christopher Pratt, Along Great Slave Lake by Rene Richard, Tea Hill by Molly Lamb, Family and Rainstorm by Alex Colville, Brown Shadows by Dorothy Knowles, The Red Brick House by David Milne, Campus Gates by Bruno Bobak, Prairie Town – Early Morning by Illingworth Kerr, Totems at Ninstints by Joe Plaskett, and Doc Snider’s House by Lionel LeMoine FitzGerald. This issue was followed every year by a set of stamps in the same theme. ‘Canada Day’ or a broader ‘Independence Day’ theme is another excellent theme for collectors who want to specialize. Most of these sets are inexpensive and can be acquired with minimal effort. 
  9. A stamp (Scott #1270) released on April 5 1990 to mark the Multicultural Heritage of Canada. The stamp is inexpensive at less than a dollar for MNH and 20c for used. There is an error variety with Inscriptions omitted which command a sizeable premium at around $1000.
  10. A strip of four stamps (Scott #1591 to #1594) released on January 9 1996 in the ‘Birds’theme. The set catalogs for around $3 MNH or used. The designs show American kestrel, Atlantic puffin, pileated woodpecker, and ruby-throated hummingbird.
  11. A set of ten stamps (Scott #1725 to #1734) and ten labels released on June 17 1998 in the ‘Canals of Canada’ theme. The set catalogs for around $12 MNH and around half that for used. A booklet pane with the labels is available for a slight premium. The designs show St. Peters Canal of Nova Scotia, St. Ours Canal of Quebec, Port Carling Lock of Ontario, Locks of Rideau Canal in Ontario, Peterborough life lock of Trent-Severn Waterway in Ontario, Chambly Canal of Quebec, Lachine Canal of Quebec, Ice Skating in Rideau Canal of Ottawa, Boat on Big Chute Marine Railway at Trent-Severn Waterway, and Sault Ste. Marie Canal of Ontario.
  12. A long set of seventeen sheets (Scott #1818 to #1834). Each sheet show four stamps in a particular theme. The entire set can be had for around $70 MNH or used. The themes and designs were Media Technologies: IMAX movies, animation software, Ted Rogers and radio tube, and Invention of radio facsimile device; Canadian Entertainment: Calgary Stampede, Performers from Cirque du Soleil, Hockey Night in Canada, La Soiree du Hockey; Entertainers: Portia White (singer), Glen Gould (pianist), Guy Lombardo (band leader), Felix Leclerc (singer), Fostering Canadian Talent: Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (men viewing painting), Canada Council (sky, musical staff), National Film Board of Canada, and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Medical Innovators: Sir Frederick Banting (insulin), Dr. Armand Frappier, Dr. Hans Selye, Maude Abbott; Social Progress: nun, doctor and hospital, statue of woman holding decree, Alphonse Desjardins and wife Dorimene, Father Moses Coady; Charity: Canadian International Development Agency, Dr. Lucille Teasdale, Marathon of Hope, Meals on Wheels program; Humanitarians and Peace Keepers: Raoul Dandurand, Pauline Vanier, Red cross volunteer and Elizabeth Smellie, head of various nursing services, Lester B. Pearson, Prime Minister and Nobel Prize winner and Dove, Amputee and shadow; Canada’s First People: Chief Pontiac, Tom Longboat, Inuit Sculpture of Shaman, Medicine Man; Canada’s Cultural Fabric: Norse Boat, Immigrants on Halifax’s Pier, Neptune Theater, Stratford Festival; Literary Legends: W.O.Mitchell novelist and prairie scene, Gratien Gelinas actor and playwright and stars, Le Cercle du Livre de France book club, Harlequin paperback books; Great Thinkers: Marshall McLuhan, Northrop Frye, Roger Lemelin, Hilda Marion Neatby; A Tradition of Generosity: Hart Massey, Dorothy and Izaak Killam, Eric Lafferty Harvie, and Macdonald Stewart Foundation; Engineering and Technological Marvels: Map of Rogers Pass, Manic Dams, Canadian Satellites, Remote Manipulator Arm, CN Tower; Fathers of Invention: George Klein, Abraham Gesner, Alexander Graham Bell, Joseph Armand Bombardier, Snowmobile; Food: Sir Charles Saunders, Marquis Wheat, Pablum, Dr. Archibald Gowanlock Hunstman, Products of McCain Foods; Enterprising Giants: Hudson’ Bay Company, Bell Canada Enterprises, Vachon Company Snack Cakes, George Weston Limited.
Numismatic Profile:

The first Canadian coins were issued in 1870 in 5, 10, 25, and 50 cent denominations. The first issues have mintage into the millions but are valued into the 100s for MS60 and higher grades. Before this, provincial issues British Colombia, Lower Canada, Upper Canada, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Magdalen Island, and Prince Edward Island existed. These issues are also highly valued in UNC. Canada started issuing gold coins as early as 1912 and in 1979 launched the hugely successful gold bullion maple leaf series in one ounce and fractional weights.

Numismatic items of Canada include:

ItemPrice RangeDescription
Bullion$10 and upNickel Maple Leafs and Silver Dollars start around $10. 1oz Silver Maple Leafs start around $50. 1/20 Ounce Gold Maple Leafs starts around $100 and go well into the 1000s for 1 Ounce.
Loonies$3 and upCommon UNC loonies start around $3. Commemorative dollar proofs from the 70s and 80s start around $15. Silver Dollars from the 60s and prior dates in UNC start around $30. Silver Dollars from the 60s and prior dates in MS66 and up go well into the 100s.
Commemoratives$3 and upBreast Cancer, Vancouver Olympics etc recent commemorative quarters start around $3. Parliament Library and other Commemorative Silver Dollars in UNC start around $30. Lunar Year Silver Commemorative Proofs, Olympics and other Limited Edition sets, etc start well into the 100s.
Proof Sets$5 and upProof like sets from the 60s start around $5. Specimen Mint Sets from the 90s, Double Dollar Sets from the 80s, etc start around $30. Specimen Proofs Sets as issued from the Mint from the 80s and 90s start around $50. QE Jubilee Proof set, Lunar Horse and COA, Niagara Falls Silver Proofs, Snowflake Silver Proofs etc start around $100.
Other Coins$1 and upA vast variety of choices are always available in the market starting as low as $1 and going well into the 1000s.
Exonumia$1 and upCommon Tokens, Elongated Pennies etc start around $1. Provincial Tokens, Centennial Medals, etc start around $15. WW, Trans-Canada Highway, etc Commemorative Medals start around $50. Government Service Silver Medals, Governor General Medals, etc start into the 100s.
Paper Money$10 and upA vast variety of choices are always available in the market starting as low as $1 and going well into the 1000s.

Collectible Memorabilia:

Edible souvenirs are very popular Canadian takeaway - smoked salmon, ice wine, ice cider, butter tarts, maple syrup or nanaimo bars. Mineral specimen, jewelry, art, antiques and woodwork are also sought after. Vancouver Olympics merchandise are pleasing for the young at heart.

ResourcePrice RangeDescription
Mineral Specimens$5 and upRaw Labradorite and other specimens start around $5. Larger specimens start around $20. Semi-precious and precious raw specimens start around $50. Meteorite, Fossil, and other specimens are also in the market.
Jewelry$1 and upJade beads start around $1. Semi-precious jewelry starts around $25. Gold and other precious jewelry go into the 100s.
Militaria$10 and upPatches start around $10. World War related medals and curios start around $50. Original documents from the early 18th century start in the 100s.
Art$50 and upOriginal oil paintings from known artists like Doris McCarthy, Arthur Shilling, D C Grose, Andreas Lapine, Maurice Thomas, etc. fetch into the 1000s. First Nations baskets and other art start around $50. Eskimo Art pieces start higher.
Antiques$10 and upEarly 20th century map prints start around $10, original maps start around $20 and go up based on age and rarity. Older souvenir spoons and related from the provinces start around $20.Original historic documents, maritime maps, and equipment start in the 100s.

Last Updated: 12/2015. 

    Goodbye Alameda, Hello Kochi!

    On our quest for financial independence we relocated to Kochi in Kerala, India. Kochi is the industrial city in the tiny state of Kerala bordered by the Arabian Sea along the southwestern coast of India. We considered several locations for relocation before settling on this unlikely place. These factors contributed to our decision:
    1. Cost of Living: As we expect a lull before generating income from our vocation (few years possibly), it was critical that we stretch our money as far as possible. To this end, Kochi won hands down - as we had a place to live (which needed remodeling) the day-to-day expenses should be low on an ongoing basis. Kochi along with most other second-tier cities in India does very well in this regard, for many of the recurring costs such as property taxes, utility rates, labor charges, etc. are low compared to global standards.
    2. Education: Kerala has a well-developed school system (literacy close to 100%) with numerous choices. Costs vary depending on the type of school (public vs private) and on the value-added services offered. Though public schools are free they were not an option for us given their limited facilities. Private schools usually conduct an entrance examination even for lower grades - sometimes having connections can help get an admission. We chose a newer private school around ten miles away from our residence mostly because they offered admission without an entrance test and partly because from friends we learnt that the school catered to expatriates like us. Despite being one of the more expensive private schools in the state, costs are only about one-tenth of the average cost of sending kids to private schools in the US.
    3. Language: When considering relocation to a foreign country, language skills (or its lack of) can be a major impediment. Many schools offer alternate language options but it can be hard if the medium of instruction is in a new language altogether. Kerala was a good choice for us in that regard as our kids were in the beginning stages of becoming literate in Malayalam.
    4. Logistics: Proximity to family is priceless.

    We relocated towards the end of May 2010 and our things arrived a month later none the worse for the move. Of this relocation experience, we have to say that while there were many surprises, overall it has been a net positive. Kids are happy at their new school, house remodeling is progressing albeit slowly, and this blog is falling into gear with the frequency catching up to the time when we were in Alameda. Working on our vocation had been in the back burner for some time now, although we should be able to reverse that trend in the coming months.

    Above all, it is a great feeling to be freelancers – no one to report to, no stress of deadlines, taking the time to ensure that kids are doing well at school while also trying to do well at our commitments. We will update this series on a regular basis from now on focusing on our experience being expatriates.

    Last Updated: 07/2010. 

    Cameroon - Travel/Philately/Numismatics/Memorabilia Profile

    Cameroon, in Central Western Africa, is bordered by Nigeria, Chad, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo, and the Atlantic Ocean (Bight of Bonny – Gulf of Guinea). Human presence dates back to the Neolithic period (around 9000 BC). Cameroon has a land area of about 185,000 square miles and a population close to 19 million. The country has an eclectic terrain characterized by the coast, desert, mountains, rainforest, and the savanna. It has a per capita GDP of around $2300 (PPP) – majority of the people depend on sustenance farming for livelihood although factory-based industry accounts for around 30% of the GDP. The country is characterized as ‘not free’ in terms of people’s rights, as the President of Cameroon controls everything and his party is the sole legal one.

    Travel Resources:

    Tourism is not a full-fledged industry yet in Cameroon. Drawing on its diverse terrain, Cameroon’s tag-line to attract travelers is ‘Africa in miniature’ experience.  The dry months from November through February are considered tourist friendly. Herd viewing is best during this time as vegetation is at its thinnest and game is concentrated to the water sources. North Cameroon is the strongest magnet with Africa’s iconic animals – cheetahs, chimpanzees, elephants, giraffes, zebras, hippopotami, rhinoceroses, and many unique species of birds. Poor travel conditions and corrupt officials are the chief obstacles tourists encounter. The major cities are Maroua, Yaounde, and Douala. Typical Cameroonian diet is mostly starchy food eaten with spicy, hot stews or soups. Skewered meat, fried fish, curries and soups are consumed with fufu made from yams, cassava or plantains.

    ResourceISBN or ASINBest PriceDescription
    Cameroon Bradt Tavel Guide978-1841622484$22Detailed guide to the provinces along with a practical introduction.
    Culture and Customs of Cameroon978-0313332319$42Great introduction to the people and culture of Cameroon.
    Cameroon and Gabon Travel Map978-1553411574$131:1,500,000 Cameroon and 1:950,000 Gabon scales.
    Cameroon Grounded Adapter Kit – GUB and GUFB001FD5D5I$15

    Philatelic Profile:

    The first stamps of Cameroon were issued in 1897 and were overprints on German issues from the same year. The set of six stamps (Scott #1 to #6) catalog for around $60 MNH and around $100 for used. The first original issues were a set of thirteen stamps (Scott #7 to #19) released in 1900. The design shows the German Emperor’s (Kaiser) Personal Imperial Yacht “Hohenzollern” in two different sizes and many colors. The design itself is a common design type used in many other colonial issues from the period. The set catalogs for around $275 MNH and $720 used. The same stamps were reissued with a different watermark between 1905 and 1918. That set catalogs for around $35 MNH. A couple of used stamps in the set (Scott #23 and #25) fetch a huge premium ($125 and $4750 respectively) as they are extremely rare. There is also a reissue of the same set in 1915 under British occupation. That set (Scott #53 to #65) features a ‘C.E.F.’ (Cameroons Expeditionary Force) overprint along with a surcharge. The set is very expensive as they were only used for a very short period and catalog for around $900 MNH and over $3600 for used. Varieties with double surcharges and inverted overprints fetch a premium. Counterfeits and forged overprints do exist as well. The areas under French Occupation issued a long set of fifteen overprints (Scott #101 to #115) the same year. This set is also very expensive at around $1800 for MNH and $1500 for used. The following Gabon issues were used in the overprints: Scott #37, #49-#52, #54, #57, #58, #60, #62 to #64, #66, and #69 to #71. A few other overprints on Middle Congo issues from 1907 were also issued between 1916 and 1921. These sets (Scott #116 through #146) are relative more affordable – many individual issues can be had for less than a dollar while some of them are valued into the fifties.

    Below are other relevant stamp issues of Cameroon over the years:
    1. A long set of forty two stamps (Scott #120 to #211) issued between 1925 and 1938 featuring local scenes. The set is somewhat affordable at around $65 for MNH and $40 used. The designs show herder and cattle crossing Sanaga River, tapping rubber tree, and rope suspension bridge. A sister set of thirty stamps (Scott #225 to #254) followed in 1939 in the same theme. That set catalog for around $30 MNH and $25 used. The designs show Mandara woman (native of Mandara mountains, a descendent of the Mandara Kingdom), Falls on M’bam River (tributary of Sanaga River) near Banyo, elephants, and Man in Yare.
    2. A set of nineteen stamps (Scott #304 to #321) released in 1946 in the ‘People of Cameroon’ theme. The designs show Tikar women (native of North Western Cameroon), porters carrying bananas, bowman, Lamido (traditional ruler) horsemen, and farmer. The set catalogs for around $12 MNH and $5 used.
    3. A set of fifteen stamps (Scott #358 to #372) released in 1962 in the Animals theme. The set catalogs for around $15 MNH and $3 used. The designs show moustache monkey, elephant at Ntem Falls, Buffon’s kob (Kobus Kob Kob), hippopotamus, manatee at Lake Ossa, buffalo at Batouri (Eastern Cameroon), and giraffes at Waza Reservation (National Park of far north province, Cameroon). A couple of sets were also issued earlier in the year for use in the former United Kingdom Trust Territory of Southern Cameroons that features President Ahidjo and Prime Minister Foncha. The first set (Scott #352 to #354) catalogs for around $50 MNH and $45 used. The set (Scott #355 to #357) is a surcharged variant. These are very rare and each stamp in the set catalog for $150 MNH or used. They were in circulation only for a few days thus accounting for the rarity.
    4. A set of ten stamps (Scott #476 to #485) released on July 25, 1968 in the ‘Fish and Crustaceans’ theme. The set catalogs for around $16 MNH and $2 used. The name Cameroon was given to the area by the Portuguese on their arrival in the late fifteenth century from 'Rio dos Camaroes' - the phrase means 'River of Shrimp' as they saw plenty of fish and crustaceans in the Wouri River they navigated. The designs show river crayfish, Nile mouth-breeder, sole, common pike, crab, spade dish, shrimp, African snakehead, and threadfin.
    5. A set of five stamps (Scott #654 to #658) released on September 20, 1979 in the ‘Protected Animals’ theme. The set catalogs for around $10 MNH and a dollar for Used. The designs show rhinoceros, giraffe, gorilla, leopard, and elephant. A long series of sister sets followed starting with the issue of a set of two stamps (Scott #678 and #679) on December 24, 1980 in the 'Endangered Species' theme. The set catalogs for around $6 MNH and $2 used. Other sets in the same series are: A set of three stamps (Scott #691 to #693) released on July 20, 1981 featuring mououroum, tortoise, and scaly anteater. The set catalogs for around $4 MNH and a dollar for used; A set of three stamps (Scott #746 to #748) released on September 22, 1983 featuring civet cat, gorilla, and cobaya. The set catalogs for around $9 MNH and $2 used; Two sets of stamps (Scott #761 to #762 and #763 to #764) released in 1984 featuring wild pig, deer, nightingale, and vultures. The set catalogs for around $7 MNH and $2 used; A set of two stamps (Scott #823 and #824) released on August 20th 1986 featuring Varanus Niloticus and Panthera Pardus. The set catalogs for $6 MNH and $2 used.
    6. A set of four stamps (Scott #874 to #877) released in August 1992 in the ‘Cameroon Soccer League’ theme. The designs show Mbappe Mbappe Samuel, Linafoote League Emblem, and stadium. The set catalogs for around $12 MNH and $9 used. As the most successful African nation in soccer, the sport is the most popular in Cameroon.
    Numismatic Profile:

    The first coins of Cameroon were French Mandate Aluminum-Bronze 50 Centimes Issues from 1924. They have mintage into the millions but still catalog in the $100 range for UNC. Republic Standard Coinage era started in 1960 with the issue of 50 Francs Copper-Nickel Independence Commemoratives that depict three Elans in Obverse and Denomination within wreath in reverse. That issue also has high mintage (9M) and catalogs for around $10 UNC. A series of four commemorative gold coins issued in 1970 for the 10th anniversary of Cameroon’s Independence along with bullion proofs issued in the 2000s are highly valued.

    Numismatic items of Cameroon include:

    ItemPrice RangeDescription
    Coins$2 and upCommon UNCs start around $2. Recent silver proofs start around $15. Boxed Butterfly 3D Papillon Proofs, Angel of Love 3D Holograms, etc start around $100.
    Paper Money$5 and up500 Francs recent UNCs start around $5. UNCs from the 80s and prior dates start around $15.

    Collectible Memorabilia:

    Painted gourds, masks, jewelry, leather goods and grisfris (necklaces) are popular buys among the travelers.

    ResourcePrice RangeDescription
    Antiques$10 and up19th century maps start around $10, and Bamum statues start around $50 and can go into the 100s depending on the complexity and authenticity. Authentic fetishes, Kirdi Cache-Sexe African Beaded Apron, and Masks start around $100 and can go into the 1000s.

    Related Posts:

    1. Nigeria
    2. Cameroons (UKTT).

    Last Updated: 12/2015. 

      Cambodia (formerly Kampuchea) - Travel/Philately/Numismatics/Memorabilia Profile

      Cambodia (Kampuchea) is a country in South East Asia bordered by Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, and the Gulf of Thailand. Radiocarbon dating has established human activity in the area as far back as 6000 BC. Cambodia has a land area of about 70,000 square miles and a population close to 15 million. The Mekong River and the Tonle Sap (Large Fresh Water Lake and river system) dominate its landscape. The climate is tropical with a wet and humid rainy season (monsoon) followed by a dry and hot summer. Cambodia has a per-capita GDP of $2000 (ppp) – the country has seen good growth in the recent past as it stabilized politically. The major industries of Cambodia are textiles and tourism.

      Travel Resources:

      November through February is considered tourist friendly, as it is the cool and dry time. However, the rainy season is the photographer’s paradise – moats are full, air is clear, greenery is fresh, paddy fields filled with water and new rice etc. Tourists flock to Angkor Wat to take in the elaborate 12th century stone carvings at one of the world’s largest religious monuments, the royal palace at Phnom Pehn, the various temples, stupas, and shrines. Khmer cuisine is widely consumed in Cambodia. Almost every meal includes a bowl of rice and soup, with three or four separate dishes which will be sweet, sour, salty or bitter. Coffee with condensed milk is very popular. Cooking courses, which initiate the traveler to the culinary secrets of Khmer, are also a major attraction.

      ResourceISBN or ASINBest PriceDescription
      Lonely Planet Cambodia978-1741794571$16Good introduction followed by Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Temples of Angkor, and region-wise detailed coverage.
      Cambodia Travel Map978-0794605490$91:1,000,000 scale. Insets of Angkor Temples Area, Sihanoukville, Phnom Penh, and Siem Reap Town.
      When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up Under the Khmer Rouge978-0393322101$11This book along with another classic ‘First They Killed My Father” are both autobiographies written by daughters of privileged families who underwent the forced evacuation to Phnom Phen, faced near death and murder of family members.
      Cambodia Grounded Adapter Plug GUA and GUBB001FDA7PY$15

      Philatelic Profile:

      The first stamps of Cambodia were issued in 1951 and feature three different designs. The set of seventeen stamps (Scott #1 to #17) catalog for around $100 MNH and around half that for used. Three souvenir sheets of the designs were also issued (Scott #15a, #16a, #17a) and each of those are valued at around $35. The designs show Apsaras, King Norodom Sihanouk, and Enthronement Hall. This was followed in 1954 by another long set of twenty stamps in four different designs. The set (Scott #18 to #37) catalogs for around $40 MNH and $25 used. The designs show Phnom Daun Penh (a fourteenth century temple), East Gate – Angkor Thom (capital city of Khmer Empire from the twelfth century), Arms of Cambodia, and an elephant used for mail transport. A set of four souvenir sheets with five stamps from the set in each sheet was also issued. Each of those (Scott #18a, #23a, #26a, #28a) catalog for around $45 MNH.

      Below are other relevant stamp issues of Cambodia over the years:
      1. A set of three stamps (Scott #129 to #131) released on March 3 1964 featuring Kouprey, characterized as a forest ox, the animal designated as the national animal of Cambodia in 1960. The set catalogs for around $3 MNH and around half that for used. This is a very collectible item as the Kouprey is an animal shrouded in mystery - it is a subject of debate as to whether it is extinct and whether it is a separate species. This was followed on May 2nd with the issue of another set, this time featuring birds. The set (Scott #132 to #134) catalogs for around $6 MNH and $4 used. The design shows black-billed magpie, kingfisher, and gray heron.
      2. A set of five stamps (Scott #152 to #156) released on February 1 1966 in the ‘Temples of Angkor’ theme. The set catalogs for around $10 MNH and $8 used. The designs show Baksei Chamkrong (a small temple in the Angkor complex dedicated to Lord Shiva, built in the tenth century), Banteay Srei (temple dedicated to Lord Shiva built in the 10th located 24 KM away from the Angkor Complex - Citadel of Women), Angkor Wat (12th century temple complex depicted in the national flag), and Bayon temple of Angkor Thom (Early 13th century Khmer temple located at the center of the capital city of Angkor Thom).
      3. A set of three stamps (Scott #210 to #212) released on October 10 1969 in the ‘Butterflies’ theme. The set catalogs for around $25 MNH and $6 Used. The designs show papilio oeacus, papilio agamenon, and danaus plexippus.
      4. A set of twelve stamps (Scott #346 to #357) released on February 13, 1975 released to mark the 1974 World Cup Soccer Championships. Ten of these stamps are lithographed while the other two (Scott #355, #358) are lithographed and embossed. The set catalogs for around $70 MNH. The designs show soccer players and arms of Hamburg, Gelsenkirchen, Dortmund, Stuttgart, Dusseldorf, Hannover, Frankfurt, Munich, and Berlin.
      5. A long running series of sets in the ‘Khmer Culture’ theme. The first in the series was released on December 2, 1990 as a set of three stamps (Scott #1046 to #1048) showing Khmer architecture. The series continued with the following releases – A set of three stamps (Scott #1134 to #1136) released on April 13, 1991 showing statues; a set of three stamps released on April 13 1992 featuring nineteenth century structures (Scott #1209 to #1211); A set of three stamps (Scott #1270 to #1272) released on April 13, 1993; A set of three stamps (Scott #1353 to #1355) released on April 13, 1994 showing Khmer Statues; A set of three stamps released on April 13, 1995 (Scott #1431 to #1433) showing statues; A set of three stamps released on April 13 1996 (Scott #1504 to #1506); A set of three stamps (Scott #1621 to #1623) released on April 13, 1997; A set of three stamps (Scott #1748 to #1750) released on April 13, 1998; A set of three stamps released on April 13, 1999 (Scott #1853 to #1855); A set of three stamps released on April 13, 2000 (Scott #1959 to #1961); A set of three stamps released on April 13, 2001 (Scott #2087 to #2089); A set of three stamps released on April 13, 2004 (Scott #2216 to #2218). Each set catalogs for around $3 MNH and a dollar used. This series is an excellent choice for collectors who want to specialize in the area.
      6. A set of fourteen stamps (Scott #1534 to #1547) released in the 1996-97 time-frame featuring Historic Sites. The set catalogs for around $8 MNH and around half that for used. The designs show Apsaras, Statue of Angkor Wat, Statue of a Goddess, Carved Wall of Tonle Bati, Structures of Tonle Bati, and Views of Angkor Wat.
      7. A set of five stamps and a souvenir sheet (Scott #2230 to #2234 & #2235) released on September 27 2004 in the ‘Tourism’ theme. The designs show Prasat Preah Khan, Prasat Preup, Prasat Banteay Samre, Prasat Bayon, Angkor Wat, and Prasat Bayon. The set catalogs for around $4 MNH or used. 
      Numismatic Profile:

      The first coins of Cambodia were copper coins of the Tical Coinage issued during the reign of King Ang Duong in 1847. The first coin catalog for around $10 VF. The large silver Tikals issued during this period are rare and valuable. Undated Brass Token Coins issued by Pnom-Pehn Merchants also circulated during this period and those denominated in Centimes go into the $100 range for VF. Independence Era Decimal Coinage (100 Centimes = 1 Franc) started with the issue of a 10 Centimes Aluminum coin showing Bird Statue in Obverse and Denomination and Wreath in Reverse. The issue has high mintage (4M) and catalogs for less than a dollar VF. The tumultuous political history of Cambodia following independence has resulted in a number of different decimal era classifications: People’s Republic of Kampuchea (1979 to 1990), State of Cambodia (1990 to 1993), and Kingdom of Cambodia (1993 onwards).

      Numismatic items of Cambodia include:

      ItemPrice RangeDescription
      Coins$1 and upCommon UNCs start around $1. Hamza Bird Tikals from the mid-nineteenth century start around $20 in VF. Silver Bullion Commemoratives start around $30. Year of the Pig Silver Proofs and other colored proofs from the 2000s start around $50. Gold Proofs from the 2000s, China Wall Silver Gold Proofs, and other scarce silver proofs from the 1970s start into the 100s.
      Paper Money$1 and upUNCs from the 70s onwards start around $1. Large Size Notes from the 50s in VF start around $10. Recent UNC bundles, Replacements, etc start around $25. Specimen varieties from the 2000s, High Value Bundles, etc start around $50. Rare Dates and Older UNC Specimens go into the 100s.

      Collectible Memorabilia:

      Cambodia can spoil one with choices when it comes to souvenirs - antiques, silverware, paintings of Angkor Wat, silk products, gems, sandstone carvings, miniature earthenware are only the beginning of an endless list as takeaways from the country.

      ResourcePrice RangeDescription
      Antiques$20 and upBronze statues and ornate rings start around $20. Exquisite wood-carved larger pieces can go into the 1000s.
      Art$20 and upOriginal photo prints from the early 20th century start around $20. Khmer Art original oil paintings start around $100.
      Jewelry$2 and upZircon gems start around $2 and go as high as $1000 for flawless blue zircons over 7 carats.

      Last Updated: 12/2015. 


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