China's newly issued Lunar New Year monkey stamps are becoming a surprise hit for disappointed investors amid unstable gloomy markets such as stocks, the exchange rate and real estate.
The stamps, issued on Jan 5, are sold out soon after release and are experiencing a rocketing increase in value. The resale price increased from 420 yuan on the day of issue to 820 yuan within a week, 21 times its face value of 38.4 yuan.
A merchant in Changchun, Jilin province is surprised by the price surge of the monkey stamp market, saying: "I'm quite experienced in the stamp market but cannot understand the unreasonable price of the monkey stamps."
The crazy price does have its reasons.
The stamps are the first sign of the Chinese zodiac to be commemorated in the fourth series of China's zodiac stamp collection. The monkey stamps contain two designs. One is a monkey holding a peach as a symbol of good luck; the other one is a female monkey carrying two babies, a hint of China's two-child policy.
The designer is 92-year-old Huang Yongyu who designed the first monkey stamps 36 years ago. The price of stamps commemorating the 1980 Year of the Monkey has rocketed to a historical high.
As the first of its kind, the stamps are sought-after items, with a single stamp fetching 12,000 yuan, considerably more than its original face value of 0.8 yuan. A complete set sells for 1.5 million yuan.