The "Year of the Mouse" stamps have proven incredibly popular since
they were issued by China Post in January.
A sheet of 20 stamps with a face value of 1.2 yuan (16 US cents)
each is now selling for about 60 yuan, according to the statistics
from the local stamp market.
"A sheet of 20 mouse stamps was sold for more than 70 yuan in
our market since January 5, and one stamp even fetched six yuan,
five times its face value," said Ma Lianhong, an official with
Shanghai Lugong Stamp Market, one of the biggest stamp trading
markets in the country.
All the mouse stamps available at more than 100 postal outlets
around the city sold out on the day they were issued, and some post
offices sold out within an hour.
"The Chinese zodiac signs have become a hot theme for stamp
collectors since 1980," said Ma, who is also the deputy
secretary-general of the Luwan District philatelic association.
In 1980, China Post issued the first stamp based on Chinese
zodiac signs to mark the Year of the Monkey.
"Zodiac stamps soon became a hot item among both stamp
collectors and investors," Ma said. "Each monkey stamp had a face
value of 0.08 yuan which was also the original price at the postal
outlets, but nowadays one such stamp has been priced at 3,800
Ma said only four million monkey stamps were issued, and a large
number of the stamps had been used for mailing letters, leaving
only a few on the market, which pushed the price higher.
(Shanghai Daily January 15, 2008)