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Stamp Market Commentary

Commentary No. 102 - 17 December, 2007

The 2008 Unitrade Catalogue

Canadian Stamp News reporter, Michael Nowlan, made some interesting comments about the new Unitrade catalogue in the December 11, 2007 edition of the paper:

“When D. Robin Harris took over the editing of the Unitrade Specialized Catalogue of Canadian Stamps for the 2006 edition, he promised changes that would continue into future editions. That was the case in the 2007 volume and, with the 2008 Unitrade, Harris has not reneged on his promise.”

“The Unitrade Specialized Catalogue is now one of the finest stamp catalogues available. For Canadian stamps, it cannot be equaled, and this is a credit to Harris, a host of editorial associates, and the publisher, Unitrade”

Mr. Nowlan couldn’t have put it better.

Price changes

First, the good news. In this latest edition there were some dramatic increases in the early mint Canadian classics and there were only a very few price reductions.

Now, the bad news. Apart from the above there were few price increases. These few were found amongst the Maple Leafs, the Numerals and some of the varieties and imperforates

Classics

Very fine mint early classics saw some dramatic increases, especially Scott 1, 1a, 2, 2b, 5, 11, and 13. But we suspect that only a handful of collectors own any of these very rare stamps in VF mint conditon. There were no increases in the prices of VF used copies of these stamps. Here are some highlights:

1
2
5a
2008 - $50,000
2008 - $50,000
2008 - $45,000
2007 - $35,000
2007 - $35,000
2007 - $22,000
2006 - $25,000
2006 - $25,000
2006 - $16,500

3 used
2008 - $150,000
2007 - $100,000
2006 - $100,000

Large Queens

Bothwell
Watermark
Thin
Paper
21b used
24b
2008 - $15,000
2008 - $1,200
2007 - $11,000
2007 - $1,000
2006 - $11,000
2006 - $1,000

Script
Watermark
Deep
Blue
30d
30e used
2008 - $30,000
2008 - $500
2007 - $25,000
2007 - $400
2006 - $16,500
2006 - $400

Very few Large Queens increased in value with the exception of the above varieties.


Small Queens

Strand
of Hair
Perforated
11½ x 12
35viii
38a
2008 - $1,200
2008 - $1,500
2007 - $1,000
2007 - $900
2006 - $1,000
2006 - $900

40
2008 - $1,500
2007 - $1,000
2006 - $1,000

There were only a handful of increases in this set.

Jubilees

There were no increases.

Maple leafs

Engraver's Slip
69
71i
73
2008 - $90
2008 - $1,200
2008 - $750
2007 - $80
2007 - $750
2007 - $500
2006 - $60
2006 - $750
2006 - $450


This is the set to watch! It saw increases of 26% in this year’s catalogue, 17% in last year’s and 26% in the previous year’s.


Numerals

74
77d
2008 - $15
2008 - $2,500
2007 - $10
2007 - $1,500
2006 - $8
2006 - $1,500

84
2008 - $900
2007 - $800
2006 - $750

This set did very well, but not as well as the Maple Leafs. It increased by 12% in this year’s catalogue, 9% in last year’s and 24% in the previous year’s.


Edward VII

Type I
Imperforate
90iii
2008 - $1,100
2007 - $750
2006 - $750


There were no increases for the regular stamps of this set. The value of the above imperforate pair increased nicely. This is the rare Type I imperforate. A VF NH pair of the Type II imperforate catalogues for $120. No increase for it!


Quebec Tercentenary

96
97
2008 - $10
2008 - $40
2007 - $7
2007 - $30
2006 - $7
2006 - $25

There were minimal increases in this set this year and, as you will note above, these were found in the low values.


Admirals

“Silver Black”
105
107
120i
2008 - $30
2008 - $30
2008 - $350
2007 - $25
2007 - $20
2007 - $250
2006 - $20
2006 - $15
2006 - $250

Die II
139c
2008 - $1,000
2007 - $750
2006 - $750

There were only minimal increases this year, except for the coils that did well. For many of the coils, the NH premium was increased from 125% to 150%.


Modern

As in 2007, there were few increases in the value of Canada’s modern stamps. Happily, there were a few exceptions. Here are some of them:

1158a
2008 - $2,000
2007 - $1,500
2006 - $1,500

1259ai
2008 - $15,000
2007 - $12,500
2006 - $12,500

1370a
2008 - $60
2007 - $50
2006 - $35

Back of the book

C1
C3
2008 - $25
2008 - $20
2007 - $20
2007 - $16
2006 - $20
2006 - $16

F3 on cover
2008 - $15,000
2007 - $9,000
2006 - $9,000

OX3
2008 - $5,000
2007 - $4,000
2006 - $4,000

There were surprisingly few increases in this section. We expected more because this area has done so well at auction in the past year.

General comments

While there haven’t been as many new record prices this year compared to last, it has, without any question, been a very strong year at the auctions. Demand for very fine stamps from 1851 to 1935 continues to be evident. This has drawn many fine collections of Canadian stamps to the market both here, the U.S., and abroad. Sadly, stamps issued after 1935, while in some cases rare and scarce, showed little signs of appreciation.

We note that in the past 30 years, many varieties have appeared, particularly among the definitive sets. It will just be a matter of time before their prices start climbing, particularly those for which only a small number have been found. There seems to be a regular market for these, judging from the auctions we reviewed. Sooner or later, the laws of supply and demand will apply to push their prices ahead. We will watch for this in the coming year.

Noticeable price increases in the 2008 catalogue

New listings

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