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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Stamp Market Commentary

Commentary No. 103 - 17 January, 2008

The Best Stamps of 2007

While 2007 was an excellent year for Canadian stamp auctions, it was not able to match 2006. The likely reason is that, in 2006, a greater number of outstanding Canadian collections were offered. One only has to think of some of the well known names, Sir Gawaine Baillie, Dr. Choi-Loc Tang and Michael Roberts. These three collections alone produced 140 new record prices, an amazing achievement.

Nonetheless, the number of new record prices in 2007 did reach 160, greatly outstripping all previous years other than 2006. The pace of strong prices continued throughout the year and actually gained momentum in the final months.

Here are the numbers

New Record Prices
2002
72
2005
77
2003
92
2006
292
2004
94
2007
160

Once again, it is our pleasure to offer some of the finest stamps offered by the auction houses whose sales we covered in 2007:


Maresch

Scott 9ii
23 October, 2007
$6,250
Scott 21vi
19 June, 2007

$165

Scott 39b
23 October, 2007
$4,250
Scott 47i
23 October, 2007

$8,500

Eastern

Scott 20i
23 June, 2007
$1,150
Scott 42
21 February, 2007

$665

Scott 39
12 December, 2007
$1,400
Scott 83
24 March, 2007
$2,200

Vance

Scott 4a
9 May, 2007
$3,340
Scott 20a
24 January, 2007

$730

Scott 22a
24 January, 2007
$2,575
Scott 53
21 March, 2007

$34


Firby

Scott 9xxxv
9 March, 2007
$8,775
Scott 25a
9 March, 2007
$702

Scott 4iii,9a
14 June, 2007
$150,000


Matthew Bennett

Scott 1
21 February, 2007
$23,200
Scott 25iii
21 February, 2007

$2,668

Scott 42i
16 December, 2007
$6,060


Shreves

Scott 29
12 April, 2007
$1,661
Scott 35i
12 April, 2007

$917

Scott 38
12 April, 2007
$4,011
Scott 75
12 April, 2007

$458

Schuyler

Scott 12
27 April, 2007
$3,024
Scott E1a
27April, 2007
$392


Spink

Scott 21b
9 June, 2007
$8,820
Scott 33
9 June, 2007
$1,785

Scott 36f
9 June, 2007
$6,720


Sparks

Scott 26a
8 November, 2007
$3,800

Scott 53
8 November, 2007
$55

Scott 24iv
8 November, 2007
$325


Driving the market was a lot of cash resources in a few hands. Our viewers will be aware of the large bonuses received by corporate executives, the substantial amounts of cash received by shareholders and senior officers on corporate takeovers here and abroad, the huge amount of wealth associated with the oil industry. What happens with all that money? Some of it is often is invested in real estate, art, gold, coins, fine furniture and other collectibles. One only has to look at the amazing prices mentioned at an average Antiques Road Show. There seems to be no limit.

While there may be no limit today, this may not be the case tomorrow. Problems in the US housing market are a good example of investments that have not fared well. Foreign holders of US dollars haven’t done much better. The stamp field is an unregulated market which makes it all the more prone to ups and downs. And as we have mentioned before, when the stamp market goes down, it usually stays down for a long time, sometimes as much as a decade.

What does all this mean? For some it can mean, be sure to get good advice when buying a valuable stamp. Make sure of the quality and make sure of the price. For others it can mean, don’t hang onto your stamps forever. You may be missing a golden opportunity to sell at a time when prices are high.

In closing, we would like to salute a man who used his stamps for the benefit of others. Mr.Bill Gross, Chief Investment Officer of PIMCO in the US and his wife, sold their outstanding collection of British stamps and donated the proceeds of $9.1 million to Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières. What an example they are!

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