Canadian Stamp Auctions
Stamp Market Commentary
Commentary No. 114 - 17 December, 2008
The 2009 Unitrade Catalogue
We picked up the new 2009 Unitrade catalogue in Montreal in November. It cost $45, same price as last year and, as usual, worth every penny. Some of the changes in format were noted by the well known stamp dealer, Ian Kimmerly, in his recent Newsletter:
Ian notes that, for Small Queen collectors, the above table is worth more than the price of the catalogue. After reviewing the table we would definitely agree. We would encourage our viewers to look at the “illustrated gems”. This is a display of some of the finest stamps that have appeared at auction in the past 2 years.
Unlike last year’s edition, this year’s saw relatively few increases in the values of the sets. This left just the occasional increase. What average collectors will find frustrating is that most of the increases are restricted to the high priced stamps and varieties and only occasionally to the types of stamps that most of us can afford.
We give credit to Unitrade for taking a very conservative approach in its pricing. During the first half of 2008, prices advanced nicely. The market was strong. This was reflected in the Scott catalogue which appeared last May. But those increases came to a stop as the financial crisis hit North America last summer and went global. Suddenly in September, prices at auction began to fall for the general sets, leaving demand for only the rarest early stamps and scarce varieties. This was very noticeable as we reviewed the auction results in the fall.
look then at the price changes in the recent Unitrade. Please note again
that while we illustrate some of the price increases, these are not
representative of the prices generally which were few and far between.
- Scott 1-20
Large Queens - Scott 21 – 33
Increases for Scott 22, 24 and 26 mint, and 27b.
The most noticeable increases were for 3 of the mint stamps with the rare 11½ x 12 perforations. Here they are:
To summarize, in case it isn’t clear, that apart from the above individual increases which are definitely of interest, there were only a few changes generally in the Classics and the Large and Small Queens.
Here is a summary of the price increases for the early sets:
Offsetting these minimal changes, there were substantial increases for the imperforates of the Quebec Tercentenary, Admiral, Arch, Medallion and Pictorial sets.
For example the Admiral imperforates climbed from $20,500 last year to $24,600 this year and the Medallions from $1,800 to $2,100.
The pattern of few, if any increases, continued through the rest of the catalogue. However, here and there a variety jumped in price. Most of these were imperforate pairs, part imperforate blocks and stamps with missing inscriptions or printed on gum. A number of coil stamps with “end strips” also increased in price.
We were a bit surprised at the price increases for the first day covers issued between 1967 and 1971. These all jumped to $2, but then, after 1972, the increases stopped. Not a big deal, but interesting to note.
Some Outstanding Examples
In order not to end on a negative note, we show below some of the stamps that did well in the 2009 catalogue:
A year ago, the market was hot, prices were forging ahead and we were optimistic about the future. Today, a far different scenario faces us, driven by a financial crisis of great proportions. Governments around the world are struggling to cope and get things back on track. The prices for collectables have suffered. How they will be faring a year from now, or even two years from now, remains to be seen. For now, the future is uncertain. This year’s catalogue has properly reflected this and we commend Unitrade for its restraint.
We have prepared summaries of the noticeable price increases and new listings in this year’s catalogue. To see them, please click on the following buttons: