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Stamp Market Commentary

Commentary No. 119 - 17 May, 2009

Spink Shreves & the Professonal Stamp Experts
in the Sale of
The Richard Collier Collection of Used Stamps

The Spink Shreves’ introduction for this auction on May 8, 2009 stated:

“The Collier Collection is a remarkably comprehensive assemblage of stamps that are not often seen used. Highlighted by a valuable array of United States and U.S. Possession stamps, the collection is also desirable for its wonderful range of British Commonwealth (particularly Canada and provinces), and worldwide stamps – all postally used. Many stamps featured in the Collier Collection are seldom seen offered at auction.”

In our Special Commentary of April 22, 2009, we gave a preview of some of the extraordinary used Canadian and U.S. stamps that were offered in this sale. Now that we have seen the prices, we have decided, in this commentary, to concentrate our comments on the prices realized for the U.S. stamps.

Because we usually only focus our attention on Canadian stamps, that being our mandate, we don’t often take the time to look at the experience south of the border. But some recent sales in the U.S. have raised our eyebrows, as the examples below will show.

What follows are some of the more exceptional prices in this sale and the auctioneer’s explanation of why these occurred. These price levels only applied to the U.S. stamps in the sale. They did not apply to the stamps from the other countries, which were more like the ones we are used to.

Professional Stamp Experts

The stamps below have all been graded by the Professional Stamp Experts (“PSE”) organization. We are only just getting to know who they are in the U.S. You can find out more by clicking here to visit their website. Since we are not familiar with them, we cannot comment on the pros and cons of their assessments. But the fact that Spink Shreves uses their designations gives us some confidence.

Exceptional U.S. Stamp Prices

Here are some of the more outstanding examples from this sale:


Lot 10

Superb 98 Jumbo – likely finest used 8A in existence

Lot 45
XF-Superb 95 Jumbo – one of only 2 at this grade and only one grading higher.

Lot 47
XF - Superb 95 - only one stamp grades slightly higher

Lot 56
XF - Superb 95 - this is the only one in the PSE population report with this grade, only one grading higher.

Lot 62
Superb 98 – highest grade & only stamp to achieve this grade.

Lot 63
XF - Superb 95 – Highest grade, only 2 have reached this level.

Lot 66
XF - Superb 95 – Highest grade, only 2 have achieved this grade.

Lot 71
XF - Superb – Highest grade, the only 1 to reach this level

Lot 91

Lot 99
XF- Superb 95 Jumbo – one of only 2 to reach this grade, only one higher.

Lot 105
Superb 98 Jumbo- only stamp to reach this grade, none higher.

Lot 107
Gem 100 Jumbo – this stamp is the only copy in the entire Columbian series to reach in this grade.

Lot 118
Superb 98 – this is the highest grade for this stamp, only 1 other has reached it.

Lot 119
GEM 100 – Sole example in the entire Pan-American series to be graded as GEM 100.

Lot 120
XF - Superb 95 Jumbo – only copy to receive Jumbo designation, with only 2 stamps grading higher.

Lot 121
XF - Superb 95 Jumbo

Lot 126
Superb 98 - only copy to reach this level, none higher.

Lot 164
Superb 98 - only copy to reach this level, none higher.

Lot 186
GEM 100 Jumbo – only mint or used stamp to receive this grade
Please note that all prices are in $US.

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