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Stamp Market Commentary

Commentary No. 123 - 17 September, 2009

Scott 37c - 3¢ Small Queen

A Remarkable Series of Record Prices

Recently, when looking through some of the pages of our pricing records, we noticed something quite unusual about the 3¢ Small Queen, Scott 37c, the dull red variety issued in 1872. According to our records, every price at which this stamp was sold at auction after 2000 to 2008 set a new record. Here are two of the most recent examples:


Shreves Galleries

H.R. Harmer
Lot 1642
Lot 84
April 12, 2007
October 8, 2008
$716
$784

Here are the prices we recorded over the 9 year period:

Year
Price
Realized
Auctioneer
2000
$195
R. Maresch & Son
2001
$275
Vance Auctions
2001
$425
R. Maresch & Son
2002
$450
Eastern Auctions
2007
$716
Shreves Galleries
2008
$784
H. R. Harmer

Since we generally only include VF NH investment quality stamps in our pricing records, it limits the number of stamps that qualify for inclusion. Nonetheless, we were surprised that we only recorded the sale of six Scott 37c’s in this period. But then we found this wasn’t so unusual as we only recorded the sale of ten of the more common Scott 37’s and only one Scott 37b in all those years.

The 2009 Unitrade catalogue puts the same $200 value on a VF NH Scott 37 red as a Scott 37c dull red. So we thought it might be interesting to see how these values have developed in both the Scott and Unitrade catalogues since 2000. Here are the results:

Year
Scott
Unitrade
2000
60
125
2002
60
125
2004
80
150
2006
80
150
2008
100
150
2009
120
200

Note that Scott does not provide a premium for NH Small Queens so we ignored this feature in the above Unitrade figures to make sure that things would be comparable.

One of the odd things that came out of this brief study is that, until 2003, Scott 37c referred to the “orange red” variety issue in 1873. Then in 2004 and since then, the Scott catalogue referred to 37c as the “dull red” variety issued in 1872. We had not noticed that change before.

For Scott, the 37c catalogue value doubled in 9 years. The Unitrade experience was almost the same.

There may be lots of stamps in Canada and elsewhere that have doubled in price in this period, but we doubt whether any of them continuously set new record prices with each sale like this Small Queen. It’s been quite a remarkable feat.

For those of our viewers who are interested in looking further into our 10 year pricing records, please click here.

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