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Stamp Market Commentary

Commentary No. 126 - 17 December, 2009

The 2010 Unitrade Catalogue


We picked up the 2010 Unitrade Catalogue in Montreal in November. The cost is still $45, same as in the past two years. There's not much that is new in this year's catalogue, but clearly the same high quality is still there.

Price changes

We were curious, of course, about the extent, if any, of this year's price changes. In view of the softening of the global markets in the past year, including the stamp market, we wondered what increases or decreases we would see.

Unitrade has wisely decided to stay the course. There are a few increases, but they are mostly limited to some of Canada's rare varieties. On the other hand, there are almost no decreases. We think that, once again, Unitrade has this right as we think the soft market of the past year is stabilizing.

Let's turn to the price changes in the latest Unitrade. Once again, while we illustrate some of them just to make things interesting, we caution that these are not representative of the prices generally which were mostly unchanged.

Classics Scott 1 - 20

Increases for Scott 1 and 10

1
2010 $60,000
2009 $50,000
2008 $50,000
10
2010 $35,000
2009 $30,000
2008 $25,000

 

Large Queens Scott 21 - 33

Increases for Scott 25viii only, the 3¢ on Bothwell paper.

25viii (fine)
2010 $1,100
2009 $950
2008 $950

Small Queens Scott 34 – 47

Increases in Scott 34, 35ix, 38 (used), 41 and in a number of precancelled stamps.

34
2010 $30
2009 $25
2008 $20

“Yellow orange on thick paper”
“Precancelled”

35ix Fine
2010 $1,200
2009 $400
2008 $400

43
2010 $50
2009 $25
2008 $25

Early sets

Here is a summary of the price increases for the early sets:

Scott
2009
2010
Jubilees
50-65
11,490
11,520
Maple leafs
66-73
1,740
1,790
Numerals
74-80
3,145
3,250
Edward VII
89-95
3,770
3,930
Quebec Tercentenary
96-103
1,525
1,550
Admirals
104-122
1,620
1,625
Scroll
149-159
1,110
1,121
Arch
162-177
826
858
Medallion
195-201
211
211
Pictorial
217-277
213
225

 

An area that stood out was the substantial increases in the first day covers in the Scroll and Arch sets. Here is an outstanding example:

First Day Cover


158
2010 $7,500
2009 $5,000
2008 $5,000

Modern Sets

Very few increases were noted after the 1930’s

Some Outstanding copies

For those lucky collectors who own the following stamps, there were some nice increases:

“Major re-entry”
“Major re-entry”
57i
2010 $500
2009 $400
2008 $400
67ii
2010 $250
2009 $125
2008 $ 125

 

 
"Missing $2"
175
2010 $75
2009 $60
2008 $60
601i
2010 $4,000
2009 $3,750
2008 $ 3,500

“Missing horse”
“Missing red colour”
1933i
2010 $1,750
2009 $1,650
2008 $1,650
2083ii
2010 $2,000
2009 $1,750
2008 $ 1,750

A year ago, we noted that the market outlook for this year would be uncertain and that it remained to be seen what would happen. Well, the strong markets of the early part of 2008 have not returned but, as mentioned above, the shaky stamp market of the past year does seem to be stabilizing. Unlike this time last year, we have more optimism about where things will be a year from now

One of the biggest changes we have seen in the past year is the huge expansion of the global money supply. This could eventually lead to instability and possible inflation. Some think that holding high-quality valuable stamps could offer some protection in this environment. This may make sense in theory, but unfortunately the stamp market is a thin one, making values unpredictable and therefore risky. To succeed with stamps as an investment, one must be knowledgeable, sophisticated and patient.

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:

Noticeable price increases

New listings

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