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Stamp Market Commentary

Commentary No. 150 - 17 December, 2011

The 2012 Unitrade Catalogue

The latest Unitrade catalogue arrived in November and we really didn’t know what to expect. After all, our economy isn’t exactly robust. At the same time, auction material at the high end continues to produce new record prices.

Price changes:

The Canadian section of the catalogue contains close to 600 pages and 2,500 catalogue numbers. A very rough guess is that, with all the varieties, there may be close to 7,000 prices to review for the mint stamps and another 7,000 for the used. Add the covers and that could add up to 15,000+ potential prices to look at. After going through all that material, we found a total of only 60 price increases and maybe 8 decreases. Undoubtedly there were others that we didn’t spot as we moved through the catalogue.

Clearly, the editors were being cautious and selective. It’s a tricky market and probably the only place where one might expect to see price increases would be in the finer material amongst a few of the earlier sets.

We now turn to a review of the price changes, once again warning our readers that these increases are not representative of the market which shows little change.


Classics (Scott 1-20)
No changes in prices with the exception of these 7 covers: Scott 4ix, 8b, 9a, 12, 15viii, 17e &19ii. Here is one of them:




9a
2012 $6,250
2011 $4,500

Large Queens (Scott 21-33)
Increases only for Scott 28a mint and Scott 31 & 33 on cover.




28a
2012 $6,000
2011 $5,000


Small Queens (Scott 34 – 47)
No changes in prices other than for Scott 39a on cover.


Jubilees
No changes.


Maple Leafs
Changes in this set were limited to 5 of the imperforate pairs. Here are two examples:




72a
2012 $900
2011 $750

73a
2012 $900
2011 $750

 

Numerals
In this set, Scott 82, 84 and 88 advanced:




82
2012 $600
2011 $500

84
2012 $1,000
2011 $900




88
2012 $50
2011 $40


Edward VII
No changes

Quebec Tercentenary
No changes

Admirals
There were 5 small increases. Here are two of them:




104
2012 $40
2011 $30

106
2012 $40
2011 $30


Confederation
There was only 1 increase:




145iii
2012 $1,500
2011 $1,250

Other early sets
Here is a summary of the price comparisons for these sets:


Sets

Scott Numbers 2011 2012
    $ $
Scroll 149 -159 1,121 1,121
Arch 162 - 177 864 864
Medallion 195 - 201 231 231

Pictorial

217 - 227 225 225


But in the Scroll and Arch sets, there was a broad range of increases for the first day covers. Here are a few examples.

First Day Covers


Scott

  2011 2012
    $ $
149 1¢ Scroll 300 375
150 2¢ Scroll 300 375
151 3¢ Scroll 400 500

167

3¢ Arch 250 325
172 8¢ Arch 300 375
176 50¢ Arch 1,250 1,500
177 $1.00 Arch

1,200

1,500

Modern
As has been the case in the past few years, there were few increases after 1930. In fact, we only noted 9, and they were all varieties. This one increased nicely this year:




454f
2012 $1,350
2011 $1,200

Back of the Book
In recent years, this was the area of the catalogue where we usually found solid increases. But this year, there were only two:




MR3a
2012 $400
2011 $300

MR4a
2012 $1,000
2011 $900


Conclusion

We find ourselves in much the same position as last year, but with a little less enthusiasm. There is just too much uncertainty about the future of the economy going into 2012. There is a mix of political uncertainty in the U.S. and economic uncertainty in Europe. As collectors, we will have to be patient once again and keep seeking the bargains, keeping in mind that buying stamps of the highest quality is usually the best way to form a superior collection.

To help you understand the changes in this year’s catalogue, we have prepared summaries of the Noticeable Price Increases and New Listings. To review them, please click on the following links:

Noticeable Price Increases

New Listings

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