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Stamp Market Commentary

Commentary No. 168 - 17 July, 2013

The 2014 Scott Catalogue

 

Things must be going well in the stamp catalogue business. The cost of the latest Scott catalogue which we acquired in Montreal in May was $130, compared to $105 a year ago. This probably won't mean much to our American friends who presumably pay a lot less than we do in Canada.

There were a fair number of increases in the values of Canada's early stamps. These were found principally amongst the Classics, Large and Small Queens and Jubilees. The Scott editor commented on this:

“The Scott editors took a close look at the classical issues of Canada… A good number of these stamps are surprisingly hard to find in true very fine condition. Because of this, Scott values have tended in the past to lean toward stamps in weak very fine or fine to very fine condition. This has been partly adjusted for in 2014. Most of the changes recorded are based on actual results from past and recent sales of true very fine stamps. Classic stamps of very fine or better grades are the hotspots in Canada collecting at this time"

On the other hand, we noted that prices fell for many of the modern varieties issued between 1969 and 2003. There were 19 price reductions between Scott 503a and 2001d.


Early Canada (Scott 1 - 20)
Among the classics, there were increases for Scott 5a, 10a, 11, 12, 13,13a and 16.


Scott 10a
2014 $30,000
2013 $25,000

Scott 13
2014 $22,500
2013 $20,000

Scott 16
2014 $15,000
2013 $12,500

 

Large Queens (Scott 21 - 33)
Almost all values increased. Here are some of them:

Scott 22
2014 $900
2013 $800

Scott 25a
2014 $5,250
2013 $4,750

Scott 26
2014 $2,000
2013 $1,750

Scott 26b
2014 $16,000
2013 $12,000

Scott 30c
2014 $5,250
2013 $4,750

Scott 30d
2014 $25,000
2013 $22,500

 

Small Queens (Scott 34 - 47)
There were many increases in this set, including some that were quite substantial.

Scott 34a
2014 $750
2013 $600
Scott 35d
2014 $500
2013 $375
Scott 40
2014 $1,750
2013 $1,100

Scott 40a
2014 $2,000
2013 $1,150
Scott 44a
2014 $425
2013 $350
Scott 45
2014 $725
2013 $625


Jubilees (Scott 50 - 65)
The only increases were for NH copies of the dollar values.

Scott 63
2014 $4,000
2013 $3,750

Scott 65
2014 $4,250
2013 $3,900

 

Maple Leafs (Scott 66 – 73)
Only one increase.

Scott 73
2014 $1,400
2013 $1,250

 

Numerals (Scott 74 – 88)
Only one increase.

Scott 74
2014 $20
2013 $18

 

Edward VII (Scott 89 – 95)
Increases for Scott 94 and 95.

Scott 94
2014 $1,750
2013 $1,700

Scott 95
2014 $2,250
2013 $2,100

 

Quebec Tercentenary (Scott 96 – 103)
No increases in this set.


Admirals (Scott 104 – 134)
There were small increases in Scott 104, 111, 116 and 130b.

Scott 104
2014 $55
2013 $50


Scott 111
2014 $400
2013 $375

Scott 116
2014 $675
2013 $650

 

Scroll, Arch, Pictorial and War sets (Scott 149 – 267)
No changes of note.

 

Modern (Scott 268 – 2497)
There were no increases of note. Quite the contrary, we counted 19 decreases amongst the modern varieties, including these three:

Imperforate Pair
Red Omitted

Scott 549a
2014 $1,100
2013 $1,200

Scott 716c
2014 $1,150
2013 $1,250

Gold Omitted

Scott 1883a
2014 $1,400
2013 $1,600

These varieties were issued between 1969 and 2003. We have not seen a broad decrease in a group of varieties like this in the long time. But it clearly reflects the market and so should not be surprising.

Back of the Book
We found no changes in this area. This is a bit surprising as prices for Airmails, Special Delivery, Registered and War Tax stamps have been consistently strong in recent years.


New Listings

We noted only 3 new listings this year which is also surprising as we seem to have noticed a good number more. The new ones are Scott 723Ac, 791a and 1933a.

Conclusion
A year ago, we referred to the uncertainties in the world economy and stock markets. Much seems to have improved since then. We noted that the demand for very fine early Canadian stamps was continuing and this is certainly reflected in this year's changes.

If anything characterizes the recent catalogue changes and the market in general, it is that the price increases are restricted to stamps issued before 1940 in very fine condition.

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