Canadian Stamp Auctions

Stamp market commentary

Commentary No. 28 - 17 December, 2001

The New 2002 Unitrade Catalogue

Wow! It was well worth the wait! The new 2002 Unitrade Specialised Catalogue of Canadian Stamps arrived at dealers in the second half of November as anticipated. What was not anticipated, however, was the number of improvements that had been made in the layout. They are both excellent and very impressive.

The new edition is published in the larger format adopted over the past few years by several of the action houses. It uses the spiral binding introduced last spring by Eastern Auctions that makes it easier to read the pages on a flat surface. These positive changes, together with the use of larger print and larger illustrations make the reading of the catalogue immeasurably more enjoyable.

There are a number of other improvements that will please our viewers. Much effort has gone into the organisation and presentation of the difficult-to-understand stamp varieties on a consistent basis year by year together with providing larger images of those varieties. Clearer presentation has been made of many of the shades, earlier varieties, rotary vs. flat printing and wet vs. dry printing varieties.

Collectors will now be challenged more than ever to learn about the Canadian paper and printing distinctions in both our early and modern stamp varieties. Failure to do this will leave many collectors frustrated by their lack of knowledge. On one hand, they may be taken advantage of when selling their stamps to a more knowledgeable buyer while, on the other, they may wonder why their bids are so far of the mark when buying at auction. Canada is not unique in this. American collectors have long had to study the many paper and grill varieties in their earlier sets. The smallest variation in the paper or grill design could result in a difference of hundreds or even thousands of dollars in a stamp's value.

Price increases:
Unitrade introduced many price changes in its new catalogue. Virtually all of them are increases. The most significant are found in early Canada, the Small Queens, the Jubilees, Edward VII, Quebec Tercentenaries and the Arch sets. In modern Canada, there are also a number of interesting price increases, but they are scattered.

Here are a few examples of noteworthy increases in the 2002 catalogue:

Scott No. 1
2000 Value $1,400
2002 Value $1,600

Scott No. 2
2000 Value $2,000
2002 Value $2,500

Scott No. 42a
2000 Value $750
2002 Value $900

Scott No. 91
2000 Value $185
2002 Value $250

Scott No. 94
2000 Value $750
2002 Value $900

Scott No. 586d
2000 Value $475
2002 Value $900

Scott No. 1370a
2000 Value $6
2002 Value $12

A good summary of the more significant changes can be found by clicking on the "Price Trends - More Noticeable Increases" button below.

New Varieties:
Unitrade continues to expand its catalogue by adding new varieties. The largest ones include printing errors, newly discovered imperforates, stamps printed on the gum side, hibright papers and mini sheets. Three of the more unusual new varieties are:

Unissued Varieties 

Scott No. 1534i
Catalogue Value $200

Scott No. 1535i
Catalogue Value $500


Miscut die Variety - PetroCanada Stamp

Regular Stamp 

Scott No. 1867
Catalogue Value $1.25

Inverted Die 

Scott No. 1867i
Catalogue Value $10

The first two have appeared at a number of Eastern Auction sales during the past year and represent stamps Canada Post intended to use in anticipation of a rate increase, but later withdrew when increases were not approved. The next examples are the two varieties of the PetroCanada stamp issued in 2000. The story on these stamps was detailed in our Commentary Number 17 in which we described how the dies on a very small portion of the stamps were inadvertently inserted backwards in the presses. This apparent error took place when preparing these particular stamps for inclusion in Canada Post's quarterly Collector's Pack, issued in October, 2000 as well as in the Canada Post's Annual Collection for 2000.

For a more detailed look at all of the new varieties that appear in the new catalogue, please click on the New Varieties button below.
Noticeable Price Increases

As always, we welcome your comments. Please drop us a note at

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©2001, Canadian Stamp Auctions Ltd., Montréal, Québec, Canada