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Stamp market commentary


Commentary No. 44 - 17 February, 2003

New Record Prices Realized in 2002

The trend in new record prices realized at auction in Canada is clearly upwards. This is now the fourth year the trend has been in place. It all began in 1999 as the market started to recover after more than a decade of being in the doldrums.

It is a pleasure for us to choose our favorites from amongst the new records in 2002 and we have selected the two shown below for your attention. It is normally next to impossible to find early Canadian stamps of this caliber. To acquire them takes patience, regular participation at auctions and a big budget. Here then are the two:


Scott 40b
10¢
Charles G. Firby
Catalogue $500
Realised $1914

Scott 86
2
¢ Map
Eastern Auctions
Catalogue $50
Realised $600


   
Number of Record Prices
2000
2001
2002
Early Classics
0
6
5
Large Queens
4
4
1
Small Queens
13
7
10
Jubilees
5
5
1
Maple Leafs
5
4
1
Numerals
9
4
5
Edward VII
3
1
6
Québec Tercentenary
1
1
3
Admirals
10
9
5
Modern Varieties
6
18
26
Back of the Book
7
5
9
Total
63
64
72


What can one can conclude from an analysis of the above figures for the three years?

For one, it is clear that the Small Queens continued to be strong favorites, as are the Back of the Book issues and the Admirals. But the strongest trend is found with the Modern Varieties and the emphasis here must be placed on the word "varieties". Among the early stamps with record prices, one finds mostly regular issue stamps, not varieties. However, with the modern stamps that attract the top prices, it is not the regular issue stamps, but those that are imperforate, those printed on gum or with missing inscriptions. Furthermore, we note in many cases that the prices paid are higher for the modern varieties, usually well over $1000 per stamp.

There are other significant differences. Many of the modern varieties are not perfect stamps. They can be off-center, have slight imperfections and have missing inscriptions. If they are imperforate, their borders are not important indicators of value. With the earlier stamps, it is very different, they must meet all the tests for excellence. That is, they must have perfect centering, clear surfaces, all perforations equal and intact and gum that is without blemish.

One cannot say that one group is better than the other. These beautiful stamps that attract the record prices, whether modern or old, are all rare and much sought-after.

We realize this report only focuses on Canada's outstanding mint stamps. We don't mean to ignore all the other areas of philately where there are also rare examples that attract record prices. There are rare revenue stamps, proofs, essays, beautifully canceled used stamps, postal history and so many others. We hope others out there are tracking these and will provide similar records to collectors as we have for the mint stamps.

So what will 2003 bring in the way of record prices? It could be another banner year. We have already recorded 20 new record prices arising from three sales that took place in January 2003. The future looks interesting indeed!

To see the images of some of the stamps that attracted outstanding prices realized in the year 2002, please click here:

 


To see a full lists of the 72 record prices for 2002, click here:




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©2003, Canadian Stamp Auctions Ltd., Montréal, Québec, Canada