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Stamp market commentary


Commentary No. 57 - 17 March, 2004

Canada's Jubilee Set - The Dream Collection

Canada issued the Jubilee set in 1897 to celebrate the diamond jubilee of the accession of Queen Victoria to the throne. It shows a portrait of the Queen at the time of her accession in 1837 and another in 1897, sixty years later. The first set of these stamps that came off the press was sent to H.R.H. the Duke of York, an enthusiastic stamp collector who later became King George V.

The public received the new stamps with great enthusiasm in 1897. Collectors focused especially on the 1/2¢ and 6¢ stamps because of the low quantities that were printed. The demand for these two became so great that the government restricted their sale and required the public to buy the whole set in order to get them. The resulting buying frenzy continued until all the sets were sold. In September of that year, the printing plates were destroyed.

There was criticism at the time about the inclusion of the $1 to $5 stamps in the set. The highest possible cost to send a parcel through the mail from Canada was $3.59, including registration. It was felt that the post office was issuing the two top values to "make capital" from stamp collectors. In those days, this was a great criticism. Today the post office would be applauded!

We have put together a collection of individual Jubilees that have sold for the top prices in the past ten years. We hope you will enjoy seeing the best. If you are lucky enough to be an owner of one these today, you will see the excellent company of collectors you are part of and will get to know, perhaps for the first time, how much each of you paid to be part of this select group:

½¢

Kimmerly - Lot 622
Feb. 21, 2001
$450


Maresch - Lot 1438
Jan. 18, 2000
$185


Eastern - Lot 1023
August 23, 2002
$210


Maresch - Lot 1448
Jan. 18, 2000
$ 425


Bow City - Lot 2274
Dec. 13, 2000
$325


Maresch - Lot 490
Dec. 11, 2001
$ 775


Maresch - Lot 1269
March 10, 1999
$550
10¢

Eaton - Lot 717
June 16, 1995
$ 577
15¢

Eastern - Lot 712
June 17, 2000
$ 800
20¢

Maresch - Lot 1362
March 5, 1997
$950
50¢

Maresch - Lot 1284
March 10, 1999
$1,200
$1

Maresch - Lot 629
April 3, 2001
$ 2,700
$2

Maresch - Lot 1341
June 30, 1999
$ 4,500
$3

Eastern - Lot 511
Feb. 6, 1999
$4,500
$4

Kimmerly - Lot 448
May 8, 1996
$3,300
$5

Firby - Lot 143
June 28, 2001
$3,420

Here is a helpful summary of the statistics for this set:

Denomination
Scott No.
Quantity
Issued
2004
Scott Value
Top
Price Paid
½¢
50
150,000
$200
$450
1¢
51
8,000,000
$37
$185
2¢
52
2,500,000
$50
$210
3¢
53
20,000,000
$30
$425
5¢
54
750,000
$95
$325
6¢
55
75,000
$450
$775
8¢
56
200,000
$105
$550
10¢
57
150,000
$210
$577
15¢
58
100,000
$450
$800
20¢
59
100,000
$450
$950
50¢
60
100,000
$550
$1,200
$1
61
24,900
$1,550
$2,700
$2
62
25,000
$2,400
$4,500
$3
63
13,500
$2,750
$4,500
$4
64
14,500
$2,750
$3,300
$5
65
15,500
$2,750
$3,420
Total for the Set:
$14,827
$24,867

We have a few observations concerning the above. First, there is no clear correlation between the numbers issued and the prices. Second and this is surprising, of the 16 record prices, 7 of them or 44 % were set before the year 2000. Third, the record price for the 10¢ stamp, set in 1995, has yet to be broken. Fourth, 2 of the record prices were set in the same Maresch auction in 2000 and haven't been bettered since.

This is a popular set that is regularly found in our Canadian stamp auctions. It is well known to collectors and investors in Canada and abroad and for good reason. All the stamps are very attractive and VFNH well-centered copies, which are rare, consistently sell for very solid prices, prices that collectors can count on.


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©2004, Canadian Stamp Auctions Ltd., Montréal, Québec, Canada