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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Stamp Market Commentary


Commentary No. 71 - 17 May, 2005

Canada’s 20 most valuable stamps

There can be a big difference between stamps that are rare and stamps that are valuable. Collectors often assume that the rarest stamps are also the most valuable, but this is not the case. The following Canadian stamps, which are all imperforate, are as rare as they come: there is only one known pair of each. While they are clearly valuable, they are nowhere near the top in terms of valuation, as will be seen.


Canada’s Rarest Stamps
(Only 1 Pair of Each Exists)


Unitrade 26b
Catalogue $15,000

Unitrade 39c
Catalogue $3,500

Unitrade F1c
Catalogue $4,000

We don’t understand why the catalogue values for the above stamps are so low, relatively speaking, and why collectors aren’t willing to pay more to buy them. Of course, one of the problems for collectors is that these stamps very seldom come to auction. But this is no excuse as it is also true that most of our valuable stamps seldom come to auction. So it seems that collectors in general are attracted to certain rare stamps and not to others and we just have to accept this.

For Canada’s most valuable stamps, this sense of attraction takes place not only in Canada but elsewhere as well. For example, when very valuable Canadian stamps sell at auction, it is not unusual for them to be purchased by collectors in other countries. Like Canadian collectors, those individuals seem to focus on certain stamps, to the exclusion of others such as the above. Thus, in auctions in Canada and in other countries, some rare stamps are recognized as worthy of serious collectors to pursue and others aren’t. That’s just the way it goes!

But this article is about Canada’s most valuable stamps. Here is our list of 20 of our most valuable stamps, based on the values shown in the 2005 Unitrade Catalogue:


Unitrade 32
2¢ Large Queen on laid paper

$ 250,000

Unitrade 3
12p black on cover

$200,000

Unitrade 3
12p black mint

$120,000
Unitrade 2a
6d bisect cover

$40,000

Unitrade 4b
3p bisect cover

$40,000

Unitrade 10a
6d bisect cover

$ 30,000
Unitrade 1
3p mint

$ 25,000

Unitrade 2
6p mint

$ 25,000
Unitrade 13b
6p bisect cover
Sorry, we couldn't find an image to show you!
$ 25,000

Unitrade 21b
½
¢ Large Queen, watermarked

$ 25,000

Unitrade 27iv
6
¢ Large Queen - double print

$ 25,000

Unitrade 5c
6p bisect cover

$ 22,000

Unitrade 387a
5
¢ Seaway invert on cover

$ 20,000

Unitrade 90c
2¢
Edward VII - Tête beche

$ 20,000
Unitrade 1181a
$1 Library - inscription inverted

$ 16,500

Unitrade 30d
15
¢ Large Queen - Script watermark

$ 16,500
Unitrade 31
1
¢ Large Queen on laid paper

$ 16,500

Unitrade 17c
10
¢ red lilac - imperforate pair

$ 15,000

Unitrade 33
3
¢ Large Queen on laid paper

$ 15,000

Unitrade 77e
2
¢ Carmine - Tête beche

$15,000

 

Sources of Stamp Images
Rarest Stamps
Stamp
Auctioneer
Date of Auction
Lot
Comments
26b
Maresch
Oct 23 1986
94
Ex Julian Smith
39c
Maresch
Mar 19 1996
230
Ex Bill Simpson
F1c
Lee
Oct 25 2003
28
Ex Dale, Lussey
 
Most Valuable
32
Brigham
Private Collection
3 cover
Siegel
Apr 23 1986
14
3
Spink
Oct 16 2002
575
2a piece
Howes
Canada's Postage Stamps
P.6
Image 87
4b
Christie's
Mar 19 1993
97
10a
Christie's
Mar 13 1993
100
1
Eastern
Feb 21 2004
476
2
Firby
Jan 24 2004
131
13b
No image available
21b
Lee
Mar 2 2002
4450
27iv
Maresch
Apr 8 1987
820
5c
Firby
Nov 13 1991
486
387a
Eastern
Aug 23 2002
1215
90c
Firby
Jan 24 2004
275
1181a
Eastern
Oct 23 2004
740
30d
Brigham
Apr 10 2002
702
17c
Firby
Mar 18 1992
197
33
Maresch
Jul 17 1977
146
31
Maresch
Oct 23 1986
75 I
77e
Saskatoon
Feb 17 1998
200-098

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©2005, Canadian Stamp Auctions Ltd., Montréal, Québec, Canada