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)
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:
2¢ Large Queen on laid paper
12p black on cover
12p black mint
6d bisect cover
3p bisect cover
6d bisect cover
6p bisect cover
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½¢ Large Queen, watermarked
6¢ Large Queen - double print
6p bisect cover
5¢ Seaway invert on cover
2¢ Edward VII - Tête beche
$1 Library - inscription inverted
15¢ Large Queen - Script watermark
1¢ Large Queen on laid paper
10¢ red lilac - imperforate pair
3¢ Large Queen on laid paper
2¢ Carmine - Tête beche
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
©2005, Canadian Stamp Auctions Ltd., Montréal, Québec, Canada