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Stamp Market Commentary

Commentary No. 95 - 17 May, 2007

Canada’s Early One Cent Stamps

Canada produced billions of one cent stamps between 1868 and 1925. However, until recently, not much attention was paid to them. Every young collector had buckets of them. But unfortunately most were hinged, damaged or off centre. Hidden away here and there, however, were singles and blocks that were well centered, never hinged and beautifully clean to the eye. But because they seemed to be so common and, with the exception of the one cent stamps in the Large Queen set, their values were so low, no one seemed to care.

This all changed in recent years as collectors’ attention began to refocus from the high value stamps in each set to the medium values and ultimately to the lowest values. This resulted from the recognition of how truly rare all values were that were in excellent condition.

The examples that follow are some of the finest one cent stamps in each of the early sets. Their existence may persuade collectors to revisit their collections and make sure they haven’t overlooked some treasures they may already own.

Large Queens

Shreves Philatelic Galleries
Sept. 30, 2006

1¢ brown red
Scott 22
Catalogue $525
Realized $2,016

Charles G. Firby
Jan. 24, 2004

1¢ yellow orange
Scott 23
Catalogue $1,150
Realized $5,568

Small Queens

Charles G. Firby
Jan. 12, 2002

1¢ yellow
Scott 35
Catalogue $40
Realized $797

Eastern Auctions
Nov 4, 2006

1¢ orange
Scott 35d
Catalogue $200
Realized $1,300


Shreves Philatelic Galleries
Sept. 30, 2006

1¢ orange
Scott 51
Catalogue $50
Realized $244

Eastern Auctions
Sept. 21, 1996

1¢ yellow orange
Unitrade 51i
Catalogue $90
Realized $280

Maple Leaf

Shreves Philatelic Galleries
Sept. 30, 2006

1¢ blue green
Scott 67
Catalogue $57
Realized $280


Shreves Philatelic Galleries
April 12, 2007

1¢ gray green
Scott 75
Catalogue $45
Realized $458

Edward VII

R. Maresch & Son
Feb. 28, 2006

1¢ green
Scott 89
Catalogue $50
Realized $280

Quebec Tercentenary

Shreves Philatelic Galleries
Oct. 27, 2006

1¢ blue green
Scott 97
Catalogue $35
Realized $224


Shreves Philatelic Galleries
Sept. 30, 2006

1¢ Green
Scott 104
Catalogue $32
Realized $257

Matthew Bennett
Feb. 21, 2007

1¢ green re-entry
Unitrade 104vii
Catalogue $2250
Realized $2436

Shreves Philatelic Galleries
Sept. 30, 2006

1¢ orange yellow
Scott 105
Catalogue $32
Realized $269

Matthew Bennett
May 30, 2006

1¢ chrome yellow
Catalogue $60
Realized $319

It’s quite amazing to see how well these low value stamps have done. The high prices seem to be drawing more and more of them out into the market. On occasion we still see them included in sales of sets or collections and it makes us wonder what they could achieve if only they were offered on their own.

Now, if this is happening with the lowly one cent stamps, you can just imagine what’s happening with the early two cent stamps !

It also makes us wonder how many collectors are putting away well centered modern one cent stamps today with an eye to values 100 years from now?

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©2007, Canadian Stamp Auctions Ltd., Montréal, Québec, Canada