Showing posts from January, 2016

The Value Provided By Stamp Dealers Part Two and "Market Value"

Before I get into writing about the 1908 Quebec Tercentenary Issue, I wanted to share some thoughts about dealers, market values and some problem areas in Canadian philately that I am noticing these days. A couple of months ago, I wrote a post about the many ways that I feel stamp dealers provide value to the hobby. Since I wrote that post, I have encountered quite a lot of anti-dealer sentiment on Facebook groups and Facebook itself. The general tone of this sentiment is that the collectors feel that we are nothing more than greedy middlemen who drive the price of stamps up beyond what they are really worth. Their evidence to support this is threefold: 1. The latest deal they made with Mr. Fellowcollector half way around the world for the following stamp: The stamp of course is the 1908 Quebec Tercentenary Issue and has a catalogue price of $100 for fine. Well the collector has just purchased this one from Mr. Fellowcollector for $30, which shows that us dealers who are se

Proof Material and Plate Multiples of the 1903-1911 King Edward VII Issue

This is my last post dealing with this fascinating first issue of the 20th century. However, the last two aspects that I am going to talk about today are some of the most challenging for even the most advanced collectors of this issue: the proofs, essays and plate multiples. Proofs and Essays This issue has one of the more extensive lists of proof material that I have seen on a BNA issue, and the BNA proofs website does an excellent job of listing and pricing them all. I am not going to re-produce all of their work here, but rather I will summarize it and give you the link to their page, where you can check out their listings for yourself: As is the case for most proof material, there are only between 1 and 4 reported examples of nearly everything listed on the BNA proofs website and nearly all of the 56 separate items listed sell for upwards of $2,000 each. There are a few proofs that are listed for between $300-$500, but b

Collecting the Postal Stationery and Postal History of the 1903-1911 King Edward VII Issue

Overview The postal history of this issue, as with most issues provides many challenges for the dedicated philatelist, and can occupy as little or as much of your time as you wish to devote to it. One aspect to this issue that makes if different from the earlier Victorian issues is that it is the first period in Canadian philately to feature: fancy postcards postage due stamps for short-paid mail There are many ways that you can approach collecting the postal history of this issue: You can specialize in a type of postal history, such as just postal stationery, just covers of a particular rate, advertising covers only, hotel covers only, etc.  You can specialize in the postal history of a particular value of the series, such as all uses of the 5c for example.  You can specialize in short-paid mail from the period and so can look at mixed frankings with the first postage due issue, as well as shortpaid mail rated by hand and not franked with postage due stamps.  You can

Pitfalls in Collecting the 1903-1911 King Edward VII Issue

Today's post will address some of the problem areas that you will likely encounter as you collect this issue. The problems fall into three general areas: 1. Fakery designed to fool you into overpaying for cheap items as expensive ones. 2. Repairs or enhancements made for the same purpose. 3. Condition problems that may not be immediately apparent to someone with less experience. A quick look at the Unitrade catalogue reveals that the relationship between condition and price is extremely steep for this issue - much more so than other issues, where the price differential between grades is 2:1, i.e. for a stamp valued at $100 for VF, F is generally $50, VG is $25 and so on. But with this issue, not only are the NH premiums 250%, the price differential between fine and very fine is as high as 5:1, and on most values it is 3:1, with a similar sharp drop when going from fine to very good. So as we shall see, the main problems concern gum and centering, and problems that the novic

The Imperforates, Experimental Coil Stamps and Booklets of the 1903-1911 King Edward VII Issue

In this post I wish to deal with three more aspects of the Edward VII that contain some very rarely seen material that will challenge a specialist of this issue for decades to come. One of those aspects is the experimental coil stamps. This was the first issue to feature such experimental material, with the first regularly issued coil stamps appearing in 1913 with the Admiral Issue. It has been suggested in a 1953 BNAPS journal that it was the experimentation with the 2c coils that led ultimately to the production of the 2c imperforate stamps that were issued to the public. Most experienced collectors are already familiar with the fact that the 2c comes in an imperforate pair that is not particularly expensive and can be readily obtained in either mint or used condition. However, in the past several years, Unitrade has begun to list other versions of the 2c imperforate that were not issued to the public, and consequently are quite rare and expensive. Finally, this is the second iss