By Donna Houseman
More than 20,000 value changes appear in Volume 2 of the 2017 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue.
A total of 5,806 value changes occurred in Canada, 44 of which were sprinkled throughout the provinces. Trends this year are similar to those of last year.
The first trend is that the market for classic and high-grade Canada and Provinces stamps remains quite strong. True very fine examples of these early stamps are very elusive, and values remain steady, even though the value of the Canadian dollar has further weakened against the United States dollar.
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The second continuing trend is the weak Canadian dollar, valued at only 73¢ in U.S. currency in early 2016.
The result is that from Scott 900 to current issues (about 2,000 Scott numbers), almost all stamps, unused and used, have dropped in value somewhat. Last year, the Canadian dollar was valued at 80¢ U.S.
A few modern issues bucked the trend of small decreases in catalog values. One example is No. 2366c, the 2010 Olympics issue souvenir sheet with gold overprint, which jumped to $12 both mint and used, from only $4 in the 2016 Vol. 2.
In the Provinces, Newfoundland Scott J3b, the rare perf 9 version of the 3¢ postage due stamp, moved sharply upward to $3,750 unused, from $2,750 last year.
A total of 2,629 value changes were made in Denmark, which received a thorough review for the 2017 Vol. 2.
The market for Danish stamps remains strong for the most part. Several increases occurred from 1902 on. Some of the increases are significant.
The never-hinged set value for the 1905-17 (Scott 57-64) showing three wavy lines increased from $240 to $310.
The 1912 5-krone dark red General Post Office, Copenhagen, stamp (Scott 82) rose from $425 unused to $500 and from $175 used to $200. The never-hinged value went from $1,300 to $1,500.
Classic France received a thorough review this year. An overall weakening of the French market resulted in mostly decreases among the 544 value changes.
France No. 1 dropped from $1,800 unused and $250 used to $1,700 unused and $240 used. The values of the 10-centime pale bister on yellow paper (Scott 10) of the President Louis Napoleon issue plummeted, from $39,000 unused to $34,500. The used value fell from $575 used to $500.
Ceylon saw 168 value changes in the classic period, from 1857 to 1941. Most of these changes were increases. The 1859 4-penny rose (Scott 5) jumped from $70,000 unused to $75,000 and from $4,500 used to $5,250.
The 89 value changes in China show substantial decreases. The 1882 1-candareen green of 1882 (Scott 4) dropped from $775 unused and $425 used to $650 unused and $375 used. The 3c brown red (5) slid from $1,350 unused and $400 used to $1,200 unused and $350 used. The 5c orange yellow (6) went from $1,750 used to $1,400. The unused value of $25,000 for No. 6 remained unchanged.
Similar declines are found in Republic of China (Taiwan).
People’s Republic of China received a line-by-line review up to the ever-popular 8-fen Monkey stamp (Scott 1586) issued in 1980 to celebrate Chinese New Year and the Year of the Monkey. This stamp saw a slight decline in value, going from $1,875 mint, never hinged to $1,800. The value for a used stamp remains at $550.
The decline in this stamp is the tip of the iceberg for decreases in values for People’s Republic of China stamps. Massive decreases are seen throughout, reflecting a weakening in the Chinese market and substantially lower realizations at auctions.
Christmas Island received a listing-by-listing review. The 757 changes reflect a mostly downward movement throughout.
The 1990 World Wildlife Fund sheet of three (Scott 274) falls from $12 both mint, never hinged, and used to $8.25 both ways. The mint and used values for any 41¢ single drop from $4 each to $2.50 each. Similarly the sheet overprinted in purple drops from $20 mint and used to $13.50, and the sheet overprinted in green falls from $35 mint and used to $17.50.
Chile saw 205 changes scattered throughout. The changes are mostly increases. The 1999 170-peso booklet pane of 10, mint, never hinged (Scott 1310a), increases from $9.50 to $10, while the complete booklet jumps from $10 to $11. Scott 1310b, the booklet pane of five for this issue, increases from $5 to $5.50, and the complete booklet goes from $5.50 to $6.
The 94 value changes scattered throughout Costa Rica show mostly increases. The 1988 Summer Olympics, Seoul, stamps show an increase for the pair of the two (Scott 405a), to $50 both mint, never hinged, and used, from the 2016 Vol. 2 value of $4 both ways.
Several decreases also are found among Crete stamps. Scott 1, the 1898 20-para violet, was lowered from $450 unused to $400, and from $250 used to $225. The 2-metallik rose of 1899, issued for the Russian sphere of the administration district of Retymnon, dropped from $350 unused and $300 used to $300 unused and $225 used.
Danzig also received a full line-by-line review for a total of 337 changes. The results were more increases than decreases. The 50-pfennig Danzig Philatelic Exhibition souvenir sheet (Scott 221) rose from $3.25 unused to $4, but the used value of $21 was lowered to $20. The double surcharge variety (Scott C1a) rose from $125 unused to $160.
A thorough vetting of Ecuador resulted in 1,013 changes with few increases from 1940 to 1990.
A review of Finland and Aland resulted in 3,107 and 503 changes, respectively. These changes were less a reflection of the market and more a result of increasing values to reflect the grade of very fine on which Scott catalog values are based.
On the editorial front for Canada, new listings for imperf and part-perf stamps have been added in Prince Edward Island as Nos. 6g and 6h (imperf. gutter pairs) and 9g (horizontal strip of three, imperf between).
In Canada, many new error listings have been added for various imperf coils, stamps printed on the gummed side (including on the extremely scarce No. J31b), stamps with all color missing (Nos. 926Bh and 1194Ch), and others.
An ongoing Scott project is to include listings for complete booklets. The 2016 Volume 2 included the booklets from 1995 to the present. In the 2017 catalog, these booklet listings have been expanded to include the 1992-1994 booklets, Nos. 1403b to 1536A. Expect further expansions in future years.
Various notes and footnotes have been clarified or expanded to further explain complicated listings, and other notes have been screened carefully to ensure accuracy.
As always, we encourage you to pay special attention to the Number Additions, Deletions & Changes in Vol. 2.