Over the years, I’ve enjoyed a number of great philatelic finds.
One of my favourite discoveries happened while doing a mail out. I discovered three complete booklets of the 46-cent kite stamp printed on the “gum side.” The full BK221c booklet catalogues in Unitrade for $750.00. I have just one of these items left.
Then in early 2015, I came across the only untagged mint copies of the Famous Canadian series (Scott 738-39). After writing about this discovery in Canadian Stamp News, I sold the blank corner block of 12-cent stamps to a Toronto collector for $900 plus tax.
More recently, I unearthed a fresh, beautifully-centred mint F3 registration stamp in an auction lot where I paid only a percentage of the face value for the stamps. This 8-cent stamp issued in 1876 lists at $900.
But from a sheer dollar perspective, nothing beats what I stumbled across in the summer of 2016.
I was asked to sell a collection for someone that had accumulated quite a large number of full panes ranging from the mid-1980s to 2008. As with anything, I always check for varieties. It just turned out that with the very first pane that I examined, I managed to hit the jackpot.
Of all the rare modern varieties, only the 74-cent Wapiti on Roland paper (Scott 1177i) commands a higher price.
What I uncovered was the 1998 45-cent Christmas Angel stamp with the rare perforation variety, 1764b. And I was staring at a full pane of 50 stamps. These stamps were initially purchased from a post office in Lethbridge. The four plate blocks catalogue at $2,500 a piece and the individual stamps list for $500 each. So the total catalogue value of the entire pane is $27,000.
Of course, there’s a discrepancy between catalogue value and actual market value. But this still amounts to my single greatest monetary find ever.
The pricing on the Internet is also somewhat encouraging. I’m finding the discount off catalogue is the greatest with a full pane being offered on e-Bay for just under 40 per cent of the list price. Then the plate blocks from several different sources are being offered for upwards of about 60 per cent of catalogue. Finally, many of the single stamps are being offered for as much as 90 per cent catalogue on various sites.
Evidently, these stamps seem to be holding their value rather nicely. The only downside is that the pool of collectors willing to dish out that kind of cash for stamps is decidedly small.
President of the Calgary Philatelic Society from 2012-14, Peter Fleck lives near the CPR line in Red Deer County where he operates a small stamp business called Railside Philatelic Services. He can be reached at 403-348-9916 or by writing [email protected].