Snail mail seems to be an endangered or even an extinct species nowadays. With the convenience of communicating online or through mobile phones, people seem to have forgotten about the art of letter writing. Well, we can’t really blame them. With the instantaneous communication provided by e-mails, it is really not surprising that people rarely write and send snail mail.
However, we cannot totally take snail mail for granted. The stamps that you attach to these letters can still be very valuable. In Canada for instance, some rare and one of a kind stamps still remain highly expensive. Philatelic experts have identified some of the most expensive stamps in the country. Read on to find out more about these stamps.
7 St. Lawrence Seaway Invert, $16,000
The St. Lawrence Seaway Invert, also known as the Inverted Seaway of 1959 stamp, is probably one of the best known errors in the history of Canadian stamps. It features the St. Lawrence Seaway with an inverted center. It was created from a messed up run in the production wherein the opening of the bi-national St. Lawrence Seaway shipping route was celebrated on a limited number of five cent stamps which sported an inverted image of an entwined Canadian maple leaf and an American eagle.
The St. Lawrence Seaway Invert stamp is popular. Note, however, that it is not absolutely rare, as compared to the other expensive Canadian stamps. Reports say that more than 200 copies of the stamp are with private owners. It still remains valuable at $16,000 for a mint single.
6 1982 30-cent Christmas Fold-Over, $30,000
The 1982 30-cent Christmas Fold-Over stamp is probably one of the most amazing modern errors in the history of Canadian philately. While the stamp was in between printing of different colors, the paper was folded thereby causing the error. Despite the mistake, the stamp is estimated to have a value of $30,000 and it resides in a major collection in the United States.
5 1927 London to London Flight, $50,000 to $125,000
The 1927 London to London Flight stamp was a 25-cent stamp printed in green and yellow. Only 100 copies of the stamp were printed. While the stamps were being transported, an unfortunate incident happened. The plane carrying the stamps and which was flown by Capt. Terence Tulley and Lt. James Medcalf crashed into the Atlantic Ocean sometime in August of 1927.
Out of the 100 copies of the 1927 London to London Flight stamps that were printed, 86 were lost at sea because of the plane crash. One cover of the stamp which missed the flight and the remaining 13 unused singles are known to exist. The rarity of these stamps is manifested in their value with the mint stamps amounting to about $50,000 to $100,000 per piece. On the other hand, the unique cover was last sold for $125,000 about a decade ago.
4 8-cent Registration sheet of 50, $200,000
In 1988, the 8-cent Registration sheet of 50 stamps was given the value of $60,000. Reports say that there is only one remaining sheet of this highly popular stamp. Currently, it is estimated to have more than tripled its value from 1988 at around $200,000.
3 2-cent Large Queen showing the entire watermark, $250,000
There is a mint block of 18 of the 2-cent Large Queen stamp which showcases the entire watermark. It is truly one of the most important pieces in the history of Canadian stamps. This mint block of 18 of the 2-cent Large Queen stamp has an estimated value today of more than $250,000.
2 2-cent Large Queen, $250,000 to $1 million
The 2-cent Large Queen stamp was printed on laid paper in 1868. It features a green colored profile of Queen Victoria. It was printed on a rough and old fashioned paper. This makes the stamp rare compared to thousands of other versions of such stamp which were printed on a paper with smoother wove surface.
In November 1997, this 2-cent Large Queen stamp was sold for over $200,000. The lucky buyer was the owner of the finest collection of Canadian stamps. Reports say that a couple of years ago, this owner turned down an offer to buy the stamp for a whopping $500,000.
Currently, the 2-cent Large Queen stamp is valued at around $250,000 but philatelic experts say that if it were to come up for auction, this highly rare stamp can even be sold for up to $1 million. If this happens, it would easily trump the all-time record of a Canadian stamp sold at $300,000 in an auction in the United States in 2009 for an unused 1851 12-penny Black stamp.
1 12d Black Queen Victoria, $300,000
The 12d Black Queen Victoria, also called the 12 Pence Black stamp, was issued way back in 1851 or the first year when Canadian stamps were produced. It features a portrait of the young Queen Victoria and it is one of the most famous stamps in the world.
The 12d Black Queen Victoria stamp is highly rare and precious. A very fine mint example with full gum is estimated to cost around $300,000. On February 23 of this year, one 12d Black Queen Victoria stamp was sold for $224,250 at the Eastern Auctions sale in Halifax. In 2011, it was reported that a brand new copy of this stamp was auctioned off in New York in the United States for USD488,900.
All in all, there were 51,000 copies of the 12d Black Queen Victoria stamp that were printed. However, due to its high denomination, only 1,450 copies of the stamp were sold. Not realizing how valuable these stamps could be in the future, the remaining 49,550 copies of the stamp that were unsold were taken off the market and destroyed in 1857. There are allegedly 100 to 150 pieces of the 12d Black Queen Victoria stamp existing in the market today. However, these reports are unverified and are mere speculations.
If all Canadian stamps were to be ranked by dollar value, the top eight would probably all be 12d Black Queen Victoria stamps with their covers and multiples.