Sunday, September 6, 2009
The U.S. 2006 Samuel de Champlain Joint Issue with Canada Souvenir Sheet (Scott # 4074) was released at the Washington 2006 World Philatelic Exhibition, and featured pairs of both the U.S. and Canadian domestic rate stamps (39c and 51c Canadian, respectively). This was the first time that both U.S. stamps and stamps of another country were printed on the same sheet.
The main reason that I believe that the souvenir sheet may be a good long-term investment is that it had a printing quantity of only 300,000- very low for a U.S. issue. It's somewhat useful to compare this printing quantity to that of the 1926 Battle of White Plains Souvenir Sheet (Scott #630), which had a printing of about 100,000, and has a Scott '09 Catalog Value of $ 375.00 for unused, and $ 600.00 for Never Hinged, although there is an important difference. The Champlain souvenir sheet's large size is unattractively unwieldy, and it's inclusion of both U.S. and Candian stamps means that it is less likely to be broken up for postage. Consequently, a high proportion will probably survive in the years to come. Many of the '26 White Plains sheets were broken up and used for postage.
On the positive side: the sheet has a Scott '09 Catalog Value of $ 4.25, and can still be purchased for slightly over its face value of about $2, so the risk is of loss is very low. Also, the issue is of interest to collectors of both U.S. and Canada, as well as Ship topical collectors. Accumulating a hoard of these sheets might be an interesting speculative play, and given the low printing quantity, it might rise rapidly if it begins to appear on advertised buy lists.