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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Stamp Investment Tip: Canada 1949-50 Officials (Scott O1-10)

In 1949 and '50, Canada issued its first set of Official stamps (Scott #O1-10), by overprinting a portion of its 1942-43 George VI definitives and 1946 Scenes set "O.H.M.S.." The key stamps in the set, the 50c Dark Blue Green and the $1 Red Violet (Scott O9 and 10), had printings of only 30,000 and 65,000, respectively. Scott '10 values the complete set unused at $ 310.50 , and #O9 at $ 200.-. #O9 is often sold alone, and is sometimes available in blocks of 4.

I believe that the undervaluation of this set is due to its being overlooked as a back-of-book issue. Many of the sets were used as postage by government offices, and it would not surprise me if fewer than 10,000 #O9s in F-VF or better, NH condition remain. The 50c and $ 1 "No period after 'S' " overprint varieties (Scott #O9a and O10a; Scott '10 as unused $ 600.- and $ 2,250.-, respectively ) are also worthwhile, but should be purchased conditional on expertization.

Interest in stamp collecting in Canada is much stronger than it is in the U.S., and I favor better B.N.A. stamps for investment, especially if they had modest printings and have been unjustifiably overlooked thusfar.

With a population of about 31 million, Canada is one of the world's wealthiest countries, and one of the world's top ten trading nations. GDP growth has averaged 2.2% over the past five years, which takes into account the 0% growth of 2009 due to the global financial crisis. Canada's population is expected to age significantly over the next decades, thereby bolstering its population of serious collectors. Canadians over 60 are projected to increase from 16.7% of the population in 2000 to 27.9% in 2025, and 30.5% in 2050. Consequently, in the future, many more Canadians will be spending time working on their stamp collections on cold winter days.

Announcement: Those readers who are on Facebook are welcome to join the newly created "StampSelectors" group, which will focus on philatelic investment and the stamp market. To get to it, simply search under "StampSelectors."

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