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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Stamp Investment Tip: Canada 1926 Provisional Surcharges (Scott #139-40)

In July of 1926, Canada reduced its domestic postal rate from 3c to 2c per ounce or fraction thereof, and the rate on letters to the United Kingdom and the British Empire from 4¢ to 3¢. At this time, the post office had in stock almost 130 million of the 3¢ Carmine Admiral stamps- enough to last for 25 years. A decision was made to surcharge the 3¢ Carmine by adding the overprint "2 cents" and to use the surcharged stamps to help meet the expected demand for 2c stamps. Two types of surcharged stamps were issued: single- and double-line (Scott #139 and 140), of which 50,000 and 103,500 were issued, respectively. Scott '10 values #139 at $ 60.00 for unused ($100.- for NH) and #140 at $ 30.- ($50.- for NH).

As an investment, I prefer #139, although it should be noted that there are also scarce surcharge varieties of both stamps, all of which are good. As with all overprints, there is the risk of fakery, necessitating expertization. While the surcharge varieties are all pricey enough to make expertization practical, #139 is not, unless, of course, it is purchased and submitted as a multiple, preferably as a block of 4 or more stamps.

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.

Those readers who are on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Ebay are welcome to join the newly created "StampSelectors" groups, which will focus on philatelic investment and the stamp market. To get to them, simply search "Groups" under "StampSelectors."

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