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Stamp Market Commentary

Commentary No. 148 - 17 October, 2011

Scott 31 Mint

Where Are These Rare Stamps Today ?

As most collectors of Large Queen stamps know, copies of the stamps on “laid paper” are rare, particularly mint copies. Unitrade estimates that there are fewer than 10 unused copies each of the 1¢ and 3¢ stamps. There are no unused copies known of the 2¢ stamp, only two used copies.

Since 1973, when we began keeping records of stamps sold at auction, we have only recorded the sale of four 1¢ mint and four 3¢ mint stamps. In all this time, there has been no sale of the 2¢ used at auction to the best of our knowledge. Any such sales have taken place privately.

The last sale of a mint Scott 31, the 1¢ on laid paper, took place in 1996. In the 15 subsequent years, we recorded no further sale. Where they are at present is a mystery!

For the record, we present below the four copies that are found in our research files

Four known copies of Scott 31 mint:

J. N. Sissons
Nov. 1, 1973

Lot 281
Catalogue $2,500
Realized $2,400

Description: Well centered, some perfs short at left, crease UR corner, R.P.S. certificate states “S.G.55a 1¢ Laid unused without gum, genuine”

R. Maresch & Son
Oct 23, 1986

Lot 74
Catalogue $7,500
Realized $8,250

Description: Rich colour,o.g., One of the gems of the Dale-Lichtenstein collection, probably the finest mint copy existing with 1971 Philatelic Foundation certificate.
(Note...the above image is taken from the Dale-Lichtenstein sale in 1970. This stamp was lot 697 in the sale by H. R. Harmer in NY and sold at that time for $2,300 US.)


R. Maresch & Son
Oct 23, 1986

Lot 75
Catalogue $7,500
Realized $6,000

Description: Fresh, unused, rich colour,v.f., unusually well centered for this great variety, with 1958 Philatelic Foundation certificate.

R. Maresch & Son
May 14 1996

Lot 628
Catalogue $10,000
Realized $3,750

Description: fresh unused, a great rarity, with tiny faults and the 1971 Royal certificate that does not mention them, fine, showpiece. (This copy looks remarkably like lot 281 in the 1973 Sissons’ sale above....and if so, this means that we have only recorded 3 mint copies and not 4)

It must be very difficult for the stamp catalogue experts to try to judge the value of these stamps which trade so seldom. Here is how our Unitrade has managed its valuation of Scott 31:

Scott 31 mint
Unitrade catalogue values



Interestingly, in 1998, Unitrade valued Scott 32, the 2¢ Large Queen on laid paper, at $250,000. 13 years later, in 2011, it still values the stamp at $250,000. Like we said, it must be very hard to estimate a value for stamps that don’t appear at auction.

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