The most valuable Canadian postage stamps are those that are not only old, but quite rare. The value of rare stamps is still climbing and considered to be a wise investment, particularly in difficult economic times. Rare stamps can be either those that are rarely found in collections or "error stamps," those with misprinted images or incorrect labelling that were quickly removed from circulation. Extremely rare stamps are known as "philatelic rarities."
In 1859, the "Connell's Folly" stamp was produced in Canadian colony New Brunswick. It is considered by many collectors to be one of the most valuable stamps in the world, worth at least £65,000 (Canadian), though auction prices can vary. Postmaster General Charles Connell placed his own portrait at the centre of the five-cent stamp, which the public felt was Connell's obvious attempt to further his political ambitions. The stamp was denounced and taken out of circulation, but the controversy increased its value.
The Canadian Bluenose stamp is considered to be not only one of the rarest stamps in the world, but also one of the finest made. The stamp bears a detailed and graceful illustration of the Bluenose, a racing schooner from Nova Scotia. Printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company in 1929, this classic Canadian stamp has an estimated rare stamps value of approximately £455 (Canadian).
The Black Empress
On Jan. 27, 2011, an 1851 Black Empress of Canada stamp was auctioned at Spink Shreves Galleries in New York. Considered one of the rarest stamps in the world, the black and grey 12-pence stamp bears a portrait of Queen Victoria. The stamp was described by the auctioneer as being in such fine condition that it was "unlike any other world-class philatelic rarity in existence." A catalogue value of £195,000 (Canadian) was assigned to the stamp. It sold for £274,482 (Canadian) or £276,250 (U.S.).
Rare vs. Valuable
CanadianStampAuctions.com lists 20 of what it considers the most valuable Canadian stamps. The highest valued (in Canadian dollars) include the 2-cent Large Queen [Victoria] on laid paper, which the Unitrade catalogue lists at £162,500. Another is the 12-pence "black on cover" stamp, valued at £130,000. The 12-pence black mint stamp is valued at £78,000; and the 6d bisect cover and 3-pence bisect cover are both valued at £26,000.