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Australia in Depth (Article #96)
Price Trends in Australian Philately
By Simon Dunkerley © 27th February 2005
As published in Stamp News April 2005 Edition

This paper is an updated version of an address given to the Royal Philatelic Society of Victoria at their January 2005 meeting.
Background

With all the research and writing on Australian stamp prices that I have undertaken over the last fifteen years, I am sometimes asked the question

‘Who really worries about stamp prices, and because it is only a hobby, why should I be concerned with them anyway?’

My response has been that in some ways it is a bit like the value of your house. Unless you are actually buying or selling, you probably don’t need to know, however, it is still nice to know. We are inquisitive creatures, and people usually like to know the value of what they have. This is particularly the case when you have put a significant amount of resources into your collection, as many of you will have done.

If your collection is worth enough to warrant being insured, that is a very good reason to know its value. If its value has changed, that may play a role in your decision as to whether you continue to add to it, or to sell it. If you are buying, it is important to have a grasp of where the market is at, and where it may be heading, just as it is if you are selling. As you get on in life, you may wish to sell it if no one else in your family has an interest, or you may wish to make arrangements for what course of action should be taken when the inevitable happens.

These are all important reasons to know stamp values and to use that information wisely.

A second question I am often asked is:

‘Why go to all the trouble of researching prices and creating the price indices, and the extensive tables?’

Firstly, I developed an interest in statistics many years ago and actually enjoy the number crunching involved. Secondly, and more importantly, in the period after the so-called ‘boom’ from 1977 to 1980, the prices in a number of sectors of the market, such as decimals and general pre-decimal stamps dropped significantly, and continue to struggle to this day. It is worth noting that this is the same of many countries, not just Australian stamps.

During the mid to late 1980’s there was a widely held perception that all stamp values had dropped. This perception was very different to the truth, and my goal was to prove this point beyond dispute.

To this end, I divided the market for Australasian stamps into sixteen different categories, and charted the prices of over 3000 items back to 1960, or when they were first listed for items issued after that date, according to their prices in Stanley Gibbons. The categories included the Australian Colonies, Pre-decimal including Kangaroos, KGV and Officials, Decimals and Postage Dues. These were divided further into the general issues and specialist items. In addition there was a separate index, for both Pre-decimal and Decimal Missing colours Similar studies were undertaken for AAT, each of New Guinea’s three periods, the New Zealand ‘Arms’ stamps, Papua and Papua New Guinea. There were also comparisons between mint and used stamps.

This information has been extensively published in Stamp News over the last eight years. It has also been used extensively by well known firm Access Economics in their twice yearly Asset Monitor publication until that ceased production about two years ago. In addition, it has also made the papers across the country, putting stamps into the public arena on numerous occasions.

Introduction

Following on from the detailed reports in this column in the February and March editions of Stamp News on the market and the new prices in the Stanley Gibbons 2005 British Empire catalogue, it is now time to explore some of the trends that are influencing the prices in the market.

In early 1997 I wrote an article titled: ‘Optimists Take Heart, Pessimists Take Note’, commencing with the comment:

‘In the Australian philatelic market, we are currently seeing a ‘quiet’ revolution taking shape. While some sectors of the market are struggling – and for readily identifiable and understandable reasons, other sectors are particularly buoyant and showing continued strength in demand with some quite spectacular price rises’.

At that point of time, there were plenty of pessimists around and perhaps not so many optimists. Negative news was often allowed to be given more weight than I believed it deserved. There were many wrong perceptions being presented, and I hope that I have been able to correct some of these over the years in a way that has been useful.

Since writing the words quoted above, the revolution is no longer quiet. It has been trumpeted loud and clear and has continued unabated. This is particularly the case over the last six years.

As we cover aspects of this we will explore some of the trends that have been influencing prices in Australian philately. This will include some reflection on the past, an examination of the present market, and some pointers towards the future.

Trends that are influencing prices

1 Overview of market trends
2 Market sophistication
3 Rarity
4 Demand
5 Condition
6 Relative price movements
7 The rise of used
8 Interest in multiples
9 Increasing importance of expertising
10 Catalogue prices as a guide only

Overview of market trends

Australian Commonwealth Specialists’ Catalogue (ACSC) ‘Kangaroos and the Early Federal Period, 1901-12’
With the new edition of the ACSC ‘Kangaroos and The Early Federal Period, 1901-12’ catalogue just published a few days ago as I write, it is relevant to quote the catalogue editor Geoff Kellow, from the introduction to the catalogue, as this well describes the market:

‘Since the publication of the Third Edition (1999), the demand for fine and rare material in the Kangaroo and Map issues has been unprecedented. The appearance on the market of several significant long-tern holdings has further stimulated this market, resulting in price levels undreamed of previously. The greatest strength has been in monograms and imprints, essays and proofs, and major printing and perforation errors…The last two years has seen intense activity for certain abnormal watermark varieties, and while the current high prices could be seen to be disproportionate to their philatelic importance, of their rarity there is no question. Also evident for some time now is an increasing demand for fine single stamps, with considerable premiums being paid for perfection’ (page xii).

The ideas covered in this extract from the introduction to the new catalogue will be among those covered in more detail below.

In 1999 many considered the prices for the major items to be very high, yet in today’s market they are only a fraction of the prices regularly achieved, both at auction and in private sales. If you go back further, the price rises are even more startling.

For example, consider some of the results of my early research in summary form:

Index Category (number of mint stamps;
used stamps) Index base value 1960
(or as noted) Index value
1997 Value
Multiplier *
Australian Colonies (210; 214) 100 3109 31.09
Pre decimal basic stamps (171; 149) 100 5131 51.31
Pre Decimal Specialist stamps (29; 23) 100 6981 69.81
Postage Dues (131; 131) 100 15485 154.85
Missing colours (£sd 13; $¢ 50) Mint 100 (1975) 579 5.79
Decimal stamps (basic) mint and used 100 (1975) 657** 6.57**

* The 1960-1997 ‘Accumulated GNE deflator’ (the asset price deflator, or a technical term for a weighted inflation figure that economists use) increased from a value of 12.7 in 1960 to 116.5 in 1997. Accordingly, during this period prices in general across a broad range of areas in the Australian economy multiplied by a factor of 9.17 times. Accordingly, any index above with a ‘value multiplier’ of 9.17 has exactly held its real value and those above 9.17 have increased in real value. This is not relevant for the missing colours and decimals as their index pricing only goes back to 1975. The Postage Dues topped the list at 154.85, across the board for 131 items both in mint and used, representing an increase in real value by an impressive factor of 16.89 times!

** It is also worth considering that the basic Decimal stamps hit a remarkable index value of 2207 in the 1982 Stanley Gibbons catalogue, at a time when the missing colours scored a mere 266! In other words, between 1975 and 1982, the basic decimal stamps went up in catalogue value by more than twenty-two times, and over eight times as much as did the missing colours. Since that time, the factor has been much greater in the other direction. Glancing through old auction catalogues, it is not difficult to find examples of missing colours and other errors that might have cost between $150 and $200 in the late 1970’s or even in 1980 that could now set you back as much as $10,000 if you had the opportunity to buy them. By comparison, a set of decimal Navigators, which peaked at around $250 in mid 1980, is advertised at $25 to $30 and you could probably buy as many sets as you like at $20 each.

The above is a snapshot of some of the details before certain sectors of the market took off around 1998.

Since then:

Various sections of the Australian Colonies have generally risen by about 5-10% per year. Many of the specialised items have more than doubled that rate of increase in most of those years.

The Pre-decimal basic stamps have risen modestly, particularly the Kangaroos and KGV in both mint and used condition. In the KGVI and QEII periods the prices of basic stamps have barely changed.

The Pre-decimal specialist stamps have generally more than tripled in price.

The Postage dues have on average more than doubled in price, with the specialist items well ahead of that.

The Missing colours (not updated every year by Stanley Gibbons since 2002 since their new catalogue format was introduced) have more than doubled in value.

The early Decimal basic stamps have fallen further.
Further on we will look more specifically at how the prices of the kangaroo issues have changed in recent times.

What then are some of the trends leading to these and other changes in price?

Market Sophistication

The publication of the ACSC volumes since 1993 in particular have given collectors and dealers an unprecedented amount of information on the rarity and prices of a wide range of items including stamps, booklets, essays, proofs, monograms, imprints, plate numbers, errors, varieties and a base price for first day covers. This has meant that those who did not have the knowledge of numbers recorded for rare items now have that information and so much more at their finger tips. This has resulted in a new confidence for many in the philatelic market. Watch out for the impact that the latest ACSC catalogue should have on the market for the early Federal period issues, so often in the past considered by many to the poor relation of our philatelic world, or perhaps just not considered at all by many.

As a philatelic community we are extremely fortunate to have the ACSC in its current form as published by Brusden-White. The valuable information contained within the many pages is nothing short of incredible. The only losers are those that have not appreciated this fact yet.

Although there are reference works, the same kind of information is not as readily available for areas such as the Australian Colonies from 1850 to 1900, postal history or stationary generally. There is still a need for research and publication in these and other areas.

Also, with postal history in particular, every item is unique in the sense that it is somehow different. The only true way to measure price changes in areas such as this is to track the historical prices achieved for a specific item or group of items. This is not easy as many covers considered important now were not even illustrated in earlier auction catalogues, and is one of the major reasons why this field has not been included in the price indices in the past.

The advent of the internet and a general globalization of the market have expanded and facilitated the transmission of information and the participation of interested buyers from around the globe. This has had a positive effect on prices in areas where demand is growing.

As new research is undertaken and published, the market will only become more discerning and sophisticated. As a further example, when the handbook on Australian first day covers is published, I expect that it will go a long way towards revolutionizing that market.

Rarity (Supply)

As a general guide, at best the total supply of material available to the philatelic market and held in private hands overall is stable or constant, although there are exceptions. From time to time new discoveries of important items make their way into philatelic arena. However, since the completely revamped volumes of the ACSC began to be published 1993, the numbers recorded of key items have held up remarkably well. That is both a tribute to the research of the editor, and a sound indicator that oodles of such items are not out there waiting to be found as some have theorized at times.

The Australia Post Archival sales of February and December 1987 added some significant material and proved to be an important stimulus to the market. On present indications it is unlikely that there will be any further such sales in the foreseeable future.

Some items have been lost to the general philatelic market. In particular, the sale to Australia Post of the Chapman collection, and the theft after Ausipex of the Hyeronimus collection have reduced the supply of important items to the philatelic public. A fine collection of used with a number of the major varieties and watermark errors held in America was stolen about ten years ago; to date none of these items have made an appearance, and may never do so.

In addition, other items are lost from time to time and the condition of others is deteriorating due to climate or a general lack of care in some instances.

Together these factors influence the overall supply of material available held in private hands, an important consideration in looking at prices.

It is also important to note that in recent years an increasing percentage of the key items are tightly held, both within Australia and abroad, and may not reappear on the market for many years, if ever.

Demand

In some ways, demand is more important than the rarity or supply factor in determining how prices move. The distinction between rarity and importance is a significant one, and the two do not run in tandem. As Butler noted in the his reference work on the South Australian Departmental Stamps

‘Obviously some stamps are more rare than others but also some are more important or more aesthetically attractive than others…in brief the ‘rarity rating’ is what it says it is and may have no direct bearing on the demand for the stamp’ (49-54).

He is saying that rarity is not the most important factor in determining the demand, and I would add by implication, the price of an item. There is strong evidence in the market to support this argument.

There is certainly a trend towards acquiring ‘the rare and the beautiful’. Items that match this description generally sell for increasingly high prices. However, it is not a golden rule.

As Rod Perry regularly observes with his comments on various covers of interest, both privately and in Stamp News, rarity alone is not a guarantee of value. There are many very rare and beautiful covers that generally sell for under $100 – if you can find them! Try finding an example of a 2/3d Perth Games or a 7/6d Cook on a correct commercially used cover. Whilst they may cost you up to $100, the money will be many times easier to find than either of these items. Indeed, many items such as these are virtually unobtainable and it would only take a small increase in demand for items such as this and many others to increase substantially in value.

The same is true in many areas of philately. The balance or imbalance between supply and demand is of greater importance than is generally recognised. Scarcity or apparent scarcity is not, and has never been a direct avenue to a high price. Supply must always be compared with demand in taking a look at how and why prices have reached their current levels, and what this may mean for the future.

To put this another way, strong demand is more likely to make a reasonably available stamp worth money than will scarcity of something that no one wants. On the other hand, if something is genuinely scarce, even a modest increase in demand should see the price rise.

It was noticeable that during the ‘boom’ days from 1977 to 1980, that many so-called ‘investors’, often without knowledge, and even more so, speculators, mostly confined themselves to the kind of material that was, and remains relatively plentiful.

In contrast to this, the base of the increasingly strong demand today is long term collectors. The bigger spenders also generally seem to be more focused on the acquisition of key items than they are on the price. They will often pay a bigger price than dealers or would-be investors can buy at. In addition, they have a significantly longer-term view in mind. Therefore in looking at how prices have moved, it is very important to consider where the demand is actually coming from.

Condition

As a general rule, until at least the early 1970’s, a mint stamp was a mint stamp, regardless of how many times it had been hinged. However, a lot has changed since then, with many preferring to pay premiums for mint unhinged stamps in fine ‘as issued’ condition.

In terms of price, the difference between unhinged and hinged is often considerable. For most Kangaroos the price of a nice mint unhinged stamp is about two to three times that of an equivalent hinged one, with some being higher than this. Opinions are much divided as to which represents better value for money or are more desirable at current prices.

In recent times, there has been a strengthening in price of hinged kangaroos and better material of this nature. Yet the demand for unhinged is still very strong, and some will only buy in that condition. Given the choice between four nice lightly mounted KGV 4d Lemons at a retail of about $125 each or a nice unmounted one at around $500, I think I would settle on the former. Eight years ago, the figures here would have given you five hinged for one unhinged instead of four, so on this item, there has been a convergence in price between the two options.

However, that is not always the case. An example of an item that has moved in the other direction would be the second watermark 2/- brown Kangaroo. Relative to many others, this stamp is particularly difficult to find in very fine unmounted mint condition and the price has gone up accordingly. This is a case of rarity being now recognized where demand is already strong. It is difficult to be sure if that means the unhinged is still under priced as they come up so infrequently. What I do believe though is that stamps of this nature, in perfectly centred and superb unhinged condition will continue to rise in price. The same should also be true of superb lightly hinged examples.

In the American market, massive premiums are often paid for perfection, both mint unhinged and superb used, to the point where they pay between twenty and fifty times Scott catalogue value in some cases. We have not seen anything like that for the Kangaroos or KGV issues, however, I suspect that we will see significant rises in price for perfect examples of those that are more difficult to find in such condition.

It has also become increasingly difficult to quote a standard price for most of the high value kangaroos. With condition becoming such an issue, each stamp warrants an individual grading and should be priced accordingly. This has resulted in more of them now being listed as ‘price on request’ (POR) in most major price lists. When compared to the coin or banknote market, the stamp market is very under-done in this regard, and I believe has much to learn. I expect to see a further trend towards this in the future where every example of the higher value kangaroos will need to be given a specific price.

It should also be observed that many of the rarer varieties and watermark errors continue to sell at record levels despite having some faults. For example, many of the rarer watermark errors have slight faults that would hinder their salability as normal stamps. Yet with the rarity factor thrown into the equation, they continue to sell for record prices. The same is true of very rare items of postal history, booklets or die proofs to name just three other important areas.

A common catch cry in real estate circles is ‘Location, Location, Location’. In stamps, it has been suggested that it should be ‘Condition, Condition, Condition’. However, I would suggest that ‘Rarity, Demand and Condition’ would be more appropriate. The balance between these three facets is very important and should not be underestimated. It must also be recognised that there are tradeoffs between them at times; for example, when a genuinely rare item is not known in fine condition.

Relative price movements

On the basis of rarity, demand and condition, there has been a shift in relative prices for items that ‘make the grade’ as distinct from those that don’t. As the table on the Kangaroo issues demonstrates, there has also been a shift between certain items within a category.

In some instances, an item was very highly regarded in the early days and carried a high price tag to match. Today they do not carry the same weight and their price has not moved nearly as much as some other items. Two items of this nature are the 6d ultramarine retouched ‘E’ and broken leg varieties, where they were very highly priced in the early days and are less so relative to other items on today’s market. They remain popular items, however, their rarity is not quite what was once thought.

Of course, as evidenced in the tables, other items have experienced the opposite of this.

The rise of used

Traditionally in the Australian market, mint stamps, or unused in the case of the classics, have carried the glamour title, and will always carry their own form of prestige. However, in recent times, we have seen the market for used follow in some of the footsteps of the European market.

Many Kangaroos are truly difficult to find in superb postally used condition, and as such are scarcer than their mint counterparts. This has recently been recognised to the point where some are catalogued at close to or even more than mint. In Stanley Gibbons, the first watermark £1 Brown and blue catalogues more used than mint. Try finding a superb postally used example and you will see what I mean. The first watermark £2 is also particularly rare in fine postally used condition.

In recent times a new bread of collectors have pushed the prices for the used rarities generally through the roof. In addition, items that are scarcer used than mint are only now seeing the prices shift. Until comparatively recently, one of the few Australian or Colonies items priced more used than mint was the Western Australia 1960 4d blue.

In the case of the rare watermark errors it is interesting to note that very few of these are known in mint condition. This is because rather than being found by collectors whilst still on issue or before being used, they were only discovered at a later date; indeed, some very much later. To some extent this has fuelled the rise in value of the rarer used items generally.

In October 1990, the unique postally used 1908 Postage Due 20/- with stroke sold at auction for a total price of $6600 when it first appeared on the modern market. At that time this was below the retail price of a mint example in average condition. It was next sold for about double that, before the mint price had moved. In today’s market I believe it should be worth somewhere between five and ten times the price of a mint example. That is due to be tested at auction in April, and I await the result with anticipation.

Items that have recently sold for more postally used than mint also include the following:

Kangaroo 3rd watermark 1/- showing watermark sideways of which I have only seen three satisfactory examples; KGV Single watermark 4d blue showing watermark inverted and KGV Large multiple watermark 1d carmine showing watermark inverted. In all three cases, and particularly the first two, quantities were found by collectors before being used, so very few actually saw postal service.

In the case of the KGV Small Multiple watermark perf 13½x12½ 3d ultramarine die I watermark inverted, two used examples have recently sold for $7200 and $7250 plus auctioneers commission, against a mint unhinged retail price of $275. These used prices are about twenty times what these same items sold for in the late 1990’s. In the case of this error, it was a rarity in any condition until at least three and possibly four mint sheets were found from the 1970’s. It is only in very recent times that the rarity of correctly used examples has translated into price increases of any kind.

Even more important would be the No watermark 2d Scarlet, of which only one correct postally used example is recorded, cancelled at Abbotsford, Victoria. It is currently catalogued in the ACSC KGV volume at $3000 compared to mint at $1200. Expect the price for this used example to exceed the mint by a greater margin than this when it next appears on the market!

Others likely to push the mint price barriers soon should include the 1/4d deep turquoise, particularly in CofA watermark. Used monograms and imprints have also shot up in price when offered recently. It is not all that long ago since such items were very difficult to sell. Now the problem is not in selling them, it is getting them!

On examining a mint example of the third watermark 5/- showing a significant partial double print, leading auctioneer Gary Watson commented to the effect of ‘Shame it’s not used, as it would sell for more!’. At this point that comment can’t be tested as no used example in that watermark is recorded; however, it certainly testifies as to how the market for items of this nature in used condition has matured in recent times.

What we have seen is that in an area where rarity is without question, with the entry of a few new players into the market we have seen prices multiply by a factor of nearly ten times in five years.

However, at this point I would also add a word of caution. It would be wise not to get totally carried away by certain individual realisations. It is often the case that once a collector has acquired an item, they will not bid on the next one that comes up, so there may be a time when some of these prices could drop.

Multiples are of increasing importance
Another area gaining momentum is that of rare blocks or ‘record’ multiples. In recent times we have seen blocks of Sydney Views and Half lengths in particular selling for as much as ten times the catalogue value of the stamps. As I have reported in Stamp News on a number of occasions, these prices are up astronomically since the days of the sale of collections such as Purves, Boker and Dale-Lichtenstein, to say nothing of earlier name sales.

We have recently seen blocks of low value Western Australian items selling for up to eighty times the catalogue value of four individual stamps! That is spectacular; however, I am not sure that kind of level can be maintained. As already noted if the first buyer is out of the equation next time, a lower price might result. Despite this, the trend to date has been that a high price has set a benchmark that seems to be beaten next time. Only time will resolve arguments such as this.

On the other hand, rare blocks of Kangaroos, such as the first watermark high values have not really taken off yet. However, I believe it is only time before they do. Note that the emphasis here has to be on the word rare. Most of the Specimen overprints are rare to very rare in blocks and these are listed with the known examples recorded, and these usually sell well. However, to date there is no listing of the rare regular blocks, and I believe that this is holding back the market for these to some extent.

Expertising

This is becoming an increasingly important factor in how well important items sell and therefore the prices achieved for them. For many buyers the trend is towards buying with certificates. This is particularly the case for rare overprints or overprint errors, together with roulettes, rare perf errors and important shades. The trend towards expertising these and other items will continue. The market has matured significantly in this respect in recent times. Despite this, I believe there is still more to be done in this regard.

Catalogue prices as a guide only

The combined result of the above factors is a trend for catalogue prices on the rarer items to increasingly become a guide as to comparative rarity and demand only.

The time of buying at the old ‘quarter catalogue’, or ‘half catalogue’, or in many cases even ‘full catalogue’ has gone. Collectors who limit their buying to a percentage of catalogue value will miss out on many items that are required to enhance their collections.

I know of examples of items already selling for more than they are listed at in the newest volume of the ACSC just released. This is not a new thing and as I have reported ion Stamp News, has happened with most of the catalogues relevant to our market in recent years. This is neither the fault of the catalogue editors, nor their pricing committees. Rather, it is an indication as to the extent to which the market is evolving, and how difficult it is to actually price many items in the present environment.

The following table now includes the updated prices for the Kangaroos items together with the earlier prices as published in an earlier article. This demonstrates how the individual and relative prices for different types of items have moved over the last fifty years.

Kangaroo table of ACSC prices from 1955 to 2004

ACSC KANGAROO PRICES
Denomination and Wmk Cat No. 1955 1960
16th Ed. 1965
21st Ed. 1970
26th Ed. 1975
31st Ed. 1980
40th Ed. 1988 1993
1 1999
3 2004
4
£ £ £ £ $ $ $ $ $ $

½d Imperf (1) 1b 35 35 35 200 650 1250 1500 2000 2500 5000
2d (2nd) Wmk Inv 6a (O) 10 10 10 40 110 200 200 400 1000 12500
2d (2nd) CA (3) 6z 6 6 6 30 135 400 500 700 900 2500
2d (2nd) No M (3) 6zd 5 6 6 22.5 90 300 450 1000 1250 4000
2½d (2nd) CA (3) 10z 6 6 6 25 150 325 450 800 1000 3000
2½d (3rd) Miss ½ 11g 60 60 60 450 1600 3400 9000 10000 10000 30000
3d (1st) imperf pair 12bf* 50 50 50 400 1500 4000 18000 15000 20000 40000
5d (1st) CA (3) 16z 10 10 10 50 300 405 550 1250 1750 4000
6d (1st) Retouch E 17e 35 35 35 125 750 1000 2500 2500 2500 3000
6d (1st) CA (3) 17z 10 10 10 40 255 400 600 1200 2000 6000
6d (2nd) Wmk Inv 18a (O) 3.75 10 10 30 80 165 75 750 3000 25000
6d (2nd) No M (3) 18zd 20 20 20 70 375 700 1000 2000 3000 12500
6d Bl (3rd) CA (3) 18zd 20 20 20 70 375 700 1000 2000 3000 5000
6d Bl (3rd) CA/CA12 19zl** 30 30 30 200 900 2500 1250 8000 12000 60000
6d Bl (3rd) Imprint (4) 20z 5 5 5 25 180 300 750 1750 3500 7500
1/- (1st) CA (3) 30z 12 12 12 45 300 500 750 1750 2500 6000
1/- (S/M) Wmk Inv 34 (0) 5 5 5 45 200 330 250 2000 3000 20000
2/- (1st) CA (3) 35z 20 20 20 96 720 1200 2000 3000 5000 35000
2/- (2nd) CA(1) 36za 15 15 15 80 525 1100 1500 2000 3500 17500
2/- Br (3rd) Imperf pair 37b* 150 150 150 900 4000 6000 20000 20000 30000 75000
2/- Br (3rd) Imprint (4) 37zh 10 10 10 55 420 1000 2000 4000 6000 60000
5/- (1st) CA (1) 42z 15 15 20 75 450 700 950 2000 6000 27500
5/- (2nd) CA (1) 43z 30 25 25 185 1050 2200 1250 2000 5000 20000
5/- (3rd) Wmk S/W 44aa (0) 15 15 15 105 600 925 1500 5000 10000 50000
5/- (3rd) CA (3) 44z 35 35 30 150 900 1500 2000 4000 9000 60000
10/- (1st) CA (1) 47z 25 25 25 100 675 1200 1750 3000 12000 45000
10/- (3rd) Wmk SW 48aa (0) 25 25 25 160 800 1100 1500 3000 4000 15000
10/- (3rd) CA (1) 48z 25 25 25 125 750 1155 1250 2500 8000 45000
10/- (3rd) Imprint (4) 48zc 80 80 80 300 1800 2650 3500 5000 8000 40000
£1 (1st) Normal 51 32 32 35 200 800 1600 1500 1750 1600 3000
£1 (1st) CA (1) 51z 60 60 80 400 1950 3000 3500 6000 15000 50000
£1 B (3rd) Normal 52 25 25 25 150 600 1500 1500 1500 1500 2500
£1 B (3rd) Wmk Inv 52a 28 35 35 210 750 1800 3000 2500 2500 4500
£1 B (3rd) Wmk SW 52ab (0) 20 20 20 210 700 1400 2500 3500 5000 30000
£1 B (3rd) CA (1) 52z 60 60 60 300 1425 3000 3500 6000 10000 45000
£1 B (3rd) Imprint (4) 52zc 150 150 150 750 4500 10000 12500 27500 35000 125000
£2 (1st) Normal 55 50 50 60 325 1250 3200 4000 4000 3750 7000
£2 (1st) CA (1) 55za 125 125 150 520 3750 9500 9000 10000 20000 75000
£2 (3rd) Normal 56 30 30 35 325 1000 2400 3000 2500 2500 4000
£2 (3rd) Imprint (4) 56z 280 280 300 1625 11250 20000 22500 20000 22500 75000
£2 (SM) Normal 57 28 28 30 300 900 2800 3000 3250 3000 4250
£2 (SM) Imprint (4) 57z 200 200 200 1500 7500 12000 22500 22500 25000 75000
£2 (CofA) Normal 58 25 28 27 250 900 2600 2750 2500 2250 3750
£2 (CofA) Imprint (4) 58z 200 200 200 1250 7500 15000 17500 15000 16000 40000

Total prices (£ to 1965) (44 Items) 2064.75 2077 2161 12463.50 65145 126905 189725 236100 343500 1280000

Index Value * 100 101 205 302 1578 3073 4594 5717 8318 30996

Divide this number by 100 to find out how many times they have increased in catalogue value as a group
Hence by 1965 the value was just over double, and by 2004 it is just under 310 times the 1955 value

(* This is a nominal index value with 1955 as the base at 100 expressed in equal value units)

Bibliography

Butler, A. R. 1978 The Departmental Stamps of South Australia The Royal Philatelic Society of London, London

Dunkerley, S. 1991-2004 Australia in Depth in Stamp News Stamp News Pty Ltd, Upwey, Vic (various articles referred to)

Jefferies, H (editor) 2004 Commonwealth & British Empire Stamps 1840-1952 (2005 Edition) Stanley Gibbons, London and Ringwood (and earlier editions)

Kellow, G. (editor) 2004 The Australian Commonwealth Specialists’ Catalogue Kangaroos and The Early Federal Period, 1901-12 Brusden-White, Ultimo, NSW (and earlier editions)

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