We begin with the 1881 key-type issue (SG 11/15). The 1pi. and 2pi. (12, 13) have never really been considered scarce stamps in used condition, but I feel that really fine examples are just as scarce as the ½pi. (11) and should be a lot closer in value to that stamp. New printings of the 1881 set took place on Crown CA and, along with two new values, form the 1882–86 set (16a/22).
The ½pi. emerald-green (16) is an extremely rare stamp in any condition, and is frequently confused with the far more common dull green (16a). The 30pa. (17) is very uncommon in used condition – despite the difference in catalogue price, it often seems that mint examples are seen more often than used. Both the 1pi. and 2pi. are worth seeking in mint condition at current prices, but make sure you are buying the original die I stamps and not the much cheaper die II versions of the 1892–94 set.
Of the 1892–94 set (31/37), both shades of the 4pi. (35, 35a) are proving very elusive in used condition and I expect to see catalogue prices rise for both these stamps. The 6pi. and 12pi. are both very scarce in used condition, and care needs to be taken when purchasing these stamps as the mint examples are substantially less valuable. It’s also worth checking the watermarks on the lower values of this set; although only the ½pi. is listed with an inverted watermark, I feel sure that other values are waiting to be discovered.
The same is true of the 1894–96 new colours set (40/49), especially so with 1pi. and 2pi. values of which many printings were made. The 45pi. (49) is the key value to the set in both mint and used condition, although it is relatively common in mint. The 18pi. looks rather underpriced in used condition – it’s a much scarcer stamp used than mint.
The 1902–04 Edwardian set (50/59) is extremely difficult to assemble in used condition, thanks in no small part to the 9pi. (56). ￼￼
Only 20 sheets were printed on Crown CA paper (probably in error), the same number as the 45pi., and I feel that the catalogue price should be a lot closer to that of the 45pi. Mint examples of the 1pi. and 4pi. (52, 54) are scarce enough to warrant an increase in the catalogue, whereas the 2pi. (53) seems to have become slightly over-priced thus. Reprints took place on Multiple Crown CA paper and, along with several new values, form the 1904-10 set (60/71). It’s a much more common set in used condition, thanks to its much longer period of use. Even so, the 12pi. (69) is surprisingly difficult to find in this condition. This and the 45pi. (71) are the key values to a used set.