Among the most attractive, and sought-after, early stamps are those inscribed in Canada. The first stamps of the Colony of Canada were in the values of 3d, 6d and 12d. These values were chosen as they paid the rates per half an ounce of 3d to Canada (later including New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island), 6d to the United States (not including the Pacific coast) and 12d to Newfoundland or the British West Indies.
Here are some of the rarest Canadian Stamps in 2022:
In January 1855 a further value was added, 10d (8d Sterling), again existing on both hand and machine-made wove paper. This stamp depicted Jacques Cartier, a French maritime explorer born on 31 December 1491 in Saint-Malo, who was the first to map the Gulf of St Lawrence and the shores of the St Lawrence River which he named ‘The Country of Canadas’.
The 12d shows the stamp portrait of Queen Victoria. Indeed, the 12d can be rated among the world’s rarest stamps for, although 51,000 were printed, it is believed that only 1,510 were distributed to postmasters, and of these one postmaster returned 60 copies, leaving just 1,450 as issued. The paper used for the ½d, 3d and 6d values from 1858 had a harder texture. In addition, these stamps were now perforated (measuring 11¾), whereas the previous printings had been imperforated.
On 28 September 1875 a 5c value stamp was added, with the same portrait of Queen Victoria as used for the other values, but the stamp was slightly larger. It appeared with the same perforation measurement as the other values, and also with perforation 12.
These initial stamps of the Dominion are known as the ‘Large Queens’. From 1870 they were replaced by what is known as the ‘Small Queens’, being the same design but in a smaller size. The 12½c and 15c were not issued in the smaller size, but a 10c value was added in 1876.
The registration service for letters was introduced by Canada on 1 May 1855. Unusual is the fact that in 1875 Canada introduced stamps inscribed ‘Registered Letter Stamp’, the idea being that their use would make registered letters more obvious when the mail was being sorted. The earliest known use is of the 2 cent on 15 December 1875; use of the 5 cent and 8 cent is not known until the following year. From October 1876 the use of registration stamps was made mandatory, although the rules were relaxed from 8 May 1889 as long as at least one Registered stamp was used. The use of Registered stamps was discontinued on 1 August 1893.
The 6d value shows the stamp portrait of Prince Albert. All three are highly prized and in unused condition and are among the many rare Canadian stamps. Indeed, the 12d can be rated among the world’s rarest stamps for, although 51,000 were printed, it is believed that only 1,510 were distributed to postmasters, and of these one postmaster returned 60 copies, leaving just 1,450 as issued.
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