Thursday, September 16, 2010

O' Canada

As you may know, the American Philatelic Society frequently offers its members "one-time direct circuits" of a particular country or area during a specific month. I decided to take advantage of September's offer of Canada. Most of the circuits I regularly receive contain multiple countries (e.g., France and Colonies) so it was nice for a change to be able to sit down with my album opened to a single place instead of constantly having to thumb through the books, especially fun for those countries that Scott helpfully didn't put where they belong in the alphabet.

Since an APS circuit contains well over 1000 stamps, some of which exist in multiple copies mounted in several different books, I modified the wantlist worksheet I keep in Excel to help me track which books contained the stamps I needed with the best price.

You can see the top part of my tracking sheet below. The left column is the Scott catalog number ("1/4/12" indicates that there are three different Scott numbers that would work in the space provided). I use the second column to compare the price of more expensive stamps in the circuit books, usually $20+, with the same stamps in the APS Stampstore. The third and subsequent columns correspond to individual circuit books.

On several occasions I've thought that a stamp in a circuit was a good value only to find a better price elsewhere. Of course, if we're only talking about a small difference in price, I would rather purchase a stamp that I can examine in person. But as you can see from the second item, the StampStore has a acceptable copy of Canada #17 for almost half of the one in the circuit book.

Before this circuit, I lacked 54 Canadian stamps. I now need 33. Unfortunately, that includes most of the Large Queens and some other pricey stamps, including that perennial favorite, the "Blue Nose." Actually, Canada has several lovely 1840-1940 ship stamps of which I have two:

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