Canada - Travel/Philately/Numismatics/Memorabilia Profile

Canada, a country in North America, has USA to the South and North (Alaska), North Atlantic Ocean to the East, and North Pacific Ocean to the West. Human presence in the Northern Yukon area dates as far back as 26,500 years ago. Canada has the second largest land area in the world and is among those with the smallest population density. Canada has a per-capita GDP of around $40,000 (ppp) making it a very wealthy country. It has vast amounts of natural resources in the form oil (second largest after Saudi Arabia) and natural gas, zinc, uranium, timber, etc. The two pillars of Canada’s export industry are energy and agricultural products.

Travel Resources:

Given its vast size, Canada has a wide variety of climates and scenic landscapes. In general, mid-May through mid August are considered tourist friendly. Canadian Rockies with its breathtaking views complimented by its serenity leads the list of many attractions – Niagara Falls, Vancouver/Victoria, Quebec, Montreal, the Northern Lights etc., are but a few of them. Canada is a great place to enjoy the outdoors to the fullest. Cuisines wise the culinary skills of the English speaking Canadians are based on English and American fare while that of the French speaking Canadians are closely related to the French.



ResourceISBN or ASINBest PriceDescription
Canada Eyewitness Travel Guides978-0756661038$17An introduction to Canada followed by region-wise coverage include Atlantic Canada (Newfoundland, Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island), Quebec, Ontario, Central Canada, British Columbia and Rockies, Northern Canada, and a detailed section that provides practical information (stay, eat, shopping, entertainment, etc).
The Milepost 2010: Alaska Travel Planner978-1892154279$20The best travel guide for the Alaska Highway covering Northwest Canada and Alaska. 30 major routes, 60 side trips, and 100+ maps. Ferry travel covered. Also, a pull-out plan-a-trip map. The annual updates of the book gives advance notice of construction or changes to the road network. One down-side is the number of Ads in the book.
Canada Road Map978-1894056090$4

Pathfinder Maps Publication.
Accommodation

NAVaries



Philatelic Profile:

The first stamps of the province of Canada were issued in 1851 and feature three different designs. The set of three stamps (Scott #1 to #3) are worth a small fortune – close to $110,000 for MNH and around half that for used. The most valuable among them is the 12p QV issue (Scott #3) at around $80,000 for MNH and $55,000 for Used. The designs show beaver, Prince Albert, and Queen Victoria. The same set was reissued in the 1852 to 1855 time-frame in woven paper instead of laid paper. The first two stamps in that set is also fairly valuable at around $1000 and $10000 for MNH and around $200 and $1200 for used. Certain varieties sell for even more. This was followed by a single issue (Scott #7) released in 1855 showing Jacques Cartier, the famous 16th century French explorer who first explored Canada. This stamp is also extremely valuable at around $6000 for MNH and $1500 for used. A few other reissues and certain other varieties in the QV theme dominated the scene until 1898. Significant among them is a set of eleven stamps (Scott #50 to #65) released on June 19 1897 showing QV portraits from 1837 and 1897. It was released to mark the sixtieth year of Queen Victoria’s reign. The set catalogs for around $3000 MNH and $1000 for used.

Below are other relevant stamp issues of Canada over the years:
  1. A set of eight stamps (Scott #96 to #103) released on July 16 1908 showing royal portraits and historic scenes. The set released to mark Quebec’s tercentenary catalogs for around $1700 MNH and $475 for used. The designs show Prince and Princess of Wales, Jacques Cartier and Samuel de Champlain, Queen Alexandra and King Edward, Champlain’s home in Quebec, Generals Montcalm and Wolfe, view of Quebec in 1700, Champlain’s departure for the West, and the arrival of Cartier at Quebec.
  2. A set of five stamps (Scott #141 to #145) released on June 29 1927 to mark the sixtieth year of the Canadian Confederation. The set catalogs for around $75 MNH and $15 used. The designs show Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, “The Fathers of Confederation”, Parliament Building at Ottawa, and map of Canada.
  3. A set of six stamps (Scott #211 to #216) released on May 4 1935 to mark the 25th anniversary of the accession to the throne of King George V. A sister set of eleven stamps (Scott #217 to #227) was also released on June 1 1935. The first set catalogs for around $40 MNH and $10 used and the second set for $210 MNH and $20 used. The designs in the first set show Princess Elizabeth, Duke of York, King George V and Queen Mary, Prince of Wales, Windsor Castle, Royal Yacht Britannia, and King George V. The second set shows King George V, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Confederation Conference at Charlottetown (1864), Niagara Falls, Parliament Buildings of Victoria in BC, and Champlain Monument of Quebec. 
  4. A set of fourteen stamps (Scott #249 to #262) released in 1942 to mark Canada’s contributions to the war effort. The set catalogs for around $200 MNH and $15 used. The designs show King George V, grain elevators, farm scene, Parliament Buildings, “Ram” Tank, Corvette, Munitions Factory, and a destroyer.
  5. A set of fourteen stamps (Scott #417 to #429A) released between 1964 and 1966 in the “Promotion of World Peace” theme. The designs include Three-Mapled-Leaf Emblem (Canadian unity), white trillium and Arms of Ontario, white garden lily and Arms of Quebec, Mayflower and Arms of Nova Scotia, purple violet and Arms of New Brunswick, prairie crocus and Arms of Manitoba, dogwood and Arms of British Columbia, lady’s slipper and Arms of Prince Edward Island, prairie lily and Arms of Saskatchewan, wild Rose and Arms of Alberta, pitcher plant and Arms of Newfoundland, fireweed and Arms of Yukon, mountain avens and arms of Northwest Territories, and maple leaf and arms of Canada. The beautiful set is surprisingly inexpensive at $3 for MNH and used. It is a great starter collection for collectors who would like to specialize in the ‘World Peace’ theme.
  6. A long set of seventeen stamps (Scott #586 to #601) released between 1972 and 1976 showing Great Men of Canada and local scenes. The set catalogs for around $15 MNH and $7 used. The designs show Sir John A. Mcdonald, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Sir Robert L. Borden, William Lyon Mackenzie, Richard Bedford Bennet, Lester B. Pearson, Louis St Laurent, Queen Elizabeth II, mountain sheep of Western Canada, grain fields in the Prairies, polar bears of the North, Vancouver in BC, and the seashore of Quebec. 
  7. A set of five stamps (Scott #909 to #913, #913a) released in 1982 to mark the International Philatelic Youth Exhibition held in Toronto in 1982. The set and the souvenir sheet each catalog for around $3 MNH and used. The design shows ‘Stamps on Stamps’ of the following Canadian Issues – Scott #1, Scott #102, Scott #223, Scott #155, and Scott #158.
  8. A set of twelve stamps (Scott #955 to #966) released on June 30 1982 to mark the first ‘Canada Day’. The set catalogs for around $7 MNH and $6 used. The designs show the following paintings: The Highway near Kluana Lake by A.Y.Jackson, Montreal Street Scene by Adrien Hebert, Breakwater by Christopher Pratt, Along Great Slave Lake by Rene Richard, Tea Hill by Molly Lamb, Family and Rainstorm by Alex Colville, Brown Shadows by Dorothy Knowles, The Red Brick House by David Milne, Campus Gates by Bruno Bobak, Prairie Town – Early Morning by Illingworth Kerr, Totems at Ninstints by Joe Plaskett, and Doc Snider’s House by Lionel LeMoine FitzGerald. This issue was followed every year by a set of stamps in the same theme. ‘Canada Day’ or a broader ‘Independence Day’ theme is another excellent theme for collectors who want to specialize. Most of these sets are inexpensive and can be acquired with minimal effort. 
  9. A stamp (Scott #1270) released on April 5 1990 to mark the Multicultural Heritage of Canada. The stamp is inexpensive at less than a dollar for MNH and 20c for used. There is an error variety with Inscriptions omitted which command a sizeable premium at around $1000.
  10. A strip of four stamps (Scott #1591 to #1594) released on January 9 1996 in the ‘Birds’theme. The set catalogs for around $3 MNH or used. The designs show American kestrel, Atlantic puffin, pileated woodpecker, and ruby-throated hummingbird.
  11. A set of ten stamps (Scott #1725 to #1734) and ten labels released on June 17 1998 in the ‘Canals of Canada’ theme. The set catalogs for around $12 MNH and around half that for used. A booklet pane with the labels is available for a slight premium. The designs show St. Peters Canal of Nova Scotia, St. Ours Canal of Quebec, Port Carling Lock of Ontario, Locks of Rideau Canal in Ontario, Peterborough life lock of Trent-Severn Waterway in Ontario, Chambly Canal of Quebec, Lachine Canal of Quebec, Ice Skating in Rideau Canal of Ottawa, Boat on Big Chute Marine Railway at Trent-Severn Waterway, and Sault Ste. Marie Canal of Ontario.
  12. A long set of seventeen sheets (Scott #1818 to #1834). Each sheet show four stamps in a particular theme. The entire set can be had for around $70 MNH or used. The themes and designs were Media Technologies: IMAX movies, animation software, Ted Rogers and radio tube, and Invention of radio facsimile device; Canadian Entertainment: Calgary Stampede, Performers from Cirque du Soleil, Hockey Night in Canada, La Soiree du Hockey; Entertainers: Portia White (singer), Glen Gould (pianist), Guy Lombardo (band leader), Felix Leclerc (singer), Fostering Canadian Talent: Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (men viewing painting), Canada Council (sky, musical staff), National Film Board of Canada, and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Medical Innovators: Sir Frederick Banting (insulin), Dr. Armand Frappier, Dr. Hans Selye, Maude Abbott; Social Progress: nun, doctor and hospital, statue of woman holding decree, Alphonse Desjardins and wife Dorimene, Father Moses Coady; Charity: Canadian International Development Agency, Dr. Lucille Teasdale, Marathon of Hope, Meals on Wheels program; Humanitarians and Peace Keepers: Raoul Dandurand, Pauline Vanier, Red cross volunteer and Elizabeth Smellie, head of various nursing services, Lester B. Pearson, Prime Minister and Nobel Prize winner and Dove, Amputee and shadow; Canada’s First People: Chief Pontiac, Tom Longboat, Inuit Sculpture of Shaman, Medicine Man; Canada’s Cultural Fabric: Norse Boat, Immigrants on Halifax’s Pier, Neptune Theater, Stratford Festival; Literary Legends: W.O.Mitchell novelist and prairie scene, Gratien Gelinas actor and playwright and stars, Le Cercle du Livre de France book club, Harlequin paperback books; Great Thinkers: Marshall McLuhan, Northrop Frye, Roger Lemelin, Hilda Marion Neatby; A Tradition of Generosity: Hart Massey, Dorothy and Izaak Killam, Eric Lafferty Harvie, and Macdonald Stewart Foundation; Engineering and Technological Marvels: Map of Rogers Pass, Manic Dams, Canadian Satellites, Remote Manipulator Arm, CN Tower; Fathers of Invention: George Klein, Abraham Gesner, Alexander Graham Bell, Joseph Armand Bombardier, Snowmobile; Food: Sir Charles Saunders, Marquis Wheat, Pablum, Dr. Archibald Gowanlock Hunstman, Products of McCain Foods; Enterprising Giants: Hudson’ Bay Company, Bell Canada Enterprises, Vachon Company Snack Cakes, George Weston Limited.
Numismatic Profile:

The first Canadian coins were issued in 1870 in 5, 10, 25, and 50 cent denominations. The first issues have mintage into the millions but are valued into the 100s for MS60 and higher grades. Before this, provincial issues British Colombia, Lower Canada, Upper Canada, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Magdalen Island, and Prince Edward Island existed. These issues are also highly valued in UNC. Canada started issuing gold coins as early as 1912 and in 1979 launched the hugely successful gold bullion maple leaf series in one ounce and fractional weights.

Numismatic items of Canada include:


ItemPrice RangeDescription
Bullion$10 and upNickel Maple Leafs and Silver Dollars start around $10. 1oz Silver Maple Leafs start around $50. 1/20 Ounce Gold Maple Leafs starts around $100 and go well into the 1000s for 1 Ounce.
Loonies$3 and upCommon UNC loonies start around $3. Commemorative dollar proofs from the 70s and 80s start around $15. Silver Dollars from the 60s and prior dates in UNC start around $30. Silver Dollars from the 60s and prior dates in MS66 and up go well into the 100s.
Commemoratives$3 and upBreast Cancer, Vancouver Olympics etc recent commemorative quarters start around $3. Parliament Library and other Commemorative Silver Dollars in UNC start around $30. Lunar Year Silver Commemorative Proofs, Olympics and other Limited Edition sets, etc start well into the 100s.
Proof Sets$5 and upProof like sets from the 60s start around $5. Specimen Mint Sets from the 90s, Double Dollar Sets from the 80s, etc start around $30. Specimen Proofs Sets as issued from the Mint from the 80s and 90s start around $50. QE Jubilee Proof set, Lunar Horse and COA, Niagara Falls Silver Proofs, Snowflake Silver Proofs etc start around $100.
Other Coins$1 and upA vast variety of choices are always available in the market starting as low as $1 and going well into the 1000s.
Exonumia$1 and upCommon Tokens, Elongated Pennies etc start around $1. Provincial Tokens, Centennial Medals, etc start around $15. WW, Trans-Canada Highway, etc Commemorative Medals start around $50. Government Service Silver Medals, Governor General Medals, etc start into the 100s.
Paper Money$10 and upA vast variety of choices are always available in the market starting as low as $1 and going well into the 1000s.

Collectible Memorabilia:

Edible souvenirs are very popular Canadian takeaway - smoked salmon, ice wine, ice cider, butter tarts, maple syrup or nanaimo bars. Mineral specimen, jewelry, art, antiques and woodwork are also sought after. Vancouver Olympics merchandise are pleasing for the young at heart.


ResourcePrice RangeDescription
Mineral Specimens$5 and upRaw Labradorite and other specimens start around $5. Larger specimens start around $20. Semi-precious and precious raw specimens start around $50. Meteorite, Fossil, and other specimens are also in the market.
Jewelry$1 and upJade beads start around $1. Semi-precious jewelry starts around $25. Gold and other precious jewelry go into the 100s.
Militaria$10 and upPatches start around $10. World War related medals and curios start around $50. Original documents from the early 18th century start in the 100s.
Art$50 and upOriginal oil paintings from known artists like Doris McCarthy, Arthur Shilling, D C Grose, Andreas Lapine, Maurice Thomas, etc. fetch into the 1000s. First Nations baskets and other art start around $50. Eskimo Art pieces start higher.
Antiques$10 and upEarly 20th century map prints start around $10, original maps start around $20 and go up based on age and rarity. Older souvenir spoons and related from the provinces start around $20.Original historic documents, maritime maps, and equipment start in the 100s.


Last Updated: 12/2015. 

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