The 2020 Unitrade Specialized Catalog of Canadian Stamps
The 2020 Unitrade Specialized Catalog of Canadian Stamps. Edited by Robin Harris. 760 profusely illustrated pages; 8 1/2 x 11 inch format, spiral bound. Published by Unitrade Press of Toronto, Canada on November 28, 2019. ISBN-10: 1894763688. ISBN-13: 978-1894763684. Price $77.69, available on Amazon.
Reviewer: George Eveleth
APRL Locator: [G3400 .A1 S431 2017]
The Unitrade Specialized Catalog of Canadian Stamps is the universally recognized and definitive catalog for this country. This highly detailed catalog and price guide uses the established Scott Publishing numbering system under a licensing agreement. In addition, it also uses Unitrade's own sub-numbering system for the numerous entries not in any of the Scott catalogs. Every Canadian postage stamp ever issued from 1851 until July 2019 is included. All formats are priced, including mint and used singles, plate blocks, souvenir sheets, uncut press sheets, coils, booklets and booklet panes, etc., and are priced at retail market prices in Canadian dollars. The non-Scott sub-varieties include plate proofs, shades, paper varieties, re-entries, flaws, perforation varieties, tagging varieties, precancels, numerous modern errors and much more. Prices are broken down into three grades: VF, Fine and VG, and each issue to 1948 is given a premium for never hinged stamps to be applied to the VF grade, with the Fine premium set at half the VF premium. Also very useful are the prices for stamps on cover, first day covers for many issues, and postal stationery. Not only does the Unitrade catalog cover Canada proper, but it also covers the British North American Colonies of British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island and Vancouver Island in the same meticulous detail. The introduction of the Unitrade catalog includes a wealth of useful information, such as a guide to understanding the listings and their pricing, a condition and illustrated grading guide, a description of the various different stamp formats (inscription blocks, coils, panes, etc.), gum, tagging, paper types, cancels and the like, as well as a glossary of philatelic terms and selected postal rates. The general issues include many informative footnotes and side notes of interest to specialists. The classic issues also very usefully have enlarged images of re-entries and varieties along with the plate position in which they are found. On some rarities the notes even state the number of items that are known to exist. For the Small Queen specialist there is an identification table to help distinguish the Ottawa from the Montreal printings. For the collector of modern issues, the listing of errors is very extensive. The listing for the 1967-73 Centennial definitives is unbelievably detailed as are the listings for the later definitives. There is also a comprehensive listing of complete booklets pricing both English and French cover texts. The popular Air Post semi-officials also get detailed coverage, including pricing of full panes and on-cover usages, plus the Colombia SCADTA Consular overprints, including usages on piece and on full covers. Other areas covered include prisoner of war free franks, picture postage, reply coupons sold by Canada, Post Office year sets and other products, Federal wildlife habitat conservation stamps and postal stationery. There is also a useful listing of cancellations used in the classic period, with numeral cancellations identified by town and given a rarity rating, but not a price. The Newfoundland section also lists and prices complete booklets and postal stationery. For the general collector of Canada filling a printed album, the Scott catalog is probably fine, but for anyone wanting to delve deeper into Canadian philately, the Unitrade catalog is essential.