Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/1/2012 (2956 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Monarchists in Canada are licking their lips in anticipation of new stamps celebrating the Queen.
But a stamp collector says don't expect to make any money if you sock your savings into buying and selling stamps.
Canada Post announced on Monday it has issued a booklet of 10 self-adhesive stamps featuring a cameo of Queen Elizabeth II wearing a tiara and royal robes while waving from the window of a carriage in honour of her Diamond Jubilee.
As well, Canada Post announced other stamps featuring the Queen will be released in the months ahead, including a mini-pane of four stamps to be released on June 1. The other stamps will feature copies of stamps with the Queen from past years surrounded by a special Diamond Jubilee border.
Keith Roy, vice-chairman of the Monarchist League of Canada, said on Wednesday that following so close to the royal wedding stamps issued last year, the latest postal offerings are wonderful tributes to the Queen and the Royal Family.
"It's such an exciting time to be a monarchist, because there's so much going on," Roy said.
"The royal wedding engaged the world in a way even the most loyal monarchist would have thought not possible and there's the Diamond Jubilee year and tour by the Royal Family.
"And now the stamps. Stamps are one of those things that not only mark the occasion, but they're one you see every day."
Roy said the stamps, combined with the federal government putting back the 'royal' in the Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force, show a resurgence of the importance of the institution in Canada.
Roy said he believes many Canadians — and monarchists — will buy the stamps.
Robin Harris, a member of the Winnipeg Philatelic Society, said people who buy the stamps should purchase them to send letters or because they like the looks of them.
But Harris said they shouldn't buy them if they're hoping to make money as an investment in something collectible.
"People collect them, but they only have the face value," he said.
"Many Canadian stamps from the 1950s on, when people are ready to sell them they find they are worth less than face value. There's no monetary value in them. Too many people have them."
Harris said his experience is a pane or sheet of stamps will sell at auction for as low as 70 to 80 per cent of the face value and he doesn't think any of the royal stamps will be any different.
"The royal wedding was popular and countries all around the world issued stamps and almost all of them had the same images," he said.
"If you are into royalty stamps you'll want to get them, but they're not worth a lot."
Prices on the rise
AS of Jan. 1, it now costs 61 cents to send a standard letter in the mail, a two-cent price increase.
And guess what? The price of stamps are already pegged to go up again next year and the year after.
It's all because, as Canada Post spokesman John Caines said, of the planned five-year increases announced in 2009.
"It helps ensure we can maintain our costs as we go forward and make sure people who use the system pay for it," Caines said.
"We are a user-pay system."
Caines said stamps for standard letters will rise in price to 63 cents next year and 65 cents in 2014.
But Caines said the increased price doesn't really put a large dent in the pocketbooks of residential customers.
"The average Canadian family uses 45 stamps a year," he said.
Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.