||Most collectors are attracted to stamps for the many different stamps that are
issued to commemorate various events. If you don't want to collect all of the commemoratives,
a sub-type of collecting are topicals - such as space, women on stamps, flowers, dinosaurs, etc. Canada
offers many different topic possibilities.
||The other 'main' type of stamp issued by the post office are definitives. These
are the stamps that are seen most often by the public with literally billions of some stamps
being printed. Most collectors come to realize that very specialized collections can be formed
on just one definitive series. Since definitives typically are printed several times, the 'same
looking' stamp may actually have one (or several!) different varieties. There have been several
definitive 'series' during the Elizabethan era.
Click here for a list of
Canadian Elizabethan-era definitive series
||The various catalogues that can be purchased or loaned from your public library
illustrate and price all of Canada's stamps. They do so by placing the commemorative and
definitives together at the front of the catalogue. All other classes of stamps, such as
airmail, postage dues, and semi-postals, are placed after (or at the 'back-of-the-book').
Specialized collections can be formed just on one of these classes of stamps.
||Stamps that have had something go wrong during the printing process are called
errors. These include missing colours, imperforate, tagging missing, perforation shifts, and
corner fold-overs. Some of these errors produce stunning results ... and require a deep pocket
to purchase them.
||Stamp collectors are a funny breed. They are constantly looking at their
stamps to find those that are not perfect! That is, they want to find different varieties,
such as errors (noted above) or constant plate varieties. The latter are those that contain
some sort of scratch, dot, or flaw that repeats itself during the printing process but only
appears on say, one stamp in a printing sheet.
||Understanding why a stamp was issued is an important aspect of studying
stamps. Having an example on a mailed envelope (called a 'cover') and cancelled showing the
intended postal rate during the proper time period (called 'in period usage') is critical
to documenting each stamp's "purpose". There are also dozens of different postal markings
that the post office applies to covers. These range from the cancellation, sorting barcode,
postage due indication, and re-direction markings.
||Canadian stamps have a printer's inscription (and sometimes other printing
information) placed in one or all four corners of the printing pane. Collectors enjoy obtaining
these 'plate blocks' of four (either one corner or a 'matched set' of all four corners).
||In Canada there are two primary catalogues listing all of Canada's stamps:
With that said, there are literally hundreds of other books written about all aspects of
Canadian philately. As time goes on you will likely purchase and read many of these books.
- Darnell Stamps of Canada Catalogue
- Unitrade Specialized Catalogue of Canadian Stamps