ESG Elizabethan II Study Group
Journal: The Corgi Times

Collecting Interests

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Commemoratives 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.
Definitives 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

Back-of-the-book 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.
Errors 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.
Varieties 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.
Postal Rates/Markings 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.
Plate/Inscription blocks 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).
Catalogues In Canada there are two primary catalogues listing all of Canada's stamps:
  • Darnell Stamps of Canada Catalogue
  • Unitrade Specialized Catalogue of Canadian 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.

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