Now that you know how to grade the condition of your stamps, you may feel ready to either purchase or sell some stamps. However, if you are dealing in Mint stamps, there is another factor you need to understand in order to determine the proper value—the never hinged surcharge (NH%). This is a percentage to be added to the regular price (the value of a mint previously hinged stamp); this will give you the final value of a stamp that has never been hinged. For Canadian stamps, the never hinged surcharge value of each stamp is established and printed in the Unitrade Specialized Catalogue of Canadian Stamps and represented by the NH% symbol.
Calculating the Never Hinged Surcharge (NH%) value for Mint stamps
For mint stamps issued prior to 1949, the pricing is affected by the NH%. In general, the price of a stamp that has perfect original gum that has never had a stamp hinge is increased in the following way…….
Example of a Scott number with a never hinged surcharge (NH%) value of 100%:
If the stamp is in very fine (VF) condition and worth $200, then the never hinged surcharge value is also worth $200 ($200 x 100% = $200). This surcharge must then be added to the very fine value to calculate its final price. The final price for this very fine never hinged (VFNH) stamp is therefore….
VF value ($200) + surcharge (200 x 100%= $200) = $400
For the same stamp, but in fine (F) condition, the never hinged surcharge (NH%) value is divided in half. So, if the stamp in fine condition is worth $150, the price for the fine never hinged (FNH) specimen would be…..
F value ($150) + surcharge (150 x 100% / 2 = $75) = $225
Lastly, if the same stamp is in very good (VG) condition, you divide the never hinged surcharge by 4. So, if this stamp is worth $50 in the VG condition, the price for the VGNH specimen would be…
VG value ($50) + surcharge (50 x 100% / 4 = $12.50) = $62.50
Note, if a VF Mint stamp, issued after 1949, has been previously hinged, it will usually sell for 50% of the VF NH price of the Catalogue.
Important information for very early Canada stamps:
The price of very early Canada stamps can be affected by the Original Gum (OG) surcharge. These early rare stamps are priced in the Unitrade Specialized Catalogue in mint (without gum) and when they have a good percentage of their original gum, they command a premium. These early stamps are very rarely available in mint never hinged condition. However, a premium will be added to the price if the stamp has some of its Original Gum. Many of these early mint stamps have had some regumming because the owner wanted them to look perfect, however, this practice doesn’t alter the value of the stamp. (see Stamp Echo article:Fakes and Forgeries-How to Spot Them! for help in determining if your stamp has been regummed). Calculating the premium follows the same principles as for never hinged stamps. The Unitrade OG premium is also indicated in the Unitrade Catalogue. Certificates of authenticity are recommended for all the more expensive values with original gum.
Some stamp prices can be affected by both the OG and the NH surcharge. For example, for the Large Queen issues (Scott numbers 21-30) with OG you must add 100% to the original price, but if you find a OG-NH stamp you add 300% to the original price.
Is your brain spinning yet? Just kidding. In no time at all this will be second nature. Happy pricing!