I've just been going through an envelope of extra Canadian stamps and found a number of George V and VI precancels. As you all know, I'm sure, we here in Canada were secretive about our precancel locations and used a numeric code. I know next to nothing about these things. Can anyone tell me a) why we used numbers while our American friends printed the city of origin b) is there an easy to access list of what these numbers mean and c) - and I think this has been answered on another thread - if a stamp is precanceled but still has it's gum, is it considered used?
jamesw, what you are looking for is The Standard Canada Precancel Catalogue which isn't too expensive. I have a 2000 edition and it was listed for $12.95. Early 1900s Canada precancels did have the alpha name of Canadian cities on the stamps.
Wow, great responses, thanks wt1 and mhc99. But what about part c of the question? I've got three George V 1932 1c dark greens (one a coil) sitting here in front of me, precanceled with gum on the back. Are they used or unused? I'm so confused!
Jamesw, regarding point "C", the following is extracted from the catalogue I referenced in my earlier posting: "When a stamp is precancelled it is considered cancelled. Prices in this catalogue are for precancelled stamps without gum. Collectors who prefer stamps (precancels) with gum should expect to pay a premium over the catalogue value"