The 6c Orange Transportation Stamp of the 1967-1973 Centennial Issue Part Three

The 6c Orange Transportation Stamp of the 1967-1973 Centennial Issue Part Three

Today's post finishes off the coverage for the 6c orange transportation design of this series, which was replaced by the 6c black of the same design in early 1970. Today, I will look at the booklet stamps, which came in both 25c booklets and $1.50 booklets, as well as the coil stamps.

The booklet stamps were all printed by the BABN, as were the sheet stamps. However the coil stamps were printed by the CBN, and if you look closely at the designs, you can see slight differences in the strength of engraving that are similar to the differences between dies 1 and 2 of the 6c black design.

These stamps are all relatively straightforward, with the exception of a few paper varieties that exist for both types of booklet stamps and the coils. Both the booklet and coil stamps are listed by Unitrade as existing on both dull fluorescent and hibrite papers. However, there are variations in both these paper types, that are not expressly discussed in Unitrade. The stamps from the 25c booklets also exist printed in fluorescent ink, as was the case with the perf. 10 sheet stamps.

The stamps from the booklets can easily be distinguished in cases where the side perforations have not been completely cut away, but the perforated edges on the outside edges of stamps from the $1.50 booklets, whereas these edges are always straight on stamps from the 25c booklets.


Stamps Issued in 25c Booklets - Unitrade #459v, vi, vii and viii

Paper Characteristics Other Than Fluorescence

The paper that was used to print the booklet panes from which these stamps come is generally a soft, horizontal wove paper. The paper is generally uncoated and has a smooth but porous surface. Unlike many of the sheet stamps, there is no surface ribbing visible on the paper. When held up to strong back lighting, there is a light vertical mesh pattern visible. The hibrite paper appears only very slightly off-white when viewed against a pure white background, whereas the other paper types appear to be a very deep cream off-white colour, when viewed against a stark white background.


Paper Fluorescence

Unitrade lists the booklet panes from which these stamps come as existing on papers with three different fluorescence levels:


  1. Dull fluorescent.
  2. Low fluorescent.
  3. Hibrite.
McCann lists the same three varieties of fluorescence, but also lists three more:
  1. Dull fluorescent with fluorescent fibres.
  2. Low fluorescent with fluorescent fibres, on panes with the fluorescent ink.
  3. Dead, or non-fluorescent. 
I do not have an example of the low fluorescent, without fluorescent fibres to show here. But I do have examples of all the other paper types, including two varieties of the dull fluorescent paper. The pictures below show examples of these various levels of fluorescence.

This first picture shows the stark difference between the hibrite paper and the dull fluorescent paper, with two dull fluorescent paper stamps shown on the top row, followed by five hibrite stamps on the bottom two rows. The hibrite paper on these stamps is a true hibrite and has a uniform, bluish white glow under UV light.

The next picture shows two of the dull fluorescent papers:

The stamp on the left is printed on a paper giving an ivory colour under UV. There are a very few (less than 5) low fluorescent fibres visible in the paper, but they are not generally noticeable to the eye. The stamp on the left is the dull fluorescent paper with fluorescent fibres, that McCann refers to in his booklet catalogue. The basic colour of the paper is violet grey, and then there is a very sparse concentration of low fluorescent fibres, very few medium fluorescent fibres and 1-2 high fluorescent fibres visible in the paper. They are noticeable if you view the stamp at close range, but if you are looking at the stamp from more than a few inches away, they are not very noticeable.  
The next picture shows a complete booklet pane of the dull fluorescent greyish paper, shown next to the ivory paper:


This paper contains a few low fluorescent fibres, but they are not evenly distributed, so that some stamps show no fibres at all, while others might show one fibre.

The next picture shows an example of the so called dead paper.



As you can see, this paper is a deep grey under the UV light. The difference is more readily visible if you look at the colour of the label and compare it to the stamp on the right. There are no fluorescent fibres in this paper. This paper is, in my opinion, what McCann means when he refers  to "dead" paper. It is clearly deeper in colour than the normal dull fluorescent paper, but it is not as deep as many of the non-fluorescent papers found on other stamps of the series.

Lastly, we have the low fluorescent paper, with fluorescent fibres, shown in the picture below:



Although the paper of this booklet pane does not appear very bright, you can see that it is much brighter than the dull fluorescent paper. This paper contains a considerable amount of fluorescent fibres, and you can see them most easily in the label at the top of the booklet. The fibres included in this paper cover the full range of fluorescence and include:


  1. A low density concentration of low fluorescent fibres.
  2. A very sparse concentration of medium and high fluorescent fibres.
  3. Very few hibrite fibres. 

Shades

Unitrade does not list any specific shade varieties on this stamp. However, they do list a fluorescent orange ink, similar to that found on selected printings of the perf. 10 sheet stamps. McCann goes a little bit deeper than Unitrade and distinguishes between a fluorescent orange ink, which it says exists on dull fluorescent, low fluorescent and LF-fl paper, and a fluorescent red ink, which is generally only found on the dull fluorescent paper. Both of these inks are transformative in the sense that their colour appears radically different under the UV light, as compared to normal light. I do not have examples of either of these that I can show here at the moment, but I will add some when I come across them.

I have found two very closely related shades of these booklet stamps as shown below:

Both of these shades are closest to orange-red on the Gibbons colour key, with the shade on the right being a little brighter than the shade on the left.

Under UV light, many of the inks retain their basic orange-red colour, or go a bit deeper than they appear under white light. However, there are some inks, particularly on many of the hibrite paper printings that appear black under UV. These later inks are transformative in nature, while the others are non-transformative.


Gum

On these booklet stamps, I have found three types of dextrose gum:


  1. A cream gum that is smooth, has a satin sheen, and shows a very fine pattern of diagonal cracks running across it. 
  2. A colourless gum that is smooth, and has a semi-gloss sheen.
  3. A colourless gum that is smooth, and has a glossy sheen, and shows what almost appear to be horizontal brush strokes running across it. 

I took some pictures of these types under my desk lamp to attempt to show these differences more clearly:

This picture shows the crackly gum on the top stamp, and the glossy gum on the bottom stamp. Hopefully you can see the difference in sheen and general appearance between these two types of gum
Here is a comparison of the high gloss gum and the semi-gloss gum. The high gloss is shown on the bottom stamp, while the semi-gloss is shown on the top stamp.


Perforation

Unitrade lists the perforation as being comb 10.0. However, McCann notes that the exact perforation is 9.9 comb.


Plate Flaws

I would expect that these booklets should exist with at least some of the 100+ minor constant flaws that are reported to exist on the sheet stamps. Such flaws are generally small specks of colour in areas of the design where there shouldn't be any. I will add images of the more prominent ones as I come across them.

Stamps Issued in $1.50 Booklets - Unitrade #459as and ais


Paper Characteristics Other Than Fluorescence

The paper used to print the booklet panes from which these stamps come exhibits very similar characteristics to the paper used to print the 25c booklet panes, with a few differences:


  1. The paper is always horizontal wove.
  2. It has a very light surface coating, and a smooth printing surface, which keeps loose fibres from forming on the paper surface.
  3. It is a light cream colour when viewed against a stark white background. 
  4. No mesh pattern is visible when the paper is viewed against strong back lighting


Paper Fluorescence

Unitrade lists the booklet panes from which these stamps come as existing on non-fluorescent paper, and low fluorescent paper with fluorescent fibres. McCann lists both a dull fluorescent paper and a dead paper, as well as dull with fluorescent fibres, low fluorescent and high fluorescent. So there are clearly more varieties of fluorescence than Unitrade lists.

I do not have an example of either the dead paper, the dull paper with fluorescent fibres, or the high fluorescent paper to show at the moment. However, I will add examples when they become available. However, I do have the dull fluorescent paper, as well as the low fluorescent paper with fluorescent fibres, which are shown in the picture below:

The booklet on the right is the dull fluorescent paper, which has a greyish colour under the UV light, and shows no fluorescent fibres in the paper. The booklet on the left is a low fluorescent paper that contains sparse concentrations of low and medium fluorescent fibres, and a very sparse concentration of high fluorescent fibres.

Shades

I have found two shades of orange red ink on these stamps. Generally, the shade is a deep bright orange red, but a slightly duller version is often seen. The scan below shows both these shades:

The deep bright orange red is shown on the left stamp, and the right stamp shows a slightly duller version of the same shade. Under UV light, the shades appear more or less similar to how they appear under white light, only deeper. Therefore they are non-transformative inks.

Gum

The gum types found on these stamps are similar to those found on the 25c booklet stamps, with one exception: I have not found an example of this booklet with the high gloss gum. However the crackly gum and the semi-gloss gum have been noted on these panes, and likely exist with all the levels of  paper fluorescence discussed.


Perforation

Unitrade lists the perforation as comb 10.0, however McCann states that it is actually 9.9 comb, as was the case with the 25c booklets.

The perforations of these booklets are different from other booklets issued up to this point in one important respect: the left and right edges of the panes were not left imperforate prior to be guillotined. Instead they were perforated, so that most stamps from the sides of these booklets will have perforations on all sides. However, the perforations on one side will be uniform and obviously cut, which will enable you to positively identify singles as having come from these booklets.

The scan below shows three singles from a typical booklet, two from the right side of the booklet, and one from the left, showing the guillotined perforations:

The left stamp is from the lower right corner of the booklet, as evidenced by the straight edge and the straight perforations on the right. Notice how the perforations on this side are perfectly uniform, with no fibres protruding from the perforation tips. The stamp in the middle has these perforations on the left side, which indicates that it comes from the left side of one of rows 2 thorough 9. Finally, the stamp on the right is from the right side of the booklet, of one of rows 1-9. In some instances, the guillotining will have been done poorly, resulting in clipped or missing perforations. But in most cases, remnants of these perforations will still be visible. I have yet to see a stamp from these booklets that has full size margins with completely straight edges at the sides.

Plate Flaws

McCann lists these booklets as existing with a mole on the lip or nose of the Queen on the first stamp of the 9th horizontal row. As we shall see in subsequent posts, this is a semi-constant flaw that is found on the 6c black booklets as well. I say that it is semi-constant because not every booklet is affected.

My comments about the constant plate flaws on sheet stamps, existing on the booklets, for the 25c booklets above applies here too. I do not know, which of the flaws found on the sheet stamps exist here as well. I simply have to add images and document what exists as I find them.


Coil Stamps - Unitrade #468A and #468Ai

The coil stamps of this design marked a new era in Canadian coil stamp production. Previously, the coils were produced in rolls of 500 stamps each that began with 10 blank labels and ended with 10 blank labels. The rolls themselves had been prepared by joining large strips of stamps together, which in turn had been cut from large, perforated sheets of stamps. Each roll was produced separately and enclosed in brown paper that had the denomination handstamped on the wrapping paper in purple.

These new coils were now produced in rolls of 100 that were also wrapped in paper, but instead of being produced individually, the rolls were produced in sticks of 10 rolls, which were produced by taking a 10 x 100 roll of stamps, that was perforated in the horizontal direction only, wrapping it in paper as before, and then scoring it between the rolls. The rolls could then be snapped apart and sold. They were designed to be stored in little plastic stamp dispensers, so that a user could tear one stamp off the roll. As such, they do not contain any joins, and jumps are much, much more difficult to spot, because they are so small compared to earlier coil issues, where the jumps in spacing are more obvious.


Paper Characteristics Other Than Fluorescence

Like the previous coil stamps of this series, these coil stamps can be found on both horizontally and vertically wove paper. The differences can be readily seen in the way that the mint stamps curl when left exposed to the air, as the picture below shows:



The strip on the left of this picture is clearly curling upward, which indicates that the weave direction of the paper is horizontal. In contrast, the pair on the right is lying flat. In actuality the paper of this pair bends more easily in the vertical direction than it does in the horizontal direction. This indicates that the paper is vertical wove paper.

I have not seen any other variation in the physical characteristics of the paper. It is a very lightly coated paper that has a smooth, semi-porous surface. There is often, but not always a very light ribbing present on the gum side of stamps that mimics the horizontal mesh pattern of the paper. This pattern is always very clearly visible when the stamps are viewed against very strong back lighting.

Paper Fluorescence

Unitrade lists these coil stamps as existing on either dull fluorescent paper, or hibrite paper. In reality, the so called hibrite paper varies from a high fluorescent paper to a true hibrite, while the dull fluorescent paper also shows variations. Neither of these types of variations are mentioned or listed in Unitrade. The pictures below show some of these variations.

Let's start with the hibrite papers:



All of the stamps in this picture are considered by Unitrade to be hibrite. However, the pair in the right is clearly brighter than the other stamps, and is more in line with what we would typically expect true hibrite paper to look like. The other stamps are on what I would consider to be on high fluorescent, or very bright medium fluorescent paper. On these papers, some hibrite fibres are ocasionally visible in the paper, whereas they are not on the true hibrite paper. 
Now, turning to the dull fluorescent papers, there are actually three papers that have a deeper, duller appearance than the standard dull fluorescent papers. They are actually very close to dead paper, and usually have some fluorescent fibres visible in the paper, but very, very few. They vary in colour under the UV light from a distinct violet grey, to grey, to a greyish white. The pictures below show these paper types:


This is the violet-grey paper that contains very few high fluorescent and hibrite fibres in the paper. 


On the right we have the grey paper and on the left the greyish white paper. On these two papers there are very few medium fluorescent and very few high fluorescent fibres. There are no hibrite fibres in either of these papers.

Then we have the dull fluorescent papers. Again, I have found that there are at least three different dull fluorescent papers for this stamp, that appear a different colour under under the UV lamp. These papers are characterized by the almost complete absence of any fluorescent fibres. There are maybe 1 or 2 medium fluorescent fibres on a stamp, but that's it. You can't generally see them unless you are looking for them specifically. The picture below shows the three types of dull fluorescent paper that I have found:



The left hand strip is the grey paper. The pair in the middle is still grey, but with a distinct yellowish cream tone and the stamp on the right is greyish white. 


Shades

These coil stamps display a somewhat disappointing uniformity of colour. Nevertheless, I have found two distinct shades of orange on them. Both completely lack the dominant reddish undertone that one tends to see on the BABN stamps. The two shades are shown in the scan below:


The shade most commonly seen on these stamps is shown on the strip on the left. It is almost a perfect match to Gibbons' orange red. The strip on the right is a much lighter and brighter shade, and is closest to bright orange on the Gibbons key. This shade is much less often seen than the orange red. 
Under UV light some of these inks change colour and become very deep red oranges, and other times the colours look more or less the same as they do in normal light. However, in nearly all cases, except for a few printings on hibrite paper, the basic colour still looks like a variation of orange red. Those few printings on hibrite paper, look black under UV light. Therefore, all of the inks used to print these coils are non-transformative, except for a few printings on the hibrite paper, which are transformative. 


Gum

I have found three different types of dextrose gum on these coils:


  1. A completely smooth and even yellowish cream gum that has a semi-gloss sheen.
  2. A somewhat streaky yellowish cream gum that has a semi-gloss sheen. 
  3. A blotchy gum that has a satin sheen.
The smooth and slightly streaky gums are the same as those that we see on all CBN stamps of this series prior to 1970. The blotchy gum is first seen on very late printings of the 1c and 5c sheet stamps, and is known to originate sometime in 1970. So, it would follow that this type of gum on these coil stamps likely identifies it as having come from the last printings made of these coil stamps, just before they were replaced in August 1970.
I took some pictures under my desk lamp of the three gum types, and I hope they will adequately illustrate the different types:



Here is the smooth gum. As you can see, it is more or less evenly applied across the stamps. There may be the odd shallow area here and there, but it is not regular enough for the gum to be considered streaky.

Let's take a look at the slightly streaky gum:


The shot is out of focus for some reason, and despite several takes, I could not get a clearer picture than this. However, this should be sufficient in that you can see several areas of unevenness in the application of the gum that run from top to bottom across the stamp. It is this pattern that makes the gum slightly streaky.

Lastly, let's take a look at the very distinct blotchy gum:



This picture shows the extreme blotchy appearance of this gum type.

Perforation

Unlike the previous 3c, 4c and 5c coil stamps printed by the CBN, which were perforated 9.5 horizontally, these stamps are perforated 10 horizontally.  Occasionally, you can find strips in which one or more of the horizontal perforations are completely missing, due to a missing or broken pin in the perforating wheel. The scan below shows an example of a missing perforation that occurred on one stamp in a strip of 4:


On this stamp, the perforation at the top right is completely missing.


Plate Flaws

Unitrade does not list any plate flaws at all on these stamps, and I cannot recall seeing any in my 30 years of handling the stamps of this issue. However, I have come across examples that show ink smudges in the margins between stamps, such as the one shown below:

On this stamp, there is a relatively large smudge of orange ink in the top margin, above "postes".

Spacing Varieties and Jumps

As is the case with all coil stamps printed by CBN, these coil stamps exist with the usual range of wide and narrow spacing varieties between the stamps. The normal spacing between stamp impressions is approximately 4 mm, but narrow spacings under 3 mm can be found, and wide spacings over 4.5 mm can also be found. However, in addition to these usual spacing varieties Unitrade notes that an exceptionally wide spacing variety exists, in which the space is 17 mm. It notes that the gap is actually a gutter, an fewer than 10 of these "gutter strips" exist.

A typical wide spacing variety is shown in the scan below:

The normal 4 mm spacing between stamps is shown on the left strip. On the right strip between the two middle stamps is a clear 5 mm wide space. This is considered to be wide spacing. One word of caution when looking for wide spacing strips: off centre strips in which the perforations are very close to one stamp will appear to have wider spacing than they actually have. So to properly identify them, you actually have the measure the space. 

Imperforates

This is the first of the modern coil stamps printed by the CBN to be listed by Unitrade as existing in entirely imperforate form. As far as the imperforate pairs of this issue go, it is the least scarce, listing for $400 in Unitrade for a pair on dull fluorescent paper. A pair on hibrite paper is much scarcer, listing for 10 times as much as this.

This brings us to the end of the 6c orange transportation stamp. Next week, I will begin to examine the printings of the 6c black.

Previous article The 6c Black Transportation Stamp of the 1967-73 Centennial Issue Part One
Next article The 6c Orange Transportation Stamp of the 1967-1973 Centennial Issue Part Two

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