The 6c Orange Transportation Stamp of the 1967-1973 Centennial Issue Part Three
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.
Unitrade lists the booklet panes from which these stamps come as existing on papers with three different fluorescence levels:
- Dull fluorescent.
- Low fluorescent.
- Dull fluorescent with fluorescent fibres.
- Low fluorescent with fluorescent fibres, on panes with the fluorescent ink.
- Dead, or non-fluorescent.
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:
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:
- A low density concentration of low fluorescent fibres.
- A very sparse concentration of medium and high fluorescent fibres.
- Very few hibrite fibres.
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:
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.
On these booklet stamps, I have found three types of dextrose gum:
- A cream gum that is smooth, has a satin sheen, and shows a very fine pattern of diagonal cracks running across it.
- A colourless gum that is smooth, and has a semi-gloss sheen.
- 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:
Unitrade lists the perforation as being comb 10.0. However, McCann notes that the exact perforation is 9.9 comb.
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:
- The paper is always horizontal wove.
- It has a very light surface coating, and a smooth printing surface, which keeps loose fibres from forming on the paper surface.
- It is a light cream colour when viewed against a stark white background.
- No mesh pattern is visible when the paper is viewed against strong back lighting
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:
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 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.
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:
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.
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:
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:
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:
I have found three different types of dextrose gum on these coils:
- A completely smooth and even yellowish cream gum that has a semi-gloss sheen.
- A somewhat streaky yellowish cream gum that has a semi-gloss sheen.
- A blotchy gum that has a satin sheen.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.