The 7c Myrtle Green Transportation Stamp of the 1967-1973 Centennial Issue
The design of the stamp was similar to the earlier 6c stamps, except that a network of fine vertical lines was added to the design, creating a very dark effect.
This stamp was issued both untagged and Winnipeg tagged in sheet form, and all of the sheet stamps known were issued with dextrose gum only. Three booklets: a 25c booklet (BK66), an experimental 50c booklet (BK68) and a $1 booklet (BK67) were issued with this stamp as one of the stamps in the booklet. The stamps from the 25c and 50c booklets are the only examples of this stamp known with PVA gum. The sheet stamps were printed from 2 plates, with plate 1 being scarcer than plate 2. There were also coil stamps that were issued in rolls of 100, just like the 6c stamps. The sheet stamps and booklet stamps were printed by the BABN and the coil stamps were printed by the CBN, just as was the case with the 6c stamps. It is also one of those stamps that up until very recently was thought to exist with few to no varieties. However, in recent years, Unitrade has begun to recognize some of the distinct paper varieties that exist. There are also at least two distinct shades of the green ink that can be found as well. However, these varieties have not, as yet gained any recognition in the catalogues.
This is another stamp that exists with a very large number of constant plate varieties. According to Unitrade, there are some 86 different cylinder flaws that exist on this stamp.
The Untagged Sheet Stamps - Unitrade #543
Paper Characteristics Other Than Fluorescence
There are two types of paper on the untagged stamps, although Unitrade only lists the second, scarcer type on the tagged stamps.
The first paper type is a soft, horizontal wove paper, that is very lightly coated on the printing surface, and this coating can be seen under 10x magnification. As a result, there are no stray fibres visible on the paper surface. When held up to a strong back-light, the paper shows no particular mesh pattern.
The second paper type is a coarse, uncoated horizontal wove paper. It is a deep cream colour and is vertically ribbed. When held up to a strong back-light, a very strong mesh pattern is clearly visible. The scan below shows this paper type clearly:
The next picture below shows a comparison between this stamp and the first paper type when viewed against strong back lighting:
As you can see, the difference between these two paper types is obvious when back lighting is used. The normal paper shows no mesh pattern at all, whereas the coarse vertically ribbed paper shows a clear vertical mesh pattern.
Unitrade only lists this stamp as existing on dull fluorescent paper. While it is indeed true that the fluorescence level of all papers is dull, there is a wide variety of colours which the paper takes on under UV light: from bluish white to deep grey. Some of the papers are almost bright enough to be low fluorescent, while others are almost dull enough to be non-fluorescent. The pictures below show nine different types of paper fluorescence that I have encountered on these stamps:
The block on the left is dull fluorescent bluish white under UV and contains a very sparse concentration of low fluorescent fibres, as well as very few high fluorescent fibres. The block on the right is dull fluorescent greyish, with no fluorescent fibres visible in the paper.
The block on the left is dull fluorescent greyish brown, with no fluorescent fibres visible in the paper. The block on the right is dull fluorescent white, also with no visible fluorescent fibres in the paper.
The block on the left is a dull fluorescent cream colour under UV, and contains a very sparse concentration of low fluorescent fibres. The block on the right is similar, but the colour is greyish white. In both cases, the fluorescent fibres are not noticeable until you look at the blocks very closely.
The block on the left is dull fluorescent greyish, with no fluorescent fibres visible in the paper. The block on the right is dull fluorescent ivory, with no fluorescent fibres visible in the paper.
Under UV light, the paper appears dull fluorescent greyish cream.
I have found five shades on the untagged sheet stamps. Three of them are very, very close to one another, while two are outstandingly different. I will start with the two outstandingly different shades, and then move on to the other three, similar shades.
The picture below shows the difference between the above two shades a little more clearly:
The other three shades are all variations of these first two shades. The picture below shows a close up comparison of the three, and then the individual pictures show each shade individually:
This shade is close to the deep grey-green, but with less grey in the shade. It is actually closer to myrtle green on the Gibbons colour key, being a bit deeper.
As I said earlier above, this shade is more or less the same tone as the one above, but is deeper. So this is the deep myrtle green shade.
I have found four different types of dextrose gum on the sheet stamps:
- A very glossy cream gum that usually has fine horizontal striations that resemble brush strokes.
- A semi-gloss cream gum that also has fine horizontal striations, but is not as glossy as the first type of gum.
- A semi-gloss cream gum that has fine horizontal striations, but also appears somewhat crackly.
- A crackly cream gum with a fine diagonal crack pattern and a semi-gloss sheen.
The gum types are all illustrated by the following pictures:
The high gloss gum is shown on the top block, while the semi-gloss gum is shown on the bottom block.
The sheet stamps were comb perforated 12.5 x 12. I have not found any variation in the perforation on any of the stamps I have examined. The selvage of the sheets is fully perforated through at the sides. There is a single extension hole that protrudes into the top and bottom sheet margins for the vertical perforations.
Bringing It All Together
On these stamps, I have identified two types of paper, seven levels of fluorescence, five shades and four gum types. Assuming that all varieties can exist in tandem with all other varieties, then if follows that there could be as many as 2 x 9 x 5 x 4 = 360 collectible varieties of these stamps, not counting the constant plate flaws that exist on this value. Two plates were used to print the stamps, so that there could be 8 x 360 = 2,880 collectible plate blocks, and 12 x 360 = 4,320 collectible blank corner blocks.
The Tagged Sheet Stamps - Unitrade #543p.
Paper Characteristics Other Than Fluorescence
Two paper types are known on the tagged stamps, just as with the untagged stamps: the smooth paper and the coarse, vertically ribbed paper. The only difference between these and the untagged stamps, is that Unitrade lists the ribbed paper on this variety, and lists it for more than 10 times the price of the normal smooth paper.
I have found five different levels of dull fluorescence on the tagged stamps - not quite as many as on the untagged. However, I have had far less material on hand to study, due to the relative scarcity of the tagged stamps. So, it wouldn't surprise me at all if the tagged stamps exist with the same levels of fluorescence as the untagged ones.
The pictures below show the varieties that I found among the blocks that I have:
The block on the left is dull fluorescent greyish white under UV, with no fluorescent fibres in the paper. The block on the right is dull fluorescent bluish white, and contains a very sparse concentration of low fluorescent fibres.
I have only found one shade of green on the tagged stamps, and it is shown below:
I have found two types of dextrose gum on the tagged stamps: the glossy gum and the semi-gloss gum with the horizontal striations. I have not found any tagged stamps exhibiting the other two gum types, being the crackly gum, and the semi-smooth and semi-gloss gum.
Like the untagged stamps, these stamps were comb perforated 12.5 x 12, and the configuration of the margins on the sheets is the same as the untagged sheets:
- The side margins are perforated all the way through.
- The top and bottom margins contain a single extension hole that protrudes beyond the top horizontal row of perforations and below the bottom horizontal row of perforations.
These stamps were tagged with Winnipeg taggant, down each vertical column of perforations. The bars are 8 mm wide, and there is a space of 16 mm in the horizontal direction between the bars. The taggant has a very light colour, just as it did on the 6c orange and the 6c black, making it very difficult to see on the stamps, as it does not discolour the paper too much. The easiest way to see it is to look for changes in the shade of green of the stamp near the right and left sides. The green will appear slightly brighter and yellower where the tagging crosses over it.
The block below shows a typical tagged corner block in normal light:
Under UV light, the tagging bars can either be easily visible, in the case of the dull fluorescent greyish papers, to almost invisible, on the bluish white or greyish white papers. The pictures below show the difference between the clearly visible tagging, and tagging that is almost invisible:
Here is the visible tagging. The colour is light, but on both blocks the tagging bars are clearly visible, especially on the right.
In contrast, both these blocks are tagged, but the tagging bars are almost impossible to see.
I do not believe that the difference in the visibility of the tagging bars is the result of using different chemical compounds. Rather, I believe that it results from the different paper fluorescence varieties. So, I believe that there is only one, single type of Winnipeg tagging.
Bringing It All Together
For the tagged stamps, I have identified two paper types, five types of dull fluorescence, one shade, and two types of gum. This means that there could be as many as 20 collectible varieties and up to 240 different collectible blank corner blocks.
The Coil Stamps - Unitrade #549
Paper Characteristics Other Than Fluorescence
Unlike the sheet and booklet stamps, the coil stamps are printed on vertical wove paper. The paper is uncoated and under magnification, has a porous printing surface. The paper is a light cream colour when viewed against a stark white background. There are two very similar paper types that share the above characteristics. The first of these shows no ribbing when viewed from either the front or the back, while on the second type, the horizontal mesh is clearly visible on the back and shows up as light ribbing on the gum side. The two gum side pictures below show these differences:
In this picture, you can clearly see the horizontal mesh that is present in the paper. It is showing up as very light horizontal ribbing on the back of the stamps.
Unitrade only lists this stamp as existing on hibrite paper. In reality, I believe that most of the stamps printed are actually on high fluorescent paper, with some of the stamps being printed on true hibrite paper.
The scan below shows the high fluorescent paper and the true hibrite paper:
I have only found one shade of green on the coil stamp, and it is shown below:
I have found two types of dextrose gum on this stamp:
- A smooth yellowish cream gum with a semi-gloss sheen.
- A slightly streaky yellowish cream gum with a semi-gloss sheen.
Here is the smooth, yellowish cream dextrose gum. Note the semi-gloss sheen.
These stamps are listed by Unitrade as being line perforated 10.0. I have not seen any variation in the gauge of the perforation. There are some double perforations known, but as far as I know, no variation in the size of the perforation itself.
This coil exists completely imperforate. It is quite rare, listing for $1,500 a pair in Unitrade.
Like all the CBN printed coil stamps, this stamp exists in jump strips, as well as narrow and wide spacing strips. All of these varieties are scarcer on this value than they are on the other coil stamps, most likely because of the very short period during which this stamp was current. The normal spacing between stamp impressions in the vertical direction is 4 mm. This narrow spacing varieties tend to be 3.5 mm or narrower, while 4.5 mm or greater, suggests wide spacing. The horizontal mis-alignment between stamp impressions is quite small on the jump strips, and requires some practice and experience to spot. However, once you see it, you should be able to identify jump strips with a fair degree of accuracy.
The scans below show some jump strips, as well as a narrow spacing strip and a wide spacing strip:
Bringing It All Together
For this coil stamp, I have identified two types of paper, two levels of fluorescence and two types of gum. Each of these can be collected as a normal strip, a jump strip, a narrow spacing strip, a wide spacing strip, unsevered block, and as an imperforate pair - so 6 different ways. This means that there could be up to 2 x 2 x 2 x 6 = 48 collectible varieties of these coil stamps.
BK66 - Stamps From the June 30, 1971 25c Booklet
Under UV light, the shades appear deeper and contain a hint of black, but are still identifiable as shades of green:
- A sparse to very sparse density of dull fluorescent fibres results in paper that McCann calls "dull". It is much scarcer than either the low fluorescent or medium fluorescent papers.
- A low density concentration of dull fluorescent fibres and a very sparse concentration of medium fluorescent fibres results in the low fluorescent paper, which is the most common paper found on these booklets.
- A higher density of medium fluorescent fibres results in the so called medium fluorescent paper.
- A cream gum with a glossy sheen, that has light horizontal striations, resembling brushstrokes.
- A cream gum that is smooth, but somewhat crackly, with light horizontal striations. This gum has a semi-gloss sheen.
- A cream gum that is smooth, but crackly, with a very fine diagonal crack pattern. This gum has a satin sheen.
In this picture, the top stamp shows the crackly gum, while the bottom stamp shows the glossy gum.
Here is the semi-gloss, semi-crackly gum. Note the very fine horizontal striations visible at the top of the stamp.
Conclusions: Sorting Single Booklet Stamps
As we have seen, despite the apparent similarities of the booklet stamps, there are characteristics of each booklet that allow us to assign individual stamps to a particular booklet. The only exception to this is possibly BK68, which used the exact same panes as BK66, so it is only possible to assign singles to either BK66 or BK68.
If you have pairs of stamps from a booklet, it may possible to assign those to a particular booklet right away, based on the layout of the stamps, which are specific to a particular type of booklet:
- A vertical pair of the 1c and 7c can only come from BK 66 or BK68.
- A vertical pair of the 3c and 7c with a straight edge on the bottom of the 7c must come from either BK66 or BK68.
- A vertical pair of the 3c and 7c with a straight edge at only right or left must come from BK67.
- A vertical pair of the 7c with straight edge at only right or left must come from BK67.
- If the gum is a cream coloured PVA gum with a satin sheen, it is from either BK66 or BK68.
- If the gum is dextrose gum, then it is from BK67.
This brings me to the end of my exploration of the 7c transportation stamp. Next week I will begin a new series of four posts, which will deal with the last, and most complicated of the low values from the set: the 8c parliamentary library.