A well centered and very fine mint NH plate 1 lower right block of 4 of the 8c dark blue summer sports stamps from the 1974 Keep Fit Sports Issue, with dark General Ottawa 4 mm OP-2 tagging. Line perf. 11.85 x 11.85. Horizontal wove paper with no ribbing or vertical mesh. Smooth creamy PVA gum with an eggshell sheen. Under ultraviolet light, the paper appears dull fluorescent greyish white, with a sparse concentration of dull fluorescent fibres visible in the paper. The tagging on the stamps is of dark (heavy) strength, which means that it is dark yellow and very obvious to the naked eye (see the second scan for examples of all three tagging intensities). Unitrade lists these stamps as being on DF paper, but this is a gross over-simplification, as the above description shows. There are in fact, at least five different types of the DF paper, and three different tagging strengths (light, moderate and dark), for a total of at least fifteen varieties. The scarcity of these varieties varies widely, with this being one of the scarcer types, based on my examination of over 800 plate blocks and se-tenant blocks, in which less than 10% were on this type of paper. Unitrade lists a normal VF-75 NH block at $2.50, but this should be worth at least $5, based on the scarcity of this paper type. The block offered here grades VF-80 NH, as follows:
Paper freshness: 5/5
Absence of visible paper flaws: 5/5
Note any vertical or horizontal line shown in the scan is the edge of the acetate strip that the stamp was resting inside on the stockcard.
Note: the above scan is a stock photo as are all my scans for material after 1952. The item(s) you will receive has (have) been carefully checked to adhere to the above grading standards, so while it (they) may not be exactly the same, it (they) will be of the same quality. Also, I do not provide back scans of NH stamps or blocks after 1952 unless they are required to illustrate some attribute of the paper or gum.