A 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 bluish white white, with a low density concentration of low and medium fluorescent fibres visible in the paper, as well as very few brownish woodpulp fibres. Together, these give the paper a medium-fluorescent appearance, although Unitrade refers to it as hibrite. The tagging on the stamps is of dark (heavy) strength, which means that it is deep yellow and obvious to the naked eye (see the second scan for examples of all three tagging intensities). Unitrade lists these stamps as being on HB paper, but this is a gross over-simplification, as the above description shows. There are in fact, at least three different types of the HB paper, and three different tagging strengths (light, moderate and dark), for a total of at least nine varieties. The scarcity of these varieties varies widely, with this being scarcer than the more common high-fluorescent appearing paper, based on my examination of over 800 plate blocks and se-tenant blocks. Less than 10% of the blocks examined were on this type of paper. Unitrade lists a VF-75 NH block at $3.75., but I think $5 is a more realistic value, given the scarcity of the paper. 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.