A very fine mint NH sealed package of 4 plate blocks of the 8c dark blue summer sports stamps from the 1974 Keep Fit Sports Issue, with moderate 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 and card insert gives the following readings:
On the stamps: low fluorescent bluish white with a low density concentration of low fluorescent fibres, a sparse concentration of medium fluorescent fibres, and very few brownish woodpulp fibres visible in the paper.
On the card insert in the pack: dull fluorescent greyish white, with no fluorescent fibres.
The card insert shows the purple, blue and red Canada Post maple leaf logo that was replaced between 1975 and 1976, with the simpler purple design. The tagging on the stamps is of light strength, which means that it is barely visible to the naked eye, appearing at first to be untagged. 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 two different types of the HB paper, which is not really HB, but more of a MF or HF overall, and three different tagging strengths (light, moderate and dark), for a total of at least six varieties. The scarcity of these varieties varies widely, with this being by far, one of the scarcest ones, based on my examination of 200 sealed packs like this one, as I found only one packs with the dull fluorescent card insert. All 199 of the other packs had medium fluorescent card inserts. Unitrade does not price these sealed packs, but lists the VF-75 NH blocks on the HB paper at $14. These packs are getting scarcer and scarcer every year, since most dealers and collectors open them up, remove the blocks and throw away the packaging. They are collectible in their own right though and can be nicely displayed in clear Vario pages. So they should be worth more than just the price of the blocks. The pack offered here grades VF-75 NH, based on the top block in the pack, 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.