Australia #399a (SG#SB40) 5c Dark Blue Queen Elizabeth II 1966-1973 Decimal Definitive Issue, a VFNH Complete 50c Booklet, With Counting Mark
A very fine NH complete 50c booklet, containing 2 panes of of 5 plus label of the 5c dark blue Queen Elizabeth II stamp from the 1966-1973 decimal definitive issue, printed on Helecon coated paper. The booklet cover bears a small black vertical counting mark, and the interleaving pages are all highly fluorescent under UV.
The Australian equivalent of tagging is called Helecon, which is a chemical in the zinc sulphide group that fluoresces orange-red under long-wave UV light. The very first stamp to be issued with Helecon coating applied to the paper was the 11d Rabbit Bandicoot from the 1958-1964 definitive issue. Later, the 5d orange-red Queen Elizabeth II stamp from the 1963-1966 issue was issued with the Helecon incorporated into the ink. By the end of 1965 all stamps issued had Helecon applied to the paper. On this issue the fluorescence of the basic paper varies widely from dead to medium fluorescent, and the strength of the Helecon coating varies also. On this booklet the paper of the panes is dull and the coating is strong, appearing light orange-red under UV.
Gibbons lists the pane at 12 pounds (approx. $24) for VFNH. The booklet offered here grades 75 as follows:
Cover freshness: 10/10
Centering of the pane: 45/70
Condition of cover edges: 5/5
Freshness of the pane: 5/5
Absence of visible cover flaws or stains: 5/5
Condition of interleaving and contents: 5/5