Australia #397a (SG#385a) 4c Orange Red Queen Elizabeth II 1966-1973 Decimal Definitive Issue, a Fine NH Booklet Pane of 5 + Label, Printed on Helecon Paper
A fine NH booklet pane of 5 plus label of the 4c orange red Queen Elizabeth II stamp from the 1966-1973 decimal definitive issue, printed on Helecon coated paper. This pane is also found on non-Helecon paper, but printed in Helecon ink.
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 pane the paper is dull and the coating is strong, appearing orange-red under UV.
Gibbons lists the pane at 16 pounds (approx. $32) for VFNH. The pane offered here grades 70 as follows:
Paper freshness: 5/5
Absence of visible paper flaws: 5/5
Pane edges: 8/10