Australia #439 (SG#425-425b) 30c Waratah 1968-1971 Floral Definitives, VFNH Examples of Types 1 and 2


Well centered and VFNH examples of the types 1 and 2 of the 30c Waratah stamp from the 1968-1971 state floral definitives. The difference between the two has to do with how prominent the white highlights of the petals are. On type 2 the white is more prominent on all the petals. Type 2 was a new printing made from new cylinders in 1971. 

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, some stamps are found with a uniform coating on the paper that glows orange-red, while others have the paper impregnated with Helecon, so that it appears greyish white from a distance under UV, but under magnification, tiny orange-red dots can be seen on the surface of the paper. By the time these issues appeared, the majority of chalk-surfaced paper stamps have the Helecon incorported into the chalk coating, while the engraved stamps still have a Helecon coating on the paper. 

Gibbons lists these stamps at 5.25 pounds (approx. $10.50) for VFNH. The stamps here grade between 75 and 80.