Canada #444 5c Bright Aniline Blue, Wisemen's Gifts, 1965 Christmas Issue, a VFNH Single of the Aniline Ink

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A very fine single of the 5c bright blue wisemen's gifts stamp from the 1965 Christmas Issue, printed in the scarce aniline ink on dull fluorescent paper.

The aniline inks are not listed in Unitrade, but they occur on many of the blue stamps of the 1950's and 1960's. They are all scarce, turning up only a handful of times in many hundreds of mint examples, and quite often thousands of stamps. It has been suggested by some that these are colour changelings brought about by storage conditions, but I have recently sold a cover that was franked with several stamps, with only a few on the envelope being aniline. This supports the notion that these are legitimate differences in the chemical composition of the inks. On this issue the blue is actually a completely different shade from what is usually seen. Normally this stamp is printed in a violet blue. This shade is much brighter. Also, the comparison scan of the backs shows the suffusion of colour through to the surface of the paper that is characteristic of stamps printed with aniline inks. 

Unitrade does not list these printings, but my estimate of their value is generally between $25 and $50 per stamp. So for this stamp, I would place the value at $40 for the single. The stamp offered here grades 75 as follows:

Centering/margins: 45/70 
Paper freshness: 5/5 
Colour: 5/5 
Impression: 5/5 
Absence of visible paper flaws: 5/5 
Perforations: 10/10

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