Canada #C8 7c Pale Prussian Blue, RCAF Training Field, 1942-1946 War Effort Issue, A Perfectly Centered GEM Mint NH Example

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A perfectly centered NH mint example of the 7c pale Prussian blue RCAF training field stamp from the 1942-1949 War Effort issue. This example is printed on crisp vertical wove paper with no clear mesh and cream gum that has a satin sheen. Unitrade values a VFNH mint example at $2.25, but perfectly centered examples like this are still challenging to find. The stamp offered here grades a perfect GEM-100. 

As explained in the blog article here, this issue exists with a variety of different papers and gums as well as some subtle differences in shades. I'm not sure why Unitrade does not list any of these, because they are fairly easy to see, once you know what to look for. 

This lot includes some, but not all of the varieties that exist.  In terms of papers, generally you can find:

  1. A white paper that is soft, that from the back shows fine vertical mesh and especially when held up to a strong backlighting source. 
  2. A cream paper that is still soft, but thicker and which shows some horizontal weave on the back, and occasionally on the front.
  3. A cream paper that is similar to #2, but does not show the horizontal weave.
  4. A crisp greyish wove paper that shows no clear mesh.

In terms of gum, there are at least six types, possibly more. Some study will be required to establish whether these were used in succession over the life of the issue or whether they were used concurrently throughout the life of the issue. Looking at the gum types on the previous issue, the 1937-1942 Mufti issue, and the subsequent issue, the 1949-1953 Postes Postage issue there is some evidence to suggest that they follow a sequence throughout the life of the issue. The types usually seen, which may or may not be found on more than 1 paper type are:

  1. A white or colourless smooth gum, that has a slight level of very fine surface crackling. 
  2. A smooth, shiny cream coloured gum.
  3. A deeper, smooth and somewhat shiny gum
  4. A deep yellowish, smooth gum that is somewhat shiny. 
  5. A brownish gum that is smooth and shiny.
  6. A mottled brownish cream or cream coloured gum with a satin sheen.

In terms of shades. the varieties are subtle, but with careful comparison, you can usually spot some clear differences. The best way to see these is to compare the two stamps and relax your overall gaze and look at the overall appearance of the stamp. If you do this you will generally see that the blue of #C7 and C8 varies in terms of the amount of green and grey in the shade. In addition to pure deep bright blue, you can find Prussian blue, grey-blue and greenish blue shades.

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