Canada #CE3 17c Deep Ultramarine, D.C. 4-M Airplane, 1946-1950 Peace Airmail Special Delivery Issue, A VFNH Example

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A very well centered and very fine NH example of the 17c deep ultramarine airmail special delivery stamp of the 1946-1950 Peace issue, with the incorrect circumflex accent. This example is printed in a the typical deep ultramarine that is usually found and the paper is a crisp vertical wove paper that shows light horizontal ribbing on the gum and has streaky yellowish cream gum with a satin sheen.  Unitrade values this stamp at $11.25 for VF. The example offered here grades 84 as follows:

Centering/margins: 54/70 
Paper freshness: 5/5 
Colour: 5/5 
Impression: 5/5 
Absence of visible paper flaws: 5/5 
Perforations: 10/10


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. 

In terms of papers, generally you can find:

  1. A white paper that is crisp and smooth and has no distinct mesh. 
  2. A cream paper that is still soft, but thicker and which shows some horizontal weave on the back, and quite often on the front.
  3. A greyish crisp wove paper with no distinct mesh.
  4. A thicker cream paper with light horizontal ribbing visible on the back.
  5. A thin, almost transparent horizontal ribbed paper. This is listed in Unitrade for the 14c and C9, being very rare.

In terms of gum, there are at least five 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 1942-1949 War issue, and the subsequent issue, the 1949-1952 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 cream coloured mottled gum with a satin sheen.
  2. A shiny cream coloured gum with a semi-gloss sheen.
  3. A streaky cream coloured gum with a satin sheen.
  4. A yellowish gum that has a semi-gloss sheen and 
  5. A cream coloured smooth gum that has 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 ultramarine of CE3 and CE4 varies in brightness, intensity and tone, with a distinct royal blue shade found on both CE3 and CE4.  

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