Canada #J35iii 10c Carmine Red 1973-1977 Third Centennial Postage Due Issue, Canada Post Sealed Pack Of Plate Blocks, Strongly Speckled MF Ribbed Paper and DF Type 1 Insert

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A well centered and very fine NH sealed post office pack of 4 inscription blocks of the 10c carmine red postage due stamp from the 1973-1977 Third Centennial Postage Due Issue. Printed on the scarce strongly specked medium fluorescent ribbed paper. Line perforated 12.

The card insert inside the pack is the type 1 Canada Post logo with the red, purple and deep, bright greenish blue large stylized maple leaf, that was replaced sometime in 1975 or 1976. It is printed on a card stock giving a dull fluorescent bluish white reaction under UV light. What is interesting about this insert is that it is oversize for the blocks contained in the pack. It appears to have been intended for use with the larger commemorative stamps of the time, but was used to produce some of these packs. The style of numbers is plain sans-serif with raised cents, no decimal place and a dollar sign that clearly extends through both sides of the "S".

Unitrade lists a VF-75 NH matched set of the basic plate blocks at $300. These packs have become quite scarce now, as most have been opened, and they are very collectible now due to the fact that they can be easily displayed on clear Vario pages. The card inserts can be found in slightly different designs and printed on different types of card stocks, as well as in different sizes. The cellophane wrappers can also be found in different sizes, with some being just slightly wider than the insert, and others being way too large for the insert. In my opinion, these are all highly collectible differences, as they indicate that occasionally the packs were produced with either wrappers or inserts that were not intended to be used for a particular issue.

This is a largely unexplored aspect of modern Canadian philately, and I am sure that some of these will turn out to be very scarce, though sadly no data on scarcity currently exists, as far as I know.

So I am estimating them with no premium over the price of the plate blocks contained inside them.

The blocks offered here grade VF-84 NH, based on the top block in the pack as follows:

Margins/centering: 54/70

Paper freshness: 5/5

Colour: 5/5

Impression: 5/5

Absence of visible paper flaws: 5/5

Perforations: 10/10