Canada #J31ii 4c Carmine Red 1973-1977 Third Centennial Postage Due Issue, Canada Post Sealed Pack Of Plate Blocks, DF-fl Ribbed Paper and DF Type 1a Insert

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A very fine NH sealed post office pack of 4 inscription blocks of the 4c carmine red postage due stamp from the 1973-1977 Third Centennial Postage Due Issue. Printed on dull fluorescent, ribbed paper, containing a sparse concentration of low fluorescent fibres in the paper. Line perforated 12.

The card insert inside the pack is the type 1a Canada Post logo with the red, purple and baby 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. Type 1a differs from type 1 in the shade of blue, which is paler and duller, and in the appearance of the face value, which has a decimal point in front of the first number. This is not present on the type 1 packs for which the face value was under $1. 

Unitrade lists a VF-75 NH matched set of the basic plate blocks at $10. 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-75 NH, based on the top block in the pack as follows:

Margins/centering: 45/70

Paper freshness: 5/5

Colour: 5/5

Impression: 5/5

Absence of visible paper flaws: 5/5

Perforations: 10/10