This week's post, as will my posts over the next several weeks will have to be made much shorter than usual due to some severe constraints on my time. Basically, I have to focus on the completion of my website, so that I can make the transition away from E-bay successfully. So, for the next several weeks I will not be able to devote an entire day to blog writing. But, I do not want to leave my readers hanging with no new material, so I have decided to continue posting, but to publish shorter than usual posts. Then, once my website is operational, I can resume the longer posts.
With that I mind, I will finish the 5c Atlantic Fishing Village stamp, by looking at the printings of the coil stamp, and then I will begin looking at the untagged sheet stamp of the 6c orange transportation design, with the sheet stamps perforated 10.
The 5c Atlantic Fishing Village Coil Stamps - Unitrade/Scott #468
This was the last of the coil stamps to be printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company (CBN) in rolls of 500 stamps, prior to the reduction of roll sizes to 100 stamps, in preparation for the introduction of the new plastic stamp dispensers in 1968. As such, it is the last coil stamp which exists with start strips, end strips and repair paste-ups, as none of these things were necessary with the smaller rolls and the manner in which they were to be dispensed.
Paper Attributes Other Than Fluorescence
Both horizontal and vertical wove papers were used to print these coil stamps. In instances where the paper is vertical wove, the stamps will tend to lie flat and will, when gum is present, curl slightly upwards in the horizontal direction. When the paper is horizontal wove, the stamps will not usually lie flat, and will curl in the vertical direction.
The picture below shows two different coil pairs, with one being on vertical wove paper, and one being on horizontal wove paper.
In all cases, the paper is a cream paper that looks decidedly off-white when viewed against a stark white background. Unlike the CBN printings of many of the sheet stamps from 1967, when the coils were issued, the paper is uncoated, so that under magnification it is possible to see loose and stray fibres on the paper surface. Generally speaking there is no visible ribbing on the gum side of these stamps. Generally, when the stamps are held up and viewed against a strong back light, it is possible to see a faint horizontal mesh pattern.
Unitrade lists two levels of paper fluorescence: dull fluorescent and low fluorescent with fluorescent fibres. In reality, there are really three basic levels, and several sub types of each one. The third level of fluorescence is dull fluorescent with fluorescent fibres. The brightness and quantity of these fibre inclusions varies considerably, and they will either make the paper appear fluorescent overall, or they will not change the overall perceived level of fluorescence, in which case they are still dull fluorescent.
I have found three varieties of dull fluorescent paper:
The pair at the upper right is a deep grey colour under the UV light, while the bottom single stamp is a greyish white colour. The strip on the left is an ivory colour under the UV light. None of these three papers contain any significant number of fluorescent fibres inside them. Occasionally, you might see the odd stray fibre, but it will only one, or at most two. So, for all intents and purposes there are no fibres in this paper.
The next picture shows three of the papers containing fluorescent fibres:
The precancelled strip of 4 on the left is the brightest of the three items shown here, and is in fact one of three true low fluorescent papers. It is a low fluorescent greyish white colour under the UV light and the paper contains very sparse concentrations of medium and high fluorescent fibres, as well as very few low fluorescent fibres. The pair on the right is a dull fluorescent greyish white under UV, and contains a very sparse concentration of high fluorescent fibres and very few medium and low fluorescent fibres. These fibres feature prominently on the stamp, but do not alter the overall perceived level of fluorescence. You can just make out the brightest fibres in the margin between the stamps in the pair above the Queen's head and near the upper left space between the two stamps. The lower right single stamp is a low fluorescent greyish colour under UV light, and contains very sparse concentrations of high fluorescent and hibrite fibres, as well as very few low and medium fluorescent ones.
The next picture shows two more varieties:
There are several shades of the blue to be found on these coil stamps. However, I have not found the extreme indigo or bright blue shades that I found on the sheet stamps. Instead, the shades all seem to be "middle of the road" blue shades. The differences are quite subtle, but I have found four very similar shades. Here are the first two:
The next two shades are shown below:
The shades generally do not change under UV light, but merely appear darker than they do in ordinary light. Therefore, the inks used are non-transformative.
I have found two types of dextrose gum on these stamps:
- A smooth, yellowish cream gum with a semi-gloss sheen, and
- A streaky, yellowish cream gum with a semi-gloss sheen.
These stamps were line perforated 9.4 horizontally, although all the standard catalogues round the perforation measurement up to 9.5.
There is one documented precancel style found on these coil stamps, consisting of three pairs of thin vertical black bars as shown below:
The precancels appear to exist with all forms of paper fluorescence that occur with the non-precancelled stamps. Such is likely also the case in terms of paper and gum also.
Spacing Varieties and Jumps
The normal spacing between stamps in the vertical direction on these coils is between 4 mm and 4.25 mm. Strips and pairs can be found where the spacing is either narrow (i.e. 3 mm to 3.75 mm), or wide (over 4.5 mm). An example of a wide spacing strip showing a 5 mm space between stamps is shown below, next to a regular strip with normal spacing:
On November 1, 1968, this stamp was issued to replace the 5c Atlantic Fishing Village stamp as the main stamp in use to pay the first class postage rate
Attributes of Paper Other Than Fluorescence
The paper used to print these stamps is generally always horizontal wove, rather than the vertical wove found on the other low values. The paper is uncoated and has a smooth, porous surface. The paper is a light cream colour when viewed against a stark white background. There are four types of paper that both share these attributes, but which differ as follows:
- One type of paper shows no ribbing on the surface, and when held up to a strong back light, a faint vertical mesh pattern is visible.
- Another type is similar, but shows faint vertical ribbing on the surface.
- A third type is a smooth paper that shows no ribbing on the face, and no mesh pattern when held up to a strong back light. It would appear that the low fluorescent papers are of this type.
- A fourth type is a buff coloured, ribbed paper that shows a strong vertical mesh pattern when viewed against a strong back light.
Unitrade lists only three types of paper for this stamp: non-fluorescent (NF), dull fluorescent (DF) and low fluorescent with fluorescent fibres (LF-fl). The standard stamp is listed as being on NF paper, but I have yet to see an example of this stamp on what I would consider to be truly NF paper. Instead, I believe that there are at least 5 types of DF paper as shown below:
- The block contains a low density of low fluorescent fibres, a sparse concentration of medium fluorescent fibres, a very sparse concentration of high fluorescent fibres and very few hibrite fibres. Together, these fibres make the paper appear solidly low fluorescent.
- The pair is similar, except that instead of a low density of low fluorescent fibres, there is a sparse density.
Despite the fact that Unitrade does not list any shades on this stamp, there are quite a few shade variations of the orange ink that vary in terms of intensity and brightness, as well as their appearance under UV light. Some of the inks are non-transformative, in the sense that they still appear shades of orange-red or red-orange under UV light, while others are transformative, appearing either brown orange, orange brown or bright fluorescent orange or fluorescent red.
So in looking at the shades on this stamp it makes sense to describe the shades both in normal light, as well as under UV light.
The picture below shows the first of the shades, which is the fluorescent orange ink, as listed in Unitrade. In normal light, the colour is red-orange that is neither bright, nor dull. Here is the colour under UV light when compared to a stamp with normal, non-fluorescent ink:
The fluorescent ink is the left stamp of course, and this particular one glows a very bright red-orange. The ink is also known to exist in a slightly redder orange that is less bright. Unfortunately, I do not have an example that I can show here, but will add one as soon as it becomes available.
The next two are shades of the non-fluorescent ink:
The next shade is a brighter, slightly deeper orange, and is shown below:
I have noted two types of dextrose gum on these stamps:
- A light cream, smooth gum that has a glossy sheen and what appear to be horizontal brushstrokes running through it.
- A smooth, cream gum that has a fine diagonal crackly pattern.
These stamps are comb perforated 10.0. They are the first of the sheet stamps of this series to be perforated using new comb machines, rather than line perforated.
This stamp was produced with a precancel consisting of three pairs of horizontal bars that were printed before the stamp design was printed. But the bars look like they were printed on top of the stamp. This pprecancel is shown below:
Unitrade lists one plate flaw on this stamp, which is the "doubled C" in "Canada", which occurs on position 10 of some panes. It is quite a distinct doubling, and is quite obvious to the naked eye. Unitrade does note that almost 100 other constant flyspeck flaws are known on this stamp. Most consists of dots or specks in the margins, or other parts of the design. I do not currently have examples of these flaws in my stock, but will add examples as I identify them, so that you can see what to look for. Most of these are not particularly scarce, and are consequently only worth $2-$5 per variety.
Bringing it All Together
I have identified so far:
- Four types of paper.
- Five levels of dull fluorescent paper and two of low fluorescent.
- Six shades or types of ink.
- 2 types of gum.
- Precanceled and non-precancelled.
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