Showing posts from November, 2015

Brief Hiatus in Posts and No Longer Posting to Groups on a Daily Basis

I have come to the end of my detailed posts on the Wilding definitive issue of 1954-1967. However, I am way, way behind on my listings of this issue in my E-bay store. So while I could write about a completely different topic, I have decided that it would be best if I completed the listings of the material for this issue in my e-bay store. If you are intrigued about these issues having ready my posts on the topic and wish to view the stamps that I have for sale, the link to my store is:

I expect that listing all the material that I have for this issue will take me at least a full week. Once I have completed it and I am ready to start working on the next definitive issue, which is the 1963-1967 Cameo Issue, then I can start to write posts again about that issue. So if you have read all my posts, I would encourage you to check back here around De…

Understanding and Studying Paper Fluorescence on Modern Stamps


Probably no topic causes more confusion for collectors than the study of paper fluorescence. Many feel that there is too much subjectivity involved in evaluating and studying paper fluorescence and there is a tremendous amount of inconsistency among the stamps listed in Unitrade. Indeed many of the stamps listed are described as having the same degree of fluorescence, but appear completely different under the UV lamp. This makes positive identification of single stamps next to impossible for those unfamiliar with the papers, unless the varieties are unmistakably obvious.

This post will attempt to explain why this confusion arises and break the topic down into more manageable components, so that you will be able to see that the study of paper fluorescence is not impossibly complex.

The Cause of Confusion and Basic Grades of Fluorescence

The subject of paper fluorescence is confusing because many of the papers used contain fibres in varying densities that react differently to th…

Modern Versus Classic Philately - Just As Interesting If You Know What To Look At

I have now completed two series of posts that describe all aspects of two relatively modern Canadian definitive issues, that have until very recently been thought to contain relatively little to interest a specialist: The Karsh Issue of 1953-1967 and the Wilding Issue of 1954-1967. When I was a boy, there were almost no detailed catalogue listings of either issue, and even today, the Karsh Issue has almost no listed varieties. However, as my posts demonstrate, these two issues are hardly straightforward, and have much to keep a devoted specialist busy for an entire lifetime. So why, after such a long time, are these issues still largely neglected?

There are several reasons, but I think the main one is that there is a strong bias in the hobby to dismiss any variety that is not either very obvious, or from the classic period as being little more than random variation. Indeed, within the professional circles of philately, there is a strong bias against the serious study and collection o…

Postal History and Postal Stationery of the Wilding Issue 1954-1967

This will be my last post on the 1954-67 Wilding Issue. In this post I will talk about the collecting of postal history including first day covers and postal stationery. As we will see this is yet again a field that contains ample scope to keep you busy for quite some time.

Postal History

15c airmail cover to Germany with 1c-4c plus 1959 St Lawrence Seaway commemorative paying the first class airmail rate. 

25c domestic forwarded registered letter with a complete booklet pane of 5 of the 5c blue paying 5c postage, plus the 20c registration fee.

The collecting of covers to various destinations, paying various rates offers many different opportunities for specialization, which are basically as follows:

1. Collecting by postage rate
2. Collecting by destination
3. Collecting unintentional first day covers
4. Collecting covers addressed to significant individuals
5. Collecting covers that document significant historical events
6. Collecting business advertising covers

Collecting By Postage …

Proof Material and Errors of the Wilding Issue 1954-1967

Today's post on this fascinating definitive issue will look at some of the error material that can be found, as well as the proof material.

Errors, Freaks and Oddities

A good number of the errors that are found on this issue are foldover errors that arise when the paper becomes accidentally folded in the wrong place during printing. This results in void areas in the stamps when the paper is unfolded as shown below:

Because of the random nature of these errors, the Unitrade catalogue generally does not list them. However, there are two gutter pairs that exist for this issue that are thought to have resulted from such an error, and are listed. They are:

The 4c violet. Unitrade does not state whether this is the horizontal or vertical ribbed paper.The 5c blue on vertical ribbed paper. I would guess that the 4c violet gutter pair is on vertical ribbed paper, as the above foldover pair and the 5c gutter pair are all on vertical ribbed paper. Both of these are extremely rare and worth wel…

The Cello Paqs and Official Stamps of the Wilding Issue 1954-1963 and Frequency of Posts

Today's post will look at the cello-paq miniature panes and official stamps of this issue. The cello paqs were a completely new format of issuing stamps that were introduced with this issue, while this was the second last issue to receive the "G" overprints for official use, as official stamps were discontinued in 1963.

The Cello Paq Panes of 25 and 20

In 1961 the post office introduced the above Cello Paq Panes as a convenient way for the public to carry a larger supply of stamps with them than was possible with the 25c booklets. The packs were to be sold for $1 and were contained inside cellophane wrappers that look like this:

The wrappers as you can see have perforated edges that can be detached to open the pack. Instructions for opening the pack are printed along the right side of this pack, but a second type is known with the instructions along the top. Not much has been studied with respect to the lettering printed on the outside of these packs in terms of size and …

The Booklets and Coil Stamps of the Wilding Issue 1954-1963

Today's post will deal with the coil stamps of this issue that were in use from 1954 until the Cameo coils replaced them in 1963, as well as the booklets which covered the same period as the coils.

The Booklets

As stated in the earlier post about this issue, there were no English booklets, as all booklets starting with this issue are bilingual. There were also no chewing gum booklets as all booklets were the larger business-card sized 25c booklets. The dotted covers that had been in use since 1935 continued to be used on this issue until 1956, when they were replaced by a new modern design. As we shall see, between cover types, staple lengths, cutting guidelines, paper varieties and shades, there is a considerable amount of scope in collecting the booklets and panes that goes way beyond the basic four booklets that are listed in Unitrade.

The Dotted Cover Booklets

There were two dotted cover booklets issued, one containing a pane of 5 plus label of the 5c blue, first issued on July …

Plate Blocks and Winnipeg Tagging on the Wilding and Industry Definitives 1954-1967

Today's post will address two significant aspects of this much under-estimated issue: the plate blocks and the Winnipeg tagging varieties. This was the first issue to employ any form of tagging and as such it ushered in the age of automation of the postal system.

Winnipeg Tagging

On January 13, 1962 these stamps were issued with an overprint of phosphorescent bars, which was intended to be used in experiments with Sefacan mail sorting machines. The idea was that the machine would scan the envelope looking for the stamp. When it detects the phosphorescent chemical it would orient the letter in the correct position so that the canceler could apply the cancellation. This would represent a huge labour savings for the post office, who had employed postal clerks to sort and cancel mail by hand.

The following block from the next issue shows this tagging clearly:

As you can see the tagging shows up as light yellowish vertical bars. Under long-wave UV light these bars glow bright bluish wh…