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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The 1932-1934 Commemorative Issues - Part 1

Today's post comes a few days later than scheduled, and will be my last post until October 10. However it deals with a very fruitful and neglected group of stamps: the commemorative issues of 1932-34. This group of stamps were all printed by the British American Bank Note Company using the flat plate method of printing, except for the 3c Ottawa Conference, which was printed using rotary presses. The print quantities were relatively small compared to both the definitive issues at the time as well as later commemorative issues. There are very few collectible shade varieties. However, there are some good paper and gum varieties, imperforates, proof material, plate flaws, plate blocks, first day covers, postal history and of course, because of their size, lots of opportunity to collect cancellations. Centering tends to be poor for these issues, so finding very well centered stamps is a worthy challenge, particularly for the plate blocks. The perforations tended to be 11, which is a very coarse gauge, so stamps with full and even perforations on all four sides are quite difficult to find, especially if they are very well centered and never hinged.

All in all, as the next two posts will demonstrate, this little group of ten stamps can provide the basis for a fantastic specialized collection.

The Stamp Designs, Issue Dates and Quantities


3c deep scarlet King George V 
Issued July 12, 1932
100,700,000 stamps


5c steel blue Prince of Wales
Issued July 12, 1932
8,300,000 stamps



6c on 5c olive sepia
Issued July 12, 1932
500,000 stamps


13c deep green Britannia
Issued July 12
2,000,000 stamps


5c deep steel blue Parliament Buildings
Issued May 18, 1933
5,100,000 stamps


20c deep Indian red harvesting wheat
Issued July 24, 1933
1,580,000 stamps


5c deep steel blue Royal William
Issued August 17, 1933
4,854,000 stamps
Engraved by Bruce Hay
Based on a painting by Stephan D. Skillet



3c deep steel blue Jacques Cartier
Issued July 1, 1934
12,370,000 stamps
Designed by George Arthur Gundersen
Engraved by Bruce Hay


10c olive green Loyalists statue 
Issued July 1, 1934
3,000,000 stamps
Designed by Robert Bruce McCracken
Based on a sculpture by Sydney March


2c deep lake brown New Brunswick Seal
Issued August 16, 1934
5,050,000 stamps

Points of Interest

There are many, many directions in which a collection of these stamps can be taken including:

1. Shade varieties
2. Paper and gum varieties
3. Plate blocks
4. Imperforate pairs and blocks
5. Plate flaws
6. Proof material
7. OHMS perfins
8. Postal history
9. First day covers
10. Cancellations

Today's post will address the first five of these aspects, while my next post will address the other five. 

Shade Varieties

These issues display a remarkable uniformity of colour in the printing, probably due to the relatively small print runs and the fact that most were probably produced in one single printing. However, if you look hard enough, you can find some shade varieties, particularly the 20c Grain Exhibition and the 2c New Brunswick Issues. Some of the shade varieties on these include:

Regina Grain Exhibition Issue

  • Brownish vermilion
  • Deep Indian red
  • Indian red
  • Deep brownish vermilion
  • Deep orange brown red
  • Very deep brownish orange vermilion
  • Deep brown red

Founding of New Brunswick Issue
  • Deep lake brown
  • Deep bright red brown
  • Bright red brown
  • Deep brown red
Even the other issues do exhibit some shade variation:

  • On the 10c Loyalists issue the predominant shade is olive green, but greyish olive and deep greyish olive are also seen. The variation is very subtle, but can be seen up close, or by comparison with larger blocks in the different shades. 
  • The 3c Cartier Issue varies from steel blue to deep steel blue.
Other shades may exist, though I think the above list likely covers them all. 



Paper and Gum Varieties

Most of these issues had very short periods of use, and consequently they are generally found with only one combination of paper and gum type. My second last post discusses these in detail, so I am not going to repeat the details here, but you can read about them by clicking on this link:


Notably the 20c Regina Grain Exhibition and the 6c on 5c Ottawa conference were produced from stocks of definitives, so they do exhibit more variation in both paper and gum than the other issues do. 

Plate Blocks

Due to the limited number of stamps printed there were rarely more than 1 or 2 plates used to print the stamps. Many issues only had inscriptions on 2 or 3 corners as well, so for some issues, it is not possible to obtain 4 corner blocks with inscriptions. All the plate blocks are valued quite a bit higher than the corresponding catalogue value of the stamps though, especially in VF condition. For example:

  • The 5c Ottawa conference catalogues between 2-2.5 times the price of four single stamps, depending on condition. 
  • The 13c Ottawa conference catalogues between 2.15 and 2.5 times the price of four single stamps, depending on condition. 

Thus, although the number of collectible plate blocks for these is limited, the difficulty of finding well centered blocks, the catalogue prices and the NH premium of 100%, makes this an expensive endeavour. The plate blocks that can be collected include:

  • 3c Ottawa Conference: plates 1 and 2 - 4 positions each for a total of 8 blocks.
  • 5c Ottawa Conference: plate 1 - 4 positions, 4 blocks. 
  • 13c Ottawa Conference: plates 1&2, 2 positions each, 4 blocks.
  • 5c UPU Conference: plates 1&2, 4 positions each, 6 blocks.
  • 20c Regina Grain Exhibition: plate 1 only, 4 positions, 4 blocks.
  • 5c Royal William Issue: plates 1&2, 4 positions each, 6 blocks.
  • 3c Jacques Cartier Issue: plates 1&2, 4 positions each, 8 blocks.
  • 10c Loyalists Issue: Plate 1, 4 positions, 4 blocks. 
  • 2c New Brunswick Issue: plates 1&2, 4 positions each, 6 blocks.
In the case of the UPU Conference, Royal William and New Brunswick Issues the imprints are only found on the upper positions. The lower corner blocks are always blank. 

So even with this limited number of stamps, a complete set of plate blocks comprises 50 blocks is worth several thousand dollars. 


Imperforate Pairs and Blocks

The imperforate pairs and plate blocks comprise some of the rarest and most valuable material from these issues. With fewer than 100 known pairs of every variety, these pairs are very rare and seldom offered for sale. You could easily spend a decade looking for them all:
  • 5c UPU Issue (75 pairs, 4 plate blocks)
  • 20c Regina Grain Exhibition (75 pairs, 3 plate blocks)
  • 5c Royal William (75 pairs, 4 plate blocks)
  • 3c Jacques Cartier (125 pairs, 5 plate blocks)
  • 10c Loyalists (75 pairs, 2 plate blocks)
  • 2c New Brunswick (80 pairs, 35 with closed frameline, 2 plate blocks)
The pairs generally list for between $800-$3,500 in Unitrade, depending on whether or not they are hinged, while the plate blocks are worth from $2,000 to $6,000 each. 


Plate Flaws

These issues feature some of the best known constant plate flaws known to Canadian philatelists:

The Broken E Variety

Image result for 3c ottawa conference broken e

The Broken E on the 3c Ottawa Conference. It is the "E" of "Postage" on the right stamp. It occurred on position 87 of the lower right pane from plate 2. It is often collected either in a block of 4, or a lower right block of 8. 

The Line in 5 Variety

This variety occurs on the 1933 UPU Conference Issue. It consists of a small horizontal line extending across the lower part of the vertical branch of the right "5". Unfortunately I do not have an example of it that I can scan, and I do not have a picture of it online. However, it should be fairly self-explanatory. It occurs on position 20 of the sheet. I do not believe that it is truly constant, as it would appear that there are some upper right blocks from plate 1 which do not show the variety. However, it is not currently known on plate 2 blocks, which does suggest that it may have been limited to plate 1 only.

The broken X Variety


Image result for Canada #203i


This variety consists of the upper right arm of the X being shorter than it should be. The variety is on the upper left stamp in the block. The variety occurs on position 19 of the sheet. Again, it is often collected as a block of 4, or in an upper right vertical block of 8. 

The Burr Over The Shoulder Variety

Image result for Canada #208i


The next three varieties all occur on the 3c Jacques Cartier issue. The most famous of these is the "burr over the shoulder" which is illustrated above. These are surprisingly scarce. This variety occurs on position 2 from the right pane of plate 2. Again, it is usually collected in blocks, but can also be found in wide gutter strips or gutter blocks. 

The Scarface Variety


Image result for canada #208ii

This variety appears as a heavy vertical dash on the face of the sailor in the foreground immediately below Jacques Cartier. It came from position 97 of the right pane of plate 2. Again, it is usually collected in block of 4.

The Hairline From Hand Variety


Of all the varieties on this stamp, this one is probably the easiest to overlook because the line protruding from Cartier's hand is so fine. It occurs on position 89 from the right pane of plate 1. 

The closed Frameline Variety

Image result for canada 210i

This variety occurs on all the stamps from the far right hand column of all sheets. The thing to look at is where the U-shaped frame at the top meets the upper frameline. On the left stamp we can see if we look closely that there is a very small gap in the upper frameline where the left part of the U-shaped frame joins the upper frameline, whereas no such gap is seen on the other side where it joins the upper frameline. However, if we look at the stamp on the right, we can see that the upper frameline is continuous, with no gaps. This is known as the closed frameline variety. 

There may be other constant and non-constant varieties waiting to be discovered on these issues, though most can still be found in full sheets, though such sheets are now by no means common. 

This concludes my introduction to these issues, my next post, which will appear on October 10, 2016 will cover the remaining aspects of these issues that can form the basis of a specialized collection.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The George-Etienne Cartier Stamp of 1931-1935 and the Provisional Surcharge of 1932

Image result for Canada #191 3c arch issue surcharge        


Today's post will deal with the last two aspects of this issue that I have not yet discussed, as well as providing some additional information about the flat plate and rotary press printings that has been brought to my attention by Julian Goldberg, a philatelist based in Toronto. This information is very interesting and shows that no matter how much you think you know about Canadian philately, there is always something new to learn.

The two aspects of this issue I have not yet covered are:

  • The 3c on 2c scarlet provisional surcharge, for which 58,265,000 were issued on June 21, 1932;
  • The 10c George-Etienne Cartier stamp, which replaced the 10c Parliamentary Library stamp on September 30, 1931. 64,300,000 stamps were issued between 1931 and 1935. 
At first, these appear to be largely oddball stamps that offer little to interest the collector. However, as we shall see, both stamps exist with a large number of varieties to interest and challenge the specialist of the series. 

Additional Information Regarding Perforation and Print Dimensions

Before I get into a discussion of these two stamps, I wanted to take a moment to share some information that was brought to my attention by Julian Goldberg. Apparently this information was first discovered and reported on by Charles Neyhart, so credit for it should go to him. I was surprised to learn that the printing process used by the Stickney Rotary presses is a wet printing method in which the printing is done on dampened paper, which shrinks across the grain as it dries and is then gummed after printing. I had thought that all stamps printed after the dry printings of the admirals had made their appearance in 1922-1923 were printed using the dry printing method. Apparently this is not so. The flat plate printings during this period from 1930-1935 are the only ones that were printed on pre-gummed, dry paper. 

Conequently, the dimensions of the printing are slightly different on the rotary press stamps, and the flat plate stamps. In addition, the perforations also vary slightly from the 11 x 11 that is cited in Unitrade. The variations in design size are as follows:

  • Rotary sheet stamps measure just under 18.50 mm x just over 22.0 mm.
  • Rotary coil stamps measure just over 18.50 mm x just under 22.0 mm
  • Flat plate stamps measure just under 18.50 mm x just under 22.0 mm

So while there is little to no difference in the width of the design on the sheet stamps from one process to the other, the rotary press printings have slightly taller designs than do the flat plate stamps. 

The variation in perforations for the sheet stamps is as follows:

  • Rotary press stamps are perf. 11.25 x 11, or 11.25 x 10.94 on an Instanta gauge. 
  • Flat plate stamps are perf. 11 x 11, or 10.94 x 10.94 on an Instanta gauge. 

So the rotary press stamps have a full quarter of a perf. more on the horizontal measurement than the flat plate stamps do. This is exciting because it means that there could be coil waste rarities in existence, just like with the US issues of this period. These would be perforated stamps that measure the same height as the flat plate stamps, when they should be taller. Likewise, it may be possible to find flat plate stamps that have the perforations normally found on the rotary press stamps. So it is very much an area in need of further study, I believe. 

The George Etienne Cartier Stamp - September 30, 1931

It was decided in 1931 to replace the 10c Library design of this series with a stamp commemorating George Etienne Cartier, who was one of the fathers of confederation. The stamp was in use for the full life of this issue, and the subsequent Medallion Issue, being replaced by the 10c Mountie of the 1935-1938 Dated Die issue on June 1, 1935. 64,300,000 stamps were issued in this nearly 5 year period. Despite being very inexpensive for used, nicely centered mint stamps, especially those that are never hinged are quite expensive for a relatively low value definitive - especially one that saw so much use.  Consequently, there are quite a number of paper, shade and gum varieties that can be collected on this stamp. Some of the ones that I have seen include:

  • olive green, cream gum with a satin sheen and no visible mesh.
  • olive green, deep cream gum with a satin sheen and no visible mesh.
  • deep olive, deep yellowish cream gum with a satin sheen and no visible mesh.
  • deep olive, coffee coloured gum with a satin sheen and coarse vertical mesh.
  • deep olive, deep cream gum with a glossy sheen and no visible mesh.
  • bronze green, deep mottled cream gum with a satin sheen and no visible mesh. 
  • bronze green, clear deep cream gum with a satin sheen and fine vertical mesh.
  • deep grey olive, deep cream gum with a glossy sheen and no visible mesh. 
  • deep grey olive, deep cream gum with a glossy sheen and fine mesh.
  • deep grey olive, coffee gum with a satin sheen and coarse vertical mesh.
  • deep grey olive, cream gum with a satin sheen and no visible mesh.
  • deep grey olive, deep cream gum with a satin sheen and no visible mesh. 

Three plates were used to print this stamp, and plate blocks are scarce and are all premium items. They are generally collected as blocks of 4. Plate 1 comes in all four corner inscriptions, while plates 2 and 3 exist with only upper right and lower right positions. This stamp is also found in imperforate pairs, which are very scarce, as only 150 were issued. Lastly, first day covers exist for this and are very scarce, cataloguing $900 each. The inexpensive nature of used singles, makes this an ideal and fun stamp to collect for CDS town cancellations. 

The 3c on 2c Provisional Surcharge Issue of 1932

The reinstatement of the 1c War Tax in 1931 caused a huge spike in demand for 3c stamps, as the domestic first class postage rate increased from 2c to 3c. Large leftover stocks of the die 2 3c Admiral coil stock were perforated an issued on June 24, 1931. However, this proved to be insufficient to meet the demand, and soon it was necessary to find another source of three cent stamps. The decision was soon made to overprint leftover stocks of the 2c scarlet stamp from the series, which had been replaced by the 2c blackish brown. In addition to the large number of plates that can be found on this surcharge, being plates 3-6, in 17 different positions, there are also the different die types, the extended moustache and a very large number of varieties of the surcharge itself:
  • A large black dot, representing a period after the 3.
  • The top right surcharge bar bent down. 
  • Shifted surcharges - there are many different, some of which are found either in the centre of the stamp, or at the top of the stamp, instead of at the bottom. 
58,265,000 stamps were overprinted, which is a relatively low number for a low value definitive. The die 2 version was released on June 21, 1932, while the earliest known use for the die 1 is November 30, 1932. Despite the quantity issued, it is a relatively inexpensive stamp, listing for only a few dollars in mint condition and being very inexpensive in used condition. So again, it makes a nice stamp for the collection of cancels. 

The same range of shades and gum varieties that one finds on the unoverprinted 2c stamps can be found on this issue as well:

  • bright scarlet, die 2, cream gum with a satin sheen, indistinct vertical streaks and no visible mesh, 
  • bright scarlet, die 2, cream gum with a satin sheen, distinct vertical streaks and no visible mesh.
  • scarlet vermilion, die 2, cream gum with a satin sheen, indistinct vertical streaks and no visible mesh.
  • scarlet vermilion, die 2, cream gum with a satin sheen, distinct vertical streaks and no visible mesh. 
  • scarlet vermilion, die 2, cream gum with a glossy sheen, indistinct vertical streaks and no visible mesh. 
  • bright scarlet vermilion, die 2, cream gum with a satin sheen, indistinct vertical streaks and no visible mesh.
  • scarlet, die 2, cream gum with a satin sheen, indistinct vertical streaks and no visible mesh. 
  • scarlet, die 2, white gum with satin sheen, no vertical streaks and no visible mesh. 
  • scarlet vermilion, die 1, cream gum with a satin sheen, distinct vertical streaks and no visible mesh. 
  • scarlet vermilion, die 1, cream gum with a glossy sheen, indistinct vertical streaks, and no visible mesh.
  • scarlet vermilion, die 1, cream gum with a satin sheen, distinct vertical streaks and no visible mesh. 
  • scarlet vermilion, die 1, white gum with a glossy sheen, no vertical streaks and no visible mesh.
  • vermilion, die 1, cream gum with a satin sheen, no vertical streaks and no visible mesh.
  • vermilion, die 1, cream gum with a satin sheen, indistinct vertical streaks and no visible mesh.
  • deep rose red, die 1, cream gum with a satin sheen, distinct vertical streaks and no visible mesh.
  • deep rose red, die 1, cream gum with a satin sheen, indistinct vertical streaks and no visible mesh. 
  • Bright scarlet vermilion, die 1, cream gum with a satin sheen, indistinct vertical streaks and no visible mesh.
The above list is not exhaustive and merely represents a cross section of the stamps I have seen. There are likely additional shade and gum varieties not on this list. 

First day covers exist for both die types. Die 2 is relatively inexpensive, listing for $25 in Unitrade, while die 1 is very scarce, listing for $250. 

This concludes my posts about the Arch Issue. My next posts will deal with the 1932-1934 commemorative issues and the Medallion issue of 1932-1935. 

We have a large number of stamps of this issue in stock. To view our listings, please click on the following link:




Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Significance of Paper and Gum Types on 1930-1934 Issues

In the previous posts, I touched on the fact that there are different paper and gum types that can be found in the stamps printed by the BABN during the 1930-1935 period. Oddly enough Unitrade completely ignores the significance of these, relegating them to nothing more than a footnote - if even that. In actual fact the paper and gum types found during this period can be used to assign specific stamps to different printings by year. Today's post will explain how. In this post, I am only discussing the gum found on issues printed by flat plates, as opposed to rotary plates.

Attributes of Paper and Gum

In studying the paper and gum used during this period, there are four basic attributes that are of significance:


  • The visibility of the paper mesh to the naked eye, when the stamp is placed face-down on a surface and viewed. It will either be highly visible in the form of coarse mesh, slightly visible in the form of fine mesh, or not visible at all.
  • The colour of the gum. The gum during this period varies from a deep coffee colour, to deep yellowish, to deep cream, to cream, to near white. 
  • The sheen of the gum, which is the degree to which it reflects light when viewed. The early gums from 1930 and 1931 are very shiny, or have a satin-like sheen, the mid-period gum from 1932 and 1933 tends to have a duller satin-like sheen; and the late gum from 1934-1935 also has a satin-like sheen. 
  • The evenness of application  of the gum. The early gums until 1932 are perfectly evenly applied, with an even colour, whereas there is a period between 1932-1933, where the gum colour is mottled, showing alternate light and dark spots. Then in the later period from 1934 to 1935, the gum goes back to being even again. 
It is a matter of debate as to whether or not these attributes are really significant. My belief is that any attribute that is found consistently on some stamps but not others is significant. If all the above attributes were found on all stamps issued during this period, then I'm not sure that they would be as significant as they are when they are found on some stamps but not others. To me, the three attributes of gum are all indicative of either chemical differences in the gum, or the method of applying it. I liken it to paint on a wall: different paint finishes (glossy, semi-gloss, flat, eggshell etc.) are all definitely due to differences in the chemical formula of the paint. Using rollers versus brushes also gives different finishes. So it is with gum on paper I believe. The same holds true for the visibility of the paper mesh. The only reason it is ever visible has to do with the spacing of the wire mesh upon which the paper slurry is laid: if the wire mesh is coarse, then the paper mesh will be highly visible, and if it is very fine, then it may not be visible at all, even when held up to a strong light source. Again, these differences are due to differences in the production process that are analogous to changes in perforating equipment that results in different perforation measurements, etc. 


Basic Approach

In attempting to de-code the significance of these differences in paper and gum, we are aided greatly by four things:


  • Some of the stamps in the Arch issue were only issued in a very narrow window of time in 1930, which makes them important because it becomes possible to positively identify the characteristics of the paper and gum used in the 1930 printings. 
  • The commemorative issues during this period all had a very short period of use, and generally are only found with one paper and gum type. Thus we can generally conclude that definitive stamps that share the same paper and gum type as the commemoratives will have been issued at more or less the same time. There are commemoratives from 1932, 1933 and 1934 so we can generally determine the characteristics of printings from 1932-1934. 
  • The third postage due issue did not appear until very late 1933 (December) and was not replaced until mid-1935. So the characteristics of paper and gum from 1934-1935 can be much better understood by looking closely at these stamps. 
  • The Medallion issue first appears in December 1932. The first printings of this issue will share the same characteristics as the last printings of the Arch issue stamps that were replaced by this issue. 
The above should allow us to positively identify most printings from 1930, and 1932-1935. That leaves us with 1931, and for that, we can generally conclude that the 1931 printings will be those whose characteristics do not match the other issues above. 


Paper and Gum Types on BABN Commemoratives

During the period from 1930-1935 there were seven commemorative issues:


  • The Ottawa Conference Issue - issued July 12, 1932;
  • The UPU meeting issue - issued May 18,1933;
  • The Regina Grain Exhibition Issue - issued July 24, 1933;
  • The Royal William Issue - issued August 17, 1933;
  • The Jacques Cartier Issue - issued July 1, 1934;
  • The United Empire Loyalists Issue - issued July 1, 1934;
  • The Founding of New Brunswick Issue - issued August 16, 1934;
The Ottawa Conference Issue

This issue had three stamps printed by the flat plate method:
  • The 5c Prince of Wales;
  • The 13c Allegory of Britannia;
  • The 6c on 5c Allegory of Mercury airmail;
The gum found on the 5c and 13c values is usually a deep cream with a satin sheen on a paper that usually shows no visible mesh. Sometimes, the gum does have a glossy sheen. I seem to recall also seeing these two stamps with mottled, coffee coloured gum. However, I do not currently have examples of either stamp at the moment to be able to confirm this for sure. 

The 6c on 5c airmail is an interesting stamp in the sense that it appears to have been made from leftover stocks of the original 5c stamp rather than new printings. The paper usually shows coarse, highly visible vertical mesh, though occasionally the mesh is not visible. The colour of the gum on all the examples I looked it is cream and the sheen is satin. If new printings of the 5c airmail were produced specifically for surcharging then we would expect the paper and gum to be the same as the 5c and 13c values. Generally speaking, from the stamps I have looked at, the paper and gum characteristics are consistent with stamps issued in 1930. 

The UPU Meeting Issue

The paper of this issue is a vertical wove that almost always shows a fine vertical mesh. Again, the gum is a deep cream or deep yellowish cream colour that either has a glossy sheen or a satin-like sheen. 


The Regina Grain Exhibition Issue

This issue appears to have been produced from leftover 20c stamps from the Arch issue, as well as freshly printed stamps. The paper and gum exhibits quite a bit of variation:


  • Coffee coloured with coarse mesh;
  • Deep yellowish cream with fine mesh and either a satin or glossy sheen;
  • Deep cream with coarse mesh;
Those stamps that have deep cream gum, or coffee coloured gum, coarse mesh and a glossy sheen are generally consistent with printings of the 20c that were made between 1931 and 1932. Those with gum that has a more satin sheen tend to be from 1932, while those stamps whose gum is deep cream with fine mesh would appear to be from new printings made in 1933, possibly specifically for this issue. 

The Royal William Issue

All of the mint stamps that I have examined of this issue are printed on paper with no visible mesh and with deep yellowish cream gum having a satin sheen. There is also a mottled appearance to the colour, which is not generally seen on the earlier issues. 


Jacques Cartier Issue 

The stamps of this issue are printed on horizontal wove paper with a mesh that is almost never visible on mint stamps. The gum is a cream colour tending towards white, with a satin sheen and even appearance.

United Empire Loyalists Issue

The gum on this issue is the same as that found on the Jacques Cartier Issue. The only difference is that instead of horizontal wove paper, the paper is vertical wove.

Founding of New Brunswick Issue

The paper is again horizontal wove, with the gum concealing the mesh on the mint stamps. On used stamps, very fine mesh can often be seen. The gum varies in colour from cream to light cream, but not white. It always has a satin sheen.

So from the above, the following generalizations can be made:


  • The deep cream gum with satin sheen or glossy sheen and no visible mesh would appear to correspond to printings made in 1932 or late 1934. 
  • The deep cream gum with a glossy sheen and paper with fine mesh is from printings made in 1933.
  • The deep cream, mottled gum with satin sheen and no visible mesh is from printings made in the later half of 1933.
  • The cream and white gum with no visible mesh is from printings made in 1934. 


Application of Findings to the Arch Issue, the Medallion Issue and the Postage Dues

The Arch Issue

There are two stamps whose period of use is confined to a very short period in 1930:


  • The 5c deep dull purple printed from flat plates, which was issued June 18, 1930 and replaced November 13, 1930 by the 5c Prussian blue. 
  • The 2c green booklet stamps printed by flat press, which were issued June 17, 1930 and replaced by the 2c scarlet booklet stamps on November 17, 1930.
  • The 8c deep steel blue, which was issued August 13, 1930 and replaced November 5, 1930 by the 8c red orange.
These three stamps, from what I can see, based on the stamps I have examined, always share the following characteristics:
  • Cream coloured gum
  • Satin sheen
  • Coarse vertical paper mesh
Thus, any other stamps of the series, being the 4c, 10c, 12c, 20c, 50c, $1, 5c airmail and 20c special delivery that share these characteristics can be reckoned as having come from printings made in 1930. 

The 10c Library of Parliament stamp was issued on September 15, 1930, and was in use until the 10c Georges Etienne Cartier stamp replaced it on September 30, 1931 - a period of just over a year. Generally on this stamp we see a variety of gum and paper types:
  • Cream coloured gum, satin sheen and coarse mesh from the 1930 printings,
  • Deep cream gum bordering on coffee colour, satin sheen and no mesh, from printings made in 1931.
  • Deep cream gum again with a brownish tone, satin sheen and fine mesh from printings made in 1931. 
We can see that two of these paper and gum types are from 1931 and they are different from the paper and gum found on the commemoratives issued between 1932 and 1934. Generally, there is a more brownish tone to the cream and less yellow, whereas the gums from 1932 and 1933, as seen on the commemorative stamps are more of a yellowish cream. So we can safely conclude that copies of the 1c green booklet stamps, the 2c scarlet booklet stamps, the 2c blackish brown booklet stamps, the 3c booklet stamps, the 4c, the 5c blue, the 8c red orange, the 12c, the 20c, the 50c, the $1, the 5c airmail and 20c special delivery sharing these characteristics are from printings made in 1931. 

As we shall see in the next post dealing with this stamp, the 10c Georges Etienne Cartier stamp is found with all the paper and gum types as the commemoratives, as it was in use for the entire 1932-1935 period. 

All the low values of this set, being all values from 1c-8c, the 12c and the 20c special delivery were replaced on December 1, 1932 with the Medallion issue. The early printings of the 4c, 5c 8c, 13c  and 20c special delivery Medallion were printed on paper having coarse mesh, or no visible mesh and mottled coffee coloured gum. This corresponds to printings made in late 1932 and possibly very early 1933. So we can conclude that copies of the 1c green booklet stamps, the 2c blackish brown booklet stamps, the 3c booklet stamps, the 4c, the 5c blue, the 8c red orange, the 12c, the 20c, the 50c, the $1, and 20c special delivery sharing these characteristics are from printings made in late 1932.

Any stamps of this issue having deep yellowish cream gum, satin sheen and no visible mesh should be from printings made earlier in 1932, or very late in 1934. Thus, the 2c blackish brown booklet stamps, the 3c booklet stamps, the 4c, the 5c blue, the 8c red orange, the 12c, the 20c, the 50c, the $1 and the 20c special delivery should all exist with this combination of paper and gum.  

Stamps having a deep yellowish cream gum with more of a glossy sheen and on paper showing fine mesh should be from printings made in 1933. Similarly, the yellowish cream mottled gum with satin sheen on paper showing no mesh is from 1933 as well. Thus the higher values being the  20c, 50c, and $1 having these paper and gum combinations should be from printings made in 1933. 

Finally, any stamps of this issue found on paper with no visible mesh and cream or light cream gum that tends towards white, will be from printings made in 1934. We would expect this to be confined to the 20c, 50c and $1. It is worth noting that I have never seen the $1 with anything other than the cream gum and coarse paper mesh of 1930. It is quite possible, with a low printing of only 606,000 stamps that it was only printed once in 1930. I do believe that the 50c exists in at least two printings, and maybe even more. The 20c can be found for sure with all the gum and paper types mentioned above. 

The Medallion Issue

These stamps were all issued between December 1932 and 1935. So generally, it should be possible to find the 4c, 5c, 8c, 13c and 20c special delivery with the following gum and paper types:

  • Mottled coffee coloured gum with glossy sheen and paper that either shows coarse mesh or no mesh (late 1932);
  • Deep yellowish cream gum with glossy sheen and fine vertical mesh (early 1933);
  • Mottled cream gum with satin sheen and no mesh (later 1933);
  • Cream gum or very light cream gum, with satin sheen and no mesh (1934);
  • Yellowish cream gum with satin sheen and no mesh (late 1934).
The Second Postage Due Issue - 1930-1932

The second postage due issue came out in 1930, and was fully replaced by Deember 1933. The printings of the 5c and 10c are quite low at 523,000 and 309,000 stamps. Despite this, they are found with a range of paper and gum types similar to the other values. I have seen all the above paper and gum combinations on this issue, except for the mottled coffee gum. It may exist though. I should point out that all the stamps I have looked at are on paper that does not show any mesh on the mint stamps. This seems to be the main difference between this issue and the Arch Issue. 

The Third Postage Due Issue - 1933-1935

This issue appeared December 20, 1933 and May 5, 1934. All the stamps of this issue that I have seen are printed on paper that shows no visible mesh. There are generally four types of gum that I have seen:

  • light cream gum with a glossy sheen;
  • light cream gum with a satin sheen;
  • deep yellowish cream gum with a glossy sheen;
  • deep yellowish cream gum with a satin sheen and very fine crackly texture;
The first and last gum types are not found on the commemoratives, through I have seen several copies of the 20c harvesting wheat Arch issue with the last gum type. It would appear based on the issue date that the stamps printed in 1933 will have the same gum types as the UPU conference issue, and the Royal William issue. Based on this, it would be reasonable to conclude that the first gum type is very likely from 1935, as it is found extensively on the 1935 Dated Die Issue. The last type in the above list is very likely from 1934 as well as the other gums found on the Jacques Cartier, Loyalists and Founding of New Brunswick Issues. 

Conclusion

This post is somewhat speculative in nature, as it is difficult to prove definitively that certain paper and gum types correspond to specific printing dates. However, this post should make fairly clear the fact that there is a considerable amount of evidence to support the assignment of specific stamps to specific years between 1930 and 1935. I would love to hear what you think.