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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Printing Inks Used On The 1967-1973 Centennial Issue - Part Two of Eight

Today's post continues with where I left off last week: the shades of the low value centennial stamps as they appear in ordinary light. Last week I dealt with the 1c, 2c, 3c and 4c values. This week, I will look at the 5c through 7c values.

5c Blue - Fishing Village

Of the four stamps I am examining today, this one exhibits the widest range of shades, ranging from deep violet blue, all the way to a deep bright blue. The range does not seem to be confined to either the dex gum or PVA gum stamps showing similar ranges of colour. However, I have not seen the deep indigo shade on the PVA gum stamps. The BABN booklet stamps do not show a range however, with all the booklet stamps I have come across being more or less the same shade. For this stamp, I find the best parts of the design to focus on in comparing shades is either the Queen's hair or the lower left corner.

Dex Gum Stamps - All CBN



Of all the stamps printed of this value, it is the sheet stamps with dex gum that show the widest possible range of shades. On the top row are the very deep blue shades, while the second row shows brighter shades of blue.

In terms of a match to the Gibbons color key, the stamp on the top left is almost an exact match to Gibbons's deep violet blue. The gum on that printing is the satin cream type 5 that I identified in my post dealing with gum. The stamp on the top right, which also has the same gum, is just a bit lighter and brighter, although it is also closest to deep violet blue. The top middle stamp, which is printed on strongly ribbed vertical wove hibrite paper, with streaky type 1 gum, is also closest to deep violet blue, but it is much brighter than the other two. I would call this a deep bright violet blue.

Moving down to the second row, the stamp on the left is closest to Gibbons' deep blue, but is much brighter. So I would say that it is a deep bright blue. This stamp is printed on vertical wove paper, with no distinct mesh and type 1 streaky dex gum. The second stamp from the left is closest to Gibbons's steel blue, but is just a touch lighter and brighter. This stamp is printed on vertical wove paper with horizontal mesh and high gloss type 3 dex gum. The third stamp from the left, which has the same paper and gum characteristics as the left and right stamps from the top row, like them, is also closest to Gibbons's deep violet blue. However, the shade high is again lighter and slightly brighter. The stamp on the right is almost the same as the second stamp from the left on this row, except that the shade is list a touch duller and lighter. However, it is a variant of steel blue.

So it would seem that the sheet stamps with dex gum are all variations of either deep violet blue, steel blue, or deep bright blue.

PVA Gum Stamps - All CBN



These three stamps are all the same Unitrade listing, being the PVA gum stamp with the Winnipeg centre bar tag. However, the first two stamps from the left are all on vertical wove paper with the matte PVA gum, while the stamp on the right has the slightly shiner eggshell PVA. The stamp on the left is closest to the deep bright blue stamp on hibrite paper, but is just a touch lighter. The middle stamp is closest to Gibbons's deep blue. Finally the stamp on the right is also closest to deep blue, but it is just slightly brighter than the middle stamp. 

Thus, it would appear that the vast majority, if not all of the PVA gum stamps are either shades of deep blue, or deep bright blue. 


Dex Gum Coil Stamps - All CBN



The coil stamps surprisingly show some range of shades, although it is quite a bit narrower than the corresponding sheet stamps. The stamp on the left is the deepest shade and is almost an exact match to the Gibbons's deep blue. The middle stamp is an exact match to the deep bright blue sheet stamp shown at the left of the first row above. Then the stamp on the right is very close in shade to the middle stamp, but is duller. In fact it is the middle shade between these first two. All three stamps are printed on vertical wove paper, with type 2 smooth dex gum. 


Booklet Stamps - CBN and BABN


There were only 2 booklets in which a 5c stamp appered:


  1. The 25c booklets printed by the CBN, which contained a singe pane of 5 stamps plus label, and,
  2. The $1 booklets of 20 printed by the BABN and first issued in 1968. 
The BABN booklet stamp is a fairly uniform shade, which is closest to Gibbons's steel blue, though it is quite a bit brighter than the pure steel blue. These booklet stamps are generally found on horizontal wove paper with vertical mesh, and type 2 dex gum. The CBN booklet stamps generally display the same range of shades as the corresponding sheet stamps, with the stamp shown here being almost an exact match of the deep bright violet blue stamp shown in the middle of the very top row above. These booklet stamps are generally printed on horizontal wove paper, with clear, light vertical ribbing that is visible on the gum, with this example having the type 4 smooth light cream dex gum. 


6c Orange - Transportation

This is one of those stamps that has a surprisingly larger range of shades than one would expect. The coil stamps are a distinctly different orange shade that lacks the red of the shades found on the other stamps. As you will see, the booklet stamps display much the same range of shades as the sheet stamps. All of the 6c orange stamps have dex gum. In comparing shades, I prefer to focus on the Queen's hair, as this is where the differences are most pronounced, I find.

Perf. 10 Sheet Stamps - All BABN


The basic shade of the stamps is a deep bright orange red, which varies in its brightness, with some stamps being bright, and other stamps being quite dull. The third stamp from the left is closest to Gibbons's orange red, but is a bit deeper and brighter. It is printed on horizontal wove paper with visible vertical mesh and the type 1 high gloss dex gum. The first stamp on the left is similar to this shade, but the colour is a bit brighter, with more orange in the mix than red. It is printed on vertical wove paper with no visible mesh, and type 3 crackly dex gum. The stamp on the right is again similar in shade, but it is slightly brighter than Gibbons's orange-red. It is printed on horizontal wove paper with no visible mesh and type 2 glossy dex gum. Finally, the precancelled stamp that is second from left is the brightest shade of the lot, containing less red than any of the others. It is closest to Gibbons's red-orange, but again, much brighter. This stamp is printed on horizontal wove paper, with no visible mesh and type 2 glossy dex gum.


Perf. 10 Booklet Stamps - All BABN



The booklet stamps printed by BABN came in two different booklets:

  1. The 25c booklets that consisted of four 6c stamps and a 1c stamp that were issued in 1968, and,
  2. The $1.50 booklets that consisted of a pane of 25 stamps. 
The two stamps shown above come from the first type of booklet. Unfortunately I do not have a single from the $1.50 booklets, but the shades are largely the same as those found on the stamps from the 25c booklets. 

The stamp on the right is almost an exact match for Gibbon's orange-red, and is printed on horizontal wove paper showing no mesh, and with the type 3 crackly PVA gum. The stamp on the left is similar in shade, but just a bit deeper and brighter. It is printed on horizontal wove, hibrite paper with the glossy type 1 dex gum. 


Perf. 12.5 x 12 Sheet Stamps - All BABN


The perf. 12.5 x 12 sheet stamps that were issued in 1969 all have the general characteristic of being printed in duller and redder shades than the perf. 10 stamps. The only exception to this seems to be the hibrite paper, which is basically the same colour as the perf. 10 booklet stamp on hibrite paper. 

The left stamp on the top row is almost an exact match to Gibbons's orange-red, but is a bit lighter. The second stamp is a deep bright version of Gibbons's orange red, which is printed on horizontal wove hibrite paper with light vertical ribbing and glossy type 1 dex gum. The right stamp is very close to Gibbons's orange-red, but is slightly duller. This stamp is Winnipeg tagged and printed on horizontal wove paper with type 2 dex gum. 

Moving on to the second row, the left stamp, which is also Winnipeg tagged, is very similar to the right stamp above - a dull version of the orange red, but this one has a bit less red. This stamp is printed on horizontal wove paper, with no visible mesh and type 2 dex gum. The stamp on the right, which is also Winnipeg Tagged, is a similar shade, but again slightly duller. This stamp is printed on vertical wove paper with no mesh and type 2 dex gum as well. 

So, in summary, the perf. 12.5 x 12 stamps are generally dull versions of Gibbons's orange red. 


Coil Stamps - All CBN


The above scan shows examples of the two main shades that I have encountered on the coil stamps printed by CBN. What is striking about these is the complete absence of red in the colour. The stamp on the right is slightly deeper than the one on the left, but both are closest to Gibbons's red-orange. They are both printed on vertical wove paper, showing faint horizontal mesh, and type 2 dex gum.

6c Black - Transportation

The 6c black is a stamp for which you would think there were no shades at all. It is true that I have yet to see shade varieties for any particular printing, but when all printings of the stamp are taken as a whole, it becomes quite clear that there are differences in the black colour. I do not have the black swatches in my Gibbons colour key, so I cannot describe the shades with reference to that. However, my layperson descriptions of the shades should be adequate. Generally, the black varies from a charcoal-black on the die 1a BABN sheet and booklet stamps to a deep grey black on the die II's, to a deep silvery black on the CBN sheet stamps and finally a jet black on the coil stamps.

BABN Sheet Stamps - All With Dex Gum


The die 1a stamps, of which an example is shown on the left, are printed in a shade of charcoal black, while the two die 2 stamps are in a deeper shade of charcoal black. The stamp on the extreme right, which is tagged with a Winnipeg centre bar, is just the tiniest bit lighter than the centre stamp. The left stamp is printed on an off-white, horizontal wove paper with no visible mesh and type 1 dex gum, while the other two stamps are printed on the same type of paper, but with the type 2 dex gum.


CBN Sheet Stamps - All With PVA Gum



The black shade of the CBN stamps is a grey-black, with a silver undertone. The intensity varies slightly with the untagged precancelled stamp on the right, being a bit darker, than the Ottawa general tagged stamp on the left. Both are printed on vertical wove paper, but the stamp on the left has the matte PVA gum, while the stamp on the right has the shinier eggshell PVA gum. 

BABN Booklet Stamps 


The shades of the booklet stamps closely mirror the other sheet stamps printed by the BABN, with all the above stamps being generally grey-black and deep grey black. There were many booklets issued that contained a 6c black stamp, but the stamps above came from the following booklets:

  1. The top left stamp comes from the $1.50 booklets of 25 that were first issued with perf. 10 in early 1970. 
  2. The top right stamp comes from a 25c booklet pane of 4 that was issued in 1970.
  3. The bottom left stamp comes from either the 25c booklets or $1 booklets issued in 1971-1972. 
  4. The bottom right stamp comes from a 25c booklet with PVA gum that was issued in 1971 before the postage rate change from 6c to 7c. 

The first booklet stamp is printed on off-white horizontal wove paper with no clear mesh and type 2 dex gum. The second booklet stamp at the top right is also printed on horizontal wove paper that is slightly whiter in appearance, with type 2 dex gum. The third booklet stamp at bottom left is printed on creamy vertical wove paper, with light vertical ribbing, and creamy satin PVA gum, while the fourth stamp at bottom right is printed on a whiter horizontal wove paper, with a creamy satin PVA gum as well. 


CBN Coil Stamp


The coil stamp printed by the CBN tends to be found in a shade of jet-black, lacking the greyish or silvery tone of the CBN sheet stamps, or the bluish charcoal tone of the BABN stamps. They are nearly always printed on vertical wove paper, showing horizontal mesh and are found with either the types 1 or 2 dex gum.

7c Emerald - Transportation

This stamp is described in Unitrade as being emerald green, although a footnote in the catalogue does mention that the booklet stamps can be found in two shades. In reality, there is a small, but marked range of shades from myrtle green to deep grey-green. I have found that the range of shades found on the sheet stamps and booklet stamps generally match, but the coil stamp seems to only exist in the deep emerald shade. The sheet stamps and the booklet stamps were only printed by BABN, while the coil stamps were only printed by CBN.

Sheet Stamps - All BABN


The stamp on the right is in the shade most commonly described as the emerald green, but is actually closest to Gibbons's myrtle green, but with a bluish undertone. This stamp is printed on horizontal white wove paper with type 2 dex gum. The second stamp from the right is an exact match to Gibbons's deep grey-green. It is Winnipeg tagged and printed on horizontal wove paper with the glossy type 1 dex gum. The second stamp from the left is almost exactly the same shade, but it is just a touch darker. It is printed on the exact same paper: white horizontal wove with glossy type 1 dex gum. The stamp on the left is almost the same shade as the Winnipeg tagged stamp, but is just a tough brighter. It is printed on the same paper as all the other stamps. 

Booklet Stamps - All BABN


The booklet stamps were all printed by BABN. The stamps shown here are all PVA gum examples that came from the 25c booklets issued in 1971. The shades closely follow those of the sheet stamps. The stamp on the left is a slightly more bluish version of the myrtle-green, just like the stamp at the top right of the sheet stamps. This stamp is printed on a creamy vertical wove paper with a cream satin PVA gum. The middle stamp is an almost exact match to the Gibbons myrtle-green. It is printed on a cream horizontal wove paper with cream coloured satin PVA gum. The stamp on the right is a perfect match to the bottle green swatch on the Gibbons colour key. This stamp is printed on an entirely different paper: a white vertical wove, that has a white PVA gum with a satin sheen.


Coil Stamp - CBN


The coil stamps that I have seen all seem to be printed in the same shade, which is almost a complete match to Gibbons's myrtle-green shade. They are always printed on vertical wove paper with clear horizontal mesh, and usually have either type 1 or type 2 dex gum.

This concludes my discussion of the shades of these four values of the set. Again, it is important for me to emphasize that this may not be complete, as a detailed study of the low values could turn up more subtle shade variations that are not shown here. However, I feel that the above covers at least 90-95% of the stamps that you would be sorting.

Next week, I will look at the 8c library, and then start the high values with the 8c-15c values. These four stamps, and especially the 10c and 15c will prove to be very rewarding to the shade enthusiast.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Printing Inks Used On The 1967-1973 Centennial Issue - Part One of Eight

Today's post will delve into another aspect of the Centennial issue, that I feel has received less attention than it should: the printing inks. Apart from the fluorescent orange ink variety of the 6c orange, scarcely any attention is given in Unitrade to the immense variations in ink that can be found on this issue. In discussing the inks used, it is necessary to distinguish between how the inks will appear in normal light, and how they appear under ultraviolet light. In Canadian philately, the long-wave ultraviolet light (UV) is used to study modern issues, as it is this end of the spectrum to which the inks and tagging react the most. This is the safer wavelength of ultraviolet light as well, and is commonly referred to by laypeople as "black light". It is possible that two inks that appear the same in normal light or long wave ultraviolet light, might appear different under short-wave ultraviolet light. However, due to the dangerous nature of this type of light and the fact that it has not generally been in widespread us for Canadian stamps, I have not taken the study of inks in this direction. However, it may well be one worth exploring. What is certain, and will become apparent is that there are many, many instances where two stamps will have almost the same appearance under normal light, but whose inks will appear wildly different under UV light.

Thus, it is logical for me to tackle the issue of printing ink in eight posts: four dealing with variations between the inks in normal light, and another four to deal with variations under UV light. Today's post will look at the variations that are apparent under normal lighting conditions for the 1c, 2c, 3c and 4c. Then, over the next three weeks, I will look at the shades for the other values. Then after that, I will do the same thing, but looking at the differences under UV light. It is strange to me that no shade variations are listed in Unitrade for this issue. Although the differences between the colours of the stamps are generally subtle at first glance, once you become highly familiar with the stamps, you will begin to see that many of them look significantly different from one another. For the CBN printings. those stamps printed on paper with PVA gum tend to printed in colours which on the whole are both brighter and fresher than the earlier Dex gum printings, which are deeper and duller. The dex gum stamps on dead coated paper are the deepest of all, and it is this fact that provides some way to identify these printings, even when one does not have access to a UV lamp. The CBN booklet  and cello paq stamps tend to exhibit many of the same shades found on the corresponding sheet stamps, but such is not the case with the BABN booklet stamps, which are often completely different colours from their sheet counterparts. The biggest discrepancies between booklet and sheet stamps occur on the 1c, 3c, 4c, and 5c booklet stamps, through it must be emphasized that the BABN did not print any of these stamps in sheet form, all that printing being done by the CBN. So, for those stamps, the point of comparison is between two printing firms. However, even with the 6c orange, 6c black, 7c emerald and 8c slate, there are colours on some of the sheet stamps that one does not find replicated in the booklet stamps and vice versa.

Shade variations can be found on virtually every value in the set, and the remainder of this post will look at each of these in turn.

1c Brown - Northern Lights and Dog Sled Team

The basic colour of this stamp varies, depending on whether or not it comes from a sheet or a booklet, and depending on who printed it.

CBN Sheet Stamps And Booklet Stamps

The basic colour of most of the CBN sheet stamps and booklet stamps is deep brown on the Stanley Gibbons colour key. The colour somewhat chocolaty without having either an overly reddish or purple undertone. Some of the early printings were also a very deep and slightly blackish brown, which is often thought of as purple brown, but actually isn't. However, by and large, the colour began to acquire more and more of a reddish undertone, so that by the time the general tagged PVA gum stamps appear from plate 5, the colour is a full-on red brown.

The following scan shows the  basic range of shades found with the sheet stamps:



On the top row we have the basic shades of deep brown (all dex gum), with the blackish brown on the right, the pure deep brown on the left and a chocolate brown in the middle. The middle row shows three PVA gum printings that show the red-browns. The untagged and general Ottawa OP-2 tagged stamps on the left and right are a very close match to Gibbons's red-brown, while the centre Winnipeg tagged stamp is a close match to Gibbons' reddish brown. The bottom row shows two printings, one with dex gum on hibrite paper and one with General Ottawa OP-2 tagging and PVA gum. These two stamps have a brown that can best be described as being mid way between the colour palette of the top two rows. The left stamp is an exact match to Gibbons's chocolate, and is just a touch brighter than the centre stamp in the top row. The stamp on the right is similar to the Winnipeg tagged stamp above it, but there is just a little less red in it, and just a wee bit more brown. But if someone were to sort these quickly, they would probably miss the distinction and say that this, and the stamp above it were the same shade.

Now, let's take a closer look at each of these rows:


It is a little difficult to see the differences between the end stamps here, but the difference between these two and the centre stamp should be readily apparent. Pretty well all of the panes of 5 plus label of the 1c CBN printing that I have seen, will be one of these three shades. 


Again, the end stamps should look quite similar here, and definitely reddish, while the centre stamp looks distinctly browner than the other two. I have not yet seen any booklet stamp printed in any of these shades. That is not to say that none exist, or existed, but just I haven't seen them.




In this scan these two stamps look similar, but if you let your eyes adjust, the one on the right has a purple undertone and is duller than the one on the left, which looks redder and browner by comparison.

Booklet Stamps - Nearly All BABN

The BABN booklet stamps are another range of shades entirely from the ones shown above. They are all closest to chocolate and purple-brown on the Gibbons colour key, with varying degrees of red, or purple in the colour. They lack the bright red of the reddish and red browns, and the blackish undertone of the deep brown. They are all somewhat dull in their appearance as well. I have not seen any of these shades replicated in the sheet stamps.

The following scan shows a range of BABN booklet stamps, with a CBN booklet stamp on the right side of the upper row for comparison. The CBN stamp is the basic deep brown, and it highlights how different the BABN shades are from the CBN ones. Let's take a look at them:


The second stamp from the left in the top row is closest to Gibbon's chocolate, but is deeper. The stamp to the left of it is very similar, but has a bit of a purple undertone. That stamp on white paper with white, shiny PVA gum, while the second stamp from the left is with the type 1 high gloss dex gum. The third stamp with the perf 10, and high gloss dex gum, which I believe comes from the 1c+4c booklets is also a very close match to deep chocolate with a strong purple undertone as well.

On the bottom row, the perf 10 stamp with label, which has the type 2 lower gloss, satin dex gum, which comes from the 25c booklets is almost a perfect match to Gibbons' purple brown. Finally, the perf. 12.5 x 12 1c on the right, which is on ribbed paper with cream eggshell PVA, which comes from the 25c booklets from 1971, is a very close match to the perf 10 stamp on the first row above.


2c Green - Pacific Coast Totem Pole

This is a complex colour due to the overlap found between the CBN stamps with dex gum and those with PVA gum. Generally speaking, most of the dex gum stamps will be found in shades that are all variations of Gibbons's myrtle green, though there will be some brighter greens as well. The PVA gum stamps show considerable variation from shades of deep green to shades of emerald or yellowish green. Finally, the OPAL booklet stamp, which is the only booklet stamp, and was printed by the CBN with dex gum is usually found in a shade of deep green, similar to many of the PVA gum stamps, and quite a bit brighter than the greens found on the dex gum stamps.

Dex Gum Sheet Stamps - All CBN



On the top row at the very far right we have an exact match to Gibbons's myrtle green, and on the bottom left an almost exact match for Gibbons's deep grey green. These two colours are usually what you will see on most of the dex gum sheet stamps. The other two stamps on the top row are also myrtle green, but are not exact matches to the Gibbons myrtle green swatch. The stamp at the top left is just a bit yellower, while the stamp in the middle is the same tone, but is brighter. The stamp on the bottom right is another variation of the myrtle green, being the most yellowish and brightest. This stamp is printed on a very distinct, fibrous, rough vertical wove paper that shows no distinct mesh. It is very distinct from all the others.

Let's take a close look at each of these rows:



The difference between these three stamps is very subtle and not readily apparent from this scan.


Here, the difference between these two colours should be quite obvious. I find that a good part of the design to focus my eyes on when I am sorting shades is the shoreline at the lower left of the design.

PVA Gum Stamps - Again, All CBN

The PVA gum stamps generally lose the undertone of grey or blue that many of the dex gum stamps had.



On the top row at the left we have a printing on the white, horizontal ribbed paper, and to its right, a printing on smooth paper. Both of these are printed in very similar shades, with the left stamp being only every so slightly darker than the right. But the difference is so small, that you could classify these two stamps as being the same shade. These are both an nearly exact match to Gibbons's myrtle green. The stamp at the top right is on smooth vertically wove paper and is closest to Gibbons's green. On the bottom row we have two printings with general Ottawa OP-2 tagging, each in a different shade and a different paper. The stamp on the left is on cream, vertical wove, horizontal ribbed paper and is almost an exact match to Gibbons's deep green. The stamp on the right is a very close match in shade, but is just a bit brighter, and is printed on a similar ribbed paper that is white, instead of cream.

So generally, while some of the PVA gum stamps are myrtle green, most are either green, or deep green. Let's take a closer look at the two rows above:


Here you should clearly be able to see how the stamp on the right is brighter and more yellowish than the other two myrtle green stamps.



Apart from the shades, these two stamps provide an excellent example of how two papers that list as being identical in Unitrade, can be so different in their appearance. 

OPAL Booklet Stamp



Even though this stamp was ostensibly printed by the CBN, it looks completely different to the sheet stamps, for reasons that remain a mystery. The colour is quite similar to the above two deep green stamps, but is just a touch brighter. 

3c Purple - Prairies and Oil Rig

The sheet stamps were all printed by CBN, and the colours of these are all generally shades of lilac, which vary mostly in terms of how much red they contain. Surprisingly, Unitrade does list a red-violet shade, being one of the few shades listed, and it is indeed a very reddish version of the basic colour. However, as prominent as it is, I do not think that it is any more remarkable than many of the shade varieties that are to be found on many of the other values. The booklet stamps were either printed by BABN or the CBN in the OPAL booklet. The colours of both classes of booklet stamp are completely different from the sheet stamps, and are completely different from one another.

Dex Gum Sheet Stamps and Coils - All CBN


At first glance, these stamps all look very similar. However, once you allow your eyes to acclimatize, you will start to see the brownish undertone to the upper right stamp, the reddish undertone to the middle top stamp, and the dull quality of the shades on the bottom row. The top right stamp, which is on creamy vertical wove, with no mesh and satin dex gum (type 5) is closest to Gibbons's deep dull purple. The stamp in the middle is on a creamy wove with horizontal mesh and streaky type 1 dex gum, and is closest to blackish purple on the Gibbons colour key, although it is quite close to blackish lilac as well. The stamp on the top right, which is on a cream. vertical wove with horizontal mesh and smooth type 2 dex gum is also closest to blackish purple, although it is not as red as the middle stamp. The coil stamp, which is on vertical wove, with a clear horizontal mesh and streaky type 1 dex gum is closest to deep reddish lilac on the Gibbons colour key. The stamp in the middle on the bottom row is exactly the same shade, but is printed on vertical wove with no clear mesh, with smooth type 3 dex gum. The stamp on the right, which has the same basic paper and gum as the middle stamp, is closest to blackish purple on the Gibbons colour key.

Let's take a closer look at these two rows:


Here the differences are best seen by concentrating on the uncut grain at the bottom left corner of the design. If you focus on that you can clearly see that the middle stamp is a much redder shade than the other two stamps, which contain a brownish undertone.



These stamps all look very similar, but again, it should become apparent that the middle stamp is much redder in tone than the other two stamps.

PVA Gum Precancelled Stamp - CBN


This is an interesting stamp in the sense that it is the only way that the sheet 3c comes with PVA gum, and it is the only printing of the 3c to exist with general Ottawa OP-2 tagging. On the Gibbons colour key, it is almost an exact match to blackish purple.

Booklet Stamps - Both BABN and CBN

The 3c was printed once by the CBN for inclusion in the 1970 OPAL vending machine booklets, and then was incorporated into the large $1 booklet with dex gum and the 25c booklets with PVA gum.


The OPAL booklet stamp is shown on the left and is closest to either deep purple or plum on the Gibbons colour key. The stamp on the right is from the dex gum $1 booklet issued in 1971. The stamp is printed on horizontal cream wove with no mesh and high gloss dex gum. The colour does not really match any of the Gibbons colours, but is closest to an extremely deep, dull purple.


The colour of this stamp varies

4c Carmine - Seaway Lock

This stamp is described by Unitrade as carmine. However, the deepest of these are really only half way between scarlet and carmine-red on the Gibbons colour key. The basic colour of the dex gum sheet stamps is really scarlet.

CBN Dex Gum Sheet Stamps


On the top row we have a Winnipeg tagged stamp on yellowish cream vertical wove with no distinct mesh and type 3 semi-gloss dex gum. The shade of this stamp is almost a perfect match to Gibbons's scarlet. The middle coil stamp on the top row is the exact same shade. This stamp is printed on yellowish cream coloured vertical wove with type 2 semi-gloss dex gum. The top right stamp above is printed on cream vertical wove, and has type 3 semi-gloss dex gum. The shade is still scarlet, but it is just a touch brighter than the scarlet of the other two stamps.

On the second row we have another example printed on cream vertical wove, this time with a slightly more visible horizontal mesh, and type 3 semi-gloss dex gum. The shade is also closest to scarlet on the Gibbons colour key, but the shade is slightly deeper than the above three stamps. The middle stamp is also printed on cream vertical wove with clear horizontal mesh and type 3 semi-gloss dex gum, but now the shade is acquiring a bit of carmine, being about half-way between scarlet and carmine-red. Finally, the bottom right stamp is closest to scarlet as well and is printed on cream vertical wove, with no visible mesh and streaky type 1 dex gum.

Lets take a closer look at these two rows:



These all look very similar, but with enough time spent looking at the shading around the "4", you should be able to see that the right stamp is somewhat brighter than the other two.



The difference is a bit harder to see in this scan, but if you compare these three stamps with the first three above, you will see the hint of carmine that is beginning to seep into the colour.


CBN PVA Gum Stamps


While there are some stamps with PVA gum that are very close in shade with some of the Dex gum stamps, most of the stamps with PVA gum are a much brighter version of scarlet, with many being either scarlet vermilion, or rosine on the Gibbons colour key.



On the top row we have a printing on white vertical wove paper, with eggshell PVA. The shade here is a slightly brighter version of scarlet. The other two stamps on the top row are both on white vertical wove, with eggshell PVA, one being untagged and one being Winnipeg tagged. These two stamps are brighter, and are closest to scarlet vermilion on the Gibbons colour key. Finally on the bottom row we have an example on white vertical wove with general Ottawa OP-2 tagging. This stamp is closest to a deeper version of Gibbons's rosine shade.

 Let's take a closer look at these:


Although the colours look very similar at first, it should become apparent that the two stamps on the right are slightly lighter and brighter than the one on the left.



And this is the rosiest and brightest of the bunch, but does not contain any hint of vermilion in the colour. Indeed, this colour is about as far away from carmine as you can get while still being a red stamp. 

Booklet Stamps - CBN and BABN

The BABN booklet stamps are one of the shades that is closest to carmine, while the CBN booklet stamps are generally mostly scarlet shades, which are similar to the sheet stamps issued at the same time.



The BABN printed the 4c in two booklets, one being a $1 booklet of 25 stamps and the other being a 25c booklet of 4c + 1c stamps. The colour of the stamps in both booklets is very close to Gibbons's carmine red swatch, being just a little lighter. The stamp shown here comes from a 25c booklet, is printed on cream horizontal wove paper and has the type 1 high gloss dex gum. The CBN booklet stamp shown on the right is printed on cream horizontal wove paper with no mesh and has satin sheen dex gum. The colour of this stamp is closest to scarlet on Gibbons's colour key. This is consistent with my observation that the shades found on the CBN booklet stamps and CBN coil stamps generally mirrors those found on the dex gum sheet stamps.

This brings me to the end of my exploration of the shades on these first four values. I don't claim to have shown you all the shades that can be found, as I'm sure there are more. However, I am fairly confident that the range I have shown here covers what you will see 85-90% of the time that you work on these stamps. Then, every once in a while, you will luck out and come across something that you haven't seen before.

Next week, I will look at the shades on the 5c, 6c orange, 6c black and 7c emerald. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Gum Types On The 1967-1973 Centennial Issue

Overview

The topic of gum on the Centennial issue is one that has not received very much attention at all since collectors became aware of the basic difference between dextrine and PVA gums. However, like any chemical compound, the composition of the gum on this issue showed considerable variation as the post office experimented with different formulas as they transitioned away from dextrose gum towards synthetic PVA gum. Indeed the special hybrid gum, termed "spotty white gum" by collectors, that first appeared on a limited basis in 1971 was almost a cross between dextrose and PVA in the sense, that it had most of the properties of PVA gum, but it possessed much of the shine and thickness associated with dextrose gum. In addition to variations within the three major categories of gum, there was also a significant difference in the properties of the gum used by the British American Bank Note Company (BABN) on the stamps that it printed, and the gum used by the Canadian Bank Note Company (CBN).

This post will look at the the variations that can be found in each of the three major categories of gum: dextrose (dextrine), PVA and spotty white gum. I will attempt, where I can, to show scans of the various types. However, the scans will likely not show some of the attributes, such as sheen and streakiness. I will do my best to describe them in these instances.

In asserting that the appearance of the gum is a significant and collectible attribute, I like to draw an analogy between stamp gum and paint on a wall. Almost everyone is familiar with the different paint finishes available: high gloss, semi-gloss, satin, eggshell, matte and flat. Most will also realize that the different finishes are possible because of minute differences in the chemical makeup of the paint. I would assert that stamp gum is much the same: the degree of surface gloss, the texture, the colour, and how evenly it adheres to the paper when it is applied, are all attributes that will differ as the chemical composition of the gum changes, or its method of application, and therefore, significant differences in these attributes, are, in my opinion, different types of gum.

Dextrose (Dextrine) Gums

CBN Printings

The gum used by the CBN shows a considerable amount of variation, in terms of colour, texture, its streakiness and sheen.:


  1. One type is a very light yellow colour, that shows very small vertical or horizontal patches of thinner gum, arranged in a regular vertical or horizontal pattern. I have examined large multiples of stamps with this type of gum and can confirm that the streaky pattern extends across all stamps in a pane, so it does not represent a random variation in the gum, but rather a difference in appearance that arose as the gum dried after being applied. The sheen is generally a satin to semi-gloss sheen.
  2. A second type is a very light yellow also, with the same satin to semi-gloss sheen. Only this time, the gum is completely smooth and evenly applied, with no thin areas or patchy spots. 
  3. A third type is a deeper yellowish cream, with a semi-gloss sheen and a completely smooth surface. 
  4. A fourth type is a light cream, with a semi-gloss sheen and a completely smooth surface. It is the same as the third type, except for colour. 
  5. A fifth type is a light yellowish cream, with a satin sheen and a completely smooth surface. This gum has the appearance of being applied either by spraying or with a very fine roller, as it has a very fine, stippled appearance. 
  6. A sixth type is deep yellow, with a satin sheen and smooth surface. 
  7. A seventh type is also a yellowish cream colour and is both thick, and has a semi-gloss sheen. The key distinguishing characteristic is that it is highly mottled in its texture, looking like it was applied with a sponge. 
  8. An eighth type has the same satin sheen as the spotty white gum, except it is yellowish dexrose gum, quite clearly. It has a completely smooth surface. 

The scans below show some of the above types of gum:


The above coil block shows the first type of streaky dextrose gum. The streaks are a little difficult to see at first, but if you stare at the block for a few minutes and allow your gaze to relax somewhat, you should able to see that the gum colour is not even: there are very small spots of lighter colour. These spots are the streaks. 

Here is an example of the same gum on a plate block of the 10c Jack Pine, showing the streaks running in the horizontal direction:


Finally, here is a third example, which shows much more prominent streaks in the gum. This example is a plate block of the 2c totem pole:


Here, you can see the uneven colour of the gum very easily. 



This coil shows the second type of gum. Note the light yellowish cream colour and how the gum on this stamp is completely even and smooth. 

I have prepared an overlay scan, where I place this stamp on top of one of the stamps in the above block to try and show the difference between these two gums a little more clearly:


The scan below shows an example of the third and fourth types of gum on two plate blocks of the 10c Jack Pine:



Here is an example of the fifth gum type, shown in the stamp on the left, next to the third type, on the stamp at the right:



Here is an example of the sixth type on a 1c stamp with Winnipeg centre bar tag:



As you can see, it is similar to types 2, 3 and 4, except that the colour is a deeper yellow. 

Finally, the seventh type is shown on the following plate 4 block of the 1c:


Again, if you look carefully at this gum, you can see that the colour is not completely even, but it is not streaky as the above examples of the type 1 gum are. 

Finally, the eighth type is shown on this 50c Summer's Stores on the scarce hibrite paper:



This scan clearly shows the strong vertical mesh that is present on the paper used to print this stamp. However, not all HB stamps look like this. I have other HB examples of this stamp that show no mesh and have types 2, 3 or 4 gum. 

I have seen types 1 through 6 on all printings from 1967 to about 1970, so these were used throughout the period that dextrose gum was in use. Type 7 seems to occur mainly on printings from 1970, like plate 4 of the 1c, and 5c for example. I have only seen the type 8 gum on the 50c Summer's Stores printed on HB paper, but I suspect that it exists on the other CBN high values on HB paper as well. It looks like a transitional gum that was used in 1971 just before the spotty white gum was introduced.

BABN Printings

The gum used by the BABN on the 4c carmine, 5c blue, 6c orange, 6c black, 7c emerald and 8c slate varies in colour from a very light yellowish cream to a pure white. So it is almost always much lighter than the gum used on the CBN printings. It is never streaky, always being smooth and completely evenly applied to the stamp. However, I have seen three distinct types that vary, both in terms of the sheen and the overall texture, as follows:
  1. One type, is very shiny, being a high gloss sheen, and it has very light horizontal streaks, having the appearance of being brushed on. The streaks are quite light, but once you see them, they are quite obvious. I have seen this type of gum on all six denominations. In terms of colour, this gum is usually either a very light yellowish cream or a pure white.
  2. A second type, which has a semi-gloss sheen and appears completely smooth. Thus gum is a very light cream colour. 
  3. A third type is a cream colour, has a satin sheen., and is completely smooth. Under 10x magnification, a clear diagonal crack pattern is visible in the gum. 
The scans below show two blocks of the 6c orange, perf. 12.5 x 12, with the first two types of gum:



This is the high gloss gum with the horizontal streaks. They are difficult to see, but if you look carefully at the top selvage of the block, you can just see them.



This is the semi-gloss gum that is completely smooth, with no streaks.

The third type of gum seems to occur mainly on printings of the 1c, 6c, 4c and 5c booklet stamps, and is shown in the following scan of a 1c pair taken from the 25c booklet:


Here you can see the diagonal pattern of fine cracks, right from the high-resolution scan.

PVA Gums

CBN Printings

The PVA gum most commonly seen on the stamps printed by the CBN is a light cream colour, is completely smooth, and has an eggshell sheen. Under magnification, more of a sheen is visible, and it is possible to see very fine cracks in the gum, however, when viewed normally, the gum is completely smooth. The gum is a thin gum, as its application does not alter the surface texture of the paper in the way that the BABN gum does. The BABN gum has a completely smooth and solid appearance, even under magnification, whereas with this type of gum, the natural rough texture of the stamp paper is still visible underneath the gum, as the gummed paper appears somewhat rough under magnification.

The scan below shows an example of this gum on the 2c totem pole:


Note the smooth appearance, and the rough texture of the surface. The colour appears quite white when viewed alone, or in comparison to the dextrose gums. However, when compared to the pure white of card stock, it is actually quite creamy and off-white.

There are actually two types of this gum, that only differ in terms of the overall sheen. The first has the usual eggshell sheen with a slight shine when the stamps are viewed at an angle to the light. The second has a matte sheen, even when viewed at an angle to the light. The scan below shows both types on two different 1c stamps, with the eggshell stamp on the right, and the matte stamp on the left:


As you can see, these types are almost indistinguishable from the scan alone. However, you may notice that the gum on the right stamp (eggshell stamp) is slightly thicker than the matte stamp. The paper is also different, with the right stamp being printed on a vertical wove that shows clear vertical mesh when viewed against strong backlighting, and very light ribbing on the surface, when viewed under magnification. The perforations tended not to punch out fully on this type of paper and gum, so quite often you will find stamps with this gum having unpunched perforation discs adhering to the stamp, as in the above example. 

Here is a scan showing the two types of PVA gum on the 10c Jack Pine:


The matte gum is shown on the top stamp, while the bottom two are the slightly creamier eggshell PVA. 


BABN Printings

There are three main types of PVA gum found on the BABN stamps that were produced in booklet form. The main points on which the gum varies are the colour and they surface sheen:

  1. The first type is a pure white colour, completely smooth and possesses a very slight surface sheen. It is too matte to be a satin sheen, but it is shinier than what we would normally think of as an eggshell sheen. 
  2. The second type is a cream colour, completely smooth, and has a satin sheen, being much shinier than the first type above. This type is found on the stamps from the $1 integral booklet issued in 1971-1972.
  3. The third type is also a slightly deeper cream colour, completely smooth, but has the same sheen as the first type. 

The scans below show these types:


This is the first type of gum, on a pair of the 7c taken from a 25c booklet from 1971. 



This is an example of the second type on a block of 6 1c stamps taken from the large $1 integral booklet issued in 1971-1972. The difference between this and the first type above, is not obvious from the scan, but the colour is clearly different, as the overlay scan shows:


Hopefully, you can see from this scan that the first type of gum is clearly whiter than the second. 

The third type of gum is shown in this comparison scan, with the third type being laid on top of the above pair of the first type:


The cream gum is shown on the bottom, while the white gum appears on top.

Spotty White Gum (CBN Printings Only)

The spotty white gum is actually a sub-type of PVA gum, being a streaky PVA with a semi-gloss sheen. The term "spotty" refers to the streaks that can often be seen in the gum, which result from tiny patches where the gum is thinner than the rest of the stamp. This type of gum is so far only known on certain printings of the 10c Jack Pine, made between 1971 and 1972. That this type is not known on the other values is a mystery, since they were all continuously printed in 1971, and common sense would suggest that the other values should exist with this type of gum as well. However, no examples have been reported on any value other than the 10c. There are slight variations in the surface sheen, from satin to semi-gloss, but all of the stamps I have looked at with this gum, have the gum quite white in comparison to the other gums discussed here.

The scan below shows two examples: one on a Winnipeg tagged stamp, and the other on an untagged stamp:


The streakiness of this gum is not visible from the scan at all. However, what is visible here is the distinct vertical ribbing of the paper on which this gum was used.

Conclusion

This concludes my discussion of the different types of gum found on this issue. Clearly there are some very major differences other than just the distinction between dextrose and PVA. Undoubtedly, there are many stamps from this issue which will likely only be found with the one gum type. However, there are many others that likely exist with three or four different varieties of dextrose gum, and many of the PVA gum printings probably exist with more than one type as well. I already gave one example: the 50c on HB paper, where I have seen two radically different types of dextrose gum and paper. So this is clearly an aspect of this issue that is more deserving of detailed study to establish, once and for all, what all the different gum types are, and which printings exist with which type.

Next week's post will look at the different types of ink that were used to print the stamps.