This all raises a few questions, which may never be adequately answered:
- Why were the Winnipeg Tagged stamps issued at all, when the general tagged stamps were already available 2 months before?
- Why are there no OP-4 tagged stamps? All the GT-2 stamps seem to be OP-2, yet the general consensus among specialists is that OP-4 taggant was used first and abandoned when it became clear that it was unstable. Yet the lack of OP-4 stamps on this issue suggests that the situation may have been more complicated than this.
- A low fluorescent paper in which the paper appears low fluorescent overall, and does not appear flecked. Upon close examination with a 10x loupe under UV light, some fibres are indeed visible, but they are the same brightness as the overall paper, so that they disappear into the overall fluorescence of the paper. The colour of this paper under my UV light is generally a light bluish white. But other colours are possible, such as violet, bluish etc.
- A dull fluorescent paper that contains fluorescent fibres that vary from low fluorescent in brightness, all the way up to hibrite. The composition and concentration of these fibres is such that the paper overall appears low fluorescent, and indeed this is what Unitrade refers to as LF or LF-fl paper. The colour of the paper under UV can vary from greyish white, to light violet, through bluish violet and finally to light blue.
- 1-2 fibres: literally 1 or 2 fibres across the entire surface of the stamp.
- Very few: anywhere from 3 to 10 fibres across the entire surface of the stamp.
- Very sparse: a very light sprinkling of fibres across the entire stamp surface. Gaps between fibres are as large as 3-5 mm.
- Sparse: a light sprinkling of fibres across the entire stamp surface. Gaps between fibres are smaller: 1-2 mm.
- Low density: an even distribution of fibres across the stamp surface. Gaps between fibres are generally no more than 1 mm.
- Medium density: a heavier distribution of fibres in which the fibres overlap and the largest white spaces are no more than 1/4 to 1/2 mm.
- High density: the fibres are so dense and close together that it appears at first as if there are no fibres, but one even fluorescence level. It is only after examination with a 10x loupe that it becomes apparent that there are actually fluorescent fibres in the paper.
- Untagged precancelled.
- Winnipeg tagged
- General tagged
- Dull fluorescent violet grey, with a low density concentration of dull fluorescent fibres, and sparse concentrations of low, medium and high fluorescent fibres.
- Dull fluorescent grey, with a low density concentration of dull fluorescent fibres, and sparse concentrations of low, medium and high fluorescent fibres.
- Low fluorescent bluish white, with a sparse concentration of low florescent fibres, and a very sparse concentration of medium fluorescent fibres.
The photograph below shows all three types:
The first paper is shown at the top left, the second at top right and the third on the bottom. The differences between the first two types do not show up well in a photograph, but the difference between the third and the first or second, shows up quite readily.
The block on the left is a perfect match to Gibbons's chocolate. The block on the right is a perfect match to Gibbons's reddish brown.
- A very white gum that has a satin sheen.
- An off-white gum that has a duller and thinner appearance, an eggshell sheen.
The white satin gum is shown on the right, while the off-white cream gum is shown on the left. The difference is easily overlooked, but if you compare them side by side, they are quire distinct. I am not sure if the sheen differences will show up here, but here is a high resolution scan of the off-white gum:
and here is the white gum:
Bringing it All Together
I have found three shades, three paper types and two types of gum. I do not know if every shade exists with both gum types and all three paper types. However, as there are likely other paper types that I have not found yet, I will assume that for purposes of determining how many collectible varieties there are, I will assume that there are 3 x 3 x 2 = 18 collectible varieties. The only plate blocks that exist are plate 5, as well as blank blocks that can be found in 12 positions, with different selvage widths. So the number of collectible blocks should be at least 16 x 12 = 192 blocks.
The paper that I have seen so far on this stamp is a dull fluorescent bluish white paper under UV light, that shows a low density concentration of dull fluorescent fibres and very sparse concentrations of low, medium and high fluorescent fibres. There are both fewer fibres in the paper of these stamps, and the fibres are not as bright as on the untagged stamps.
So far, I have only seen this stamp printed in the reddish brown shade, as shown below:
On these stamps, I have come across a third type of PVA gum. This one is very white, but is much shinier than the other two. The sheen on this is actually more of a semi-gloss, rather than a satin sheen. The white is even whiter than the white gum with the satin sheen. Here is a high resolution scan showing the differences between the earlier satin gum and the semi-gloss white gum:
Again, as with the other untagged stamps, all of the stamps that I examined were perf. 11.85.
Bringing It All Together
Here I have only found a single collectible variety so far. Generally, the precancels are collected as warning strips when they are collected in multiples, and there are two positions, right and left. So the maximum number of collectible strips is 2. This is likely the simplest of all the sub-types of this very complicated stamp.
Two papers seem to exist on these stamps:
- Dull fluorescent violet grey paper under UV, showing sparse concentrations of low, medium and high fluorescent fibres, that give it a low fluorescent appearance overall. Some stamps may also have 1 or 2 hibrite fibres visible.
- A similar paper, except that the colour under UV is grey, instead of violet grey.
The gum on all the stamps I have examined is the second type of white PVA gum with a satin sheen.
Again, the perforation on all the tagged stamps that I have looked at is still 11.85. I have not yet found any instance of the 11.95 gauge.
Appearance of the Tagging
The tagging bars are 4 mm wide and the space between the bars on the sheet is 20.5 mm all the way along the sheet. A full sheet contains 10 bars.
The bars do not run continuously down the full sheet, but stop just beyond the end of one pane, before a second series of bars covers the pane below. You can always identify corner blocks from the junction of the upper and lower panes by the fact that you will see one bar end and another begin in the lower selvage.
Bringing it All Together
I have found two paper types and two shades, though only one gum type. This means that there could be up to four collectible varieties, assuming that every paper type exists with every shade. Like all of the tagged stamps, blocks are all blank and can be collected in the usual 12 positions. This suggests that there are up to 48 different collectible blocks of this stamp.
General Tagged Stamps: Unitrade #454piii
I have found four different papers on these stamps:
- Dull fluorescent greyish ivory under UV, with a sparse concentration of dull fluorescent fibres, and very sparse concentrations of low and medium fluorescent fibres.
- Dull fluorescent light blue under UV, with a low density concentration of dull fluorescent fibres, and sparse concentrations of low, and medium fluorescent fibres, a very sparse concentration of high fluorescent fibres, and very few brownish woodpulp fibres visible in the paper.
- Dull fluorescent violet grey under UV, with a sparse concentration of low and medium fluorescent fibres.
- Dull fluorescent violet grey under UV, with a low density concentration of dull fluorescent fibres, sparse concentrations of low and medium fluorescent fibres and a very sparse concentration of high fluorescent fibres.
In my examination of all the general tagged stamps in my stock, I have encountered three shades, one of which is extremely distinct, and the reddish of the shades on this value. The other two are close to one another and easily overlooked if one is not paying very close attention:
Under UV light, the inks appear as deeper versions of themselves, so they are non-transformative.
There appear to be two different types of gum on these stamps:
- The second white type with satin sheen, which seems to occur on the deep chocolate and deep brown shades.
- The third white type with the semi-gloss sheen, which seems to occur only on the reddish brown stamp with the deep yellow tagging.
Appearance of the Tagging
All of the tagging that I have seen on all the stamps that I have examined is 4 mm wide, and the horizontal spacing between tag bars is 21 mm. There are 11 bars per sheet, all applied to the outer edges of the pane at right and left, as well as down the perforations between the stamps. Occasionally, the tagging is found so badly shifted as to produce either centre bar (G1aC) or right bar (G1aR) varieties. Ken Rose, in his handbook dealing with tagging errors on Canadian stamps, lists both types on this stamp, but he only lists them in used condition.
While I have not found any spacing or size variations in the tagging, I have found two different colours of tagging under UV light: bright yellow and very pale green. The picture below shows both types:
The upper left stamp shows the bright yellow tagging, while the stamp at the bottom shows the very pale green tagging. Generally, it appears that the yellow tagging is the later version, given that the colour is very close to what we see on the subsequent 1973-78 Caricature stamps. The gum on these is the thicker, shiner PVA and the colour is the reddish of the brown shades.
It appears that the tagging bars may run continuously down the length of the post office sheet from one pane to the next, as I have not seen any instances of blocks in which one tagging bar ends, while the next one begins.
Bringing it All Together
Although I have identified three shades, four paper types, two gum types and two tagging types, it is unlikely that every variety exists in combination with all the others. Specifically, the reddish brown stamp with the semi-gloss gum and deep yellow tagging seems to exist with only 1 paper type. But the others may exist with each of the varieties. So it would seem that there could be as many as 2 x 3 + 1 = 7 collectible varieties. All of the blocks, as with all tagged stamps are blank, and can be collected in up to 12 positions, so that the maximum number of collectible blocks is somewhere in the neighbourhood of 84 blocks.
So in conclusion, although there is not nearly as much scope offered with the PVA gum stamps as those with dextrose gum, there is still a great deal more than what the Unitrade listings would suggest. This concludes my discussion of the sheet stamps of this value. My next post will cover the perf. 12 CBN booklet stamps and the perf. 10 BABN booklet stamps.