One thing that I did not comment on in the overview post for this issue is the perforation. From what I can see so far in working on the low values, the perforation for the low values did not vary at all, being 11.9 on all the stamps I have examined. I have not, as yet looked at the 10c, 20c and 25c values that were in use after 1963. I expect that as I study these, I will find at least some in the later perf. 12.15. I will definitely let everyone know what I find.
Paper Varieties and Gum - Overview
One of the first things that collectors of this issue will notice after they have been collecting these stamps for a while is that there are two basic types of paper, each of which has several sub-types. At the most basic level, the two types of paper are horizontal wove and vertical wove. The horizontal wove paper was used for all printings up to about 1958-1959 and appears to have been used for all printings of the 3c, as I have yet to find this value on vertical wove paper. The explanation given in the literature for the two types of paper is simply the fact that the CBN rotated the printing plates in order to switch from a 400 subject plate format to a 600 subject plate format. However from my perspective, that explanation does not tell the whole story because the characteristics of the vertical wove paper are entirely different from the horizontal wove papers. If it were merely a matter of printing direction then it would follow that I should be able to find a paper that has the exact same characteristics with the only difference being the direction of the mesh. I have not found that to be the case:
- The horizontal wove paper usually shows very strong surface ribbing on the early printings, or it is smooth on the surface, showing either no mesh when held up to the light, or horizontal mesh. The gum on these papers are usually quite yellowish and shiny being either smooth or streaky. These papers are usually 0.0045" thick.
- The vertical wove paper is the same thickness as above, but the surface of the paper is always smooth and shows no ribbing on the front. Often, you can see light vertical ribbing on the back. When you hold this paper up to the light, the mesh pattern looks different from the horizontal wove papers that are smooth on the surface. The reactions of this paper to ultraviolet light are different too. Finally the gum on these papers is less yellow and more cream coloured and is either smooth on the ribbed papers or thick and streaky on the smooth papers.
- The ribbed papers that are all dull fluorescent
- The smooth papers that are generally non-fluorescent and
- The smooth papers that show varying degrees of fluorescence
As you can see there is quite a marked difference between the appearance of these two papers under the UV light, with the non-fluorescent on the right appearing violet, while the greyish white dull paper is on the left.
- Dull paper giving a bluish white reaction, usually with smooth yellow gum
- Dull paper giving a greyish white reaction, usually with somewhat streaky yellow gum
- Dull paper giving an ivory reaction, usually with smooth gum
- Dull paper giving a greyish reaction, usually with smooth gum
- Non-fluorescent paper giving a violet or light violet reaction with streaky yellow gum
- Non-fluorescent paper giving a greyish reaction and with streaky cream gum
- Dull paper giving a bluish white, ivory or greyish white reaction with streaky cream gum
- Dull paper giving bluish white, ivory or greyish white reaction and containing various concentrations of fluorescent fibres.
- As above but non-fluorescent paper.
- Fluorescent papers both containing fluorescent fibres and not containing them.
This first picture shows two blocks which are on low fluorescent paper, each containing a sparse concentration of low fluorescent fibres. Because the fluorescence of the fibres is very close to the ambient fluorescence of the paper you cannot clearly see them in the above picture. The block at the bottom is on a medium fluorescent paper with a low density of high fluorescent fibres, which you can see by the mottling in the block.
The top two blocks are likely what Unitrade calls fluorescent, while the bottom block is a version of Unitrade's high fluorescent paper.
The next picture shows another version of the high fluorescent paper right next to the fluorescent paper to highlight the difference:
In this picture the block on the left looks dull, but next to a true dull paper, it appears definitely fluorescent.
Finally, the picture shows the high fluorescent paper on the left and the medium fluorescent paper on the right:
On the left we have deep violet brown and violet brown, which are the two most common shades in which the stamps on ribbed horizontal wove paper are found. The third stamp in is deep brown, which is found on the vertical wove stamps. The fourth stamp is a bright purple brown, which is found on the smooth, non-fluorescent paper from group 2 of the horizontal wove papers. The last stamp is another violet brown shade.
Not shown here are some of the other shades that can be found on the vertical wove stamps. These can be found in the original violet brown shades, as well as brown, deep brown, pale brown and chocolate brown. My scanner wasn't really cooperating with me for the picture below, which was supposed to show the brown and pale brown shades of the vertical wove stamps. If you look carefully you can still see that the block on the left is a darker colour than the block on the right: