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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

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

Today, we get into the inks used to print the Centennial issue, as they appear under, or are affected by long-wave ultraviolet light, or black light. Today's post will discuss what I mean by this, and then will look at some of the differences that appear on the 1c through 4c values of the series.

Our perception of colour is a function of how the pigments interact with the light that illuminates them. How an ink will appear under yellow incandescent light will be different from how it appears under daylight, which will differ still from how it appears under various forms of coloured light. However, usually a colour will appear more or less the way you would expect it to appear with the addition of the colour that is inherent in the light. Long wave ultraviolet light is of course, a purple light. So the appearance of most colours would appear darker and washed over with a purple undertone. I would refer to these inks as non-transformative, because the introduction of black light does not transform the colour from one to another, but merely modifies it by making it appear, darker, duller or brighter.

However, there are some inks used on the Centennial issue that are a completely different colour under the ultraviolet light from their colour in normal light. Quite often, that colour is black, but in many other instances, it is a different colour other than black. These inks are what I would call transformative, for this reason. So in studying the inks used for this issue, after you have considered the shade differences as they appear under normal lighting conditions, there is the question of whether of not the inks are transformative, and what colour they appear under the ultraviolet light. It is quite possible, and quite common, in fact, to find many instances in which two stamps that appear to be more or less identical under normal light, will appear to be different colours under ultra-violet light.

To illustrate what I am talking about, let us now take an example of three 1c stamps shown below:



On the left we have a deep brown booklet stamp with type 8 dex gum and printed on dull fluorescent paper. The other two stamps are BABN booklet stamps printed in two slightly different shades of deep reddish brown, with the middle stamp being more reddish and the right stamp being closer to chocolate. However, none of these shade variations is overly dramatic. 

Lets take a look and see how these three stamps appear under UV:


If you look at the stamp on the left, although the purple light of the lamp has cast a light violet shadow over the paper, it has not significantly changed the colour. From the appearance of the shading in the sky and on the ice, it is clear that the colour is still deep brown. The stamp on the right is still deep brown also, albeit darker than it was under normal light. However, the stamp on hibrite paper, in the middle, looks clearly black now, and not brown. 

In actual fact, although the scan does not show it clearly, the colour of the right stamp is unchanged under the lamp as well. So I would classify these inks as follows:

Left stamp: non-transformative, deep brown/deep brown.
Middle stamp: transformative, deep reddish brown/black.
Right stamp: non-transformative, deep chocolate brown/deep chocolate brown. 

Where the colour to the left of the slash denotes the colour as seen in normal light, and the colour to the right of the slash denotes the colour as seen under ultraviolet light. 

Now, lets take a look at the 1c-4c stamps in detail:

1c Northern Lights and Dogsled Team

Non-Transformative Inks.

Within the classification of non-transformative inks, there are essentially three categories:

1. Those inks that appear either deeper, duller, deeper and duller, or deeper and fuller under the light.
2. Those which do not appear significantly different under UV, once the light colour is taken into account, and,
3. Those which appear, lighter, brighter, or lighter and brighter under the light.

We have already seen an example of a non-transformative ink that does not appear significantly different under UV light: the perf. 12 booklet stamp with dex gum. This type of ink generally seems to pre-dominate in those CBN sheet stamps, and booklet stamps that were printed in plain, deep brown ink. 

However, let's take a look at some more examples where the ink appears deeper and fuller under the light. Take a look at these three stamps:


Here we have two shades of chocolate brown, on the first two stamps, and deep brown on the right. The middle and right stamps are both BABN booklet stamps, untagged and printed on high fluorescent and medium fluorescent papers, with satin PVA gum. The stamp on the left is general Ottawa OP-2 tagged and is printed on low fluorescent, vertical wove paper with matte PVA gum.

Now, let's take a look at them under UV light:



My phone camera does not do the greatest job at representing the colour as it actually appears, but it should be apparent that in all cases, the colour is still brown, with the centre stamp being the darkest. In each case, the colour is darker and fuller under UV light than under normal light. This type of ink seems to be found on some of the later CBN printings with PVA gum in the deeper brown shades and in several of the BABN booklet stamps that are perf. 12.5 x 12.

Now, let's take a look at ink which looks slightly lighter, and/or brighter under the light. Take these four stamps:


Here, starting on the left, we have the perf. 10 BABN booklet stamp in the reddish brown, shade, a deep brown CBN sheet stamp on dull fauorescent paper, a very deep violet brown sheet stamp with Winnipeg tagging, and finally another BABN booklet stamp in a dull reddish brown shade. What all of these four stamps have in common, is the somewhat dull nature of the colours.

Now let's take a look at them under UV:


This picture is, once again, not truly representative of how these stamps actually look. However, the left stamp does appear slightly brighter here than it does under normal light. The other three stamps, do not really appear lighter, per se, but they all appear brighter, and less dull, as compared with the colours in normal light.

This type of ink seems to be found on both perforations of the BABN booklet stamps, and many of the CBN sheet stamps, with the deeper, duller browns, both untagged and Winnipeg tagged.

Transformative Inks

As I said earlier, transformative ink is that which completely changes colour under UV light. Sometimes the change merely involves the loss of a predominant tone, for example, red-brown losing the red undertone and becoming dark brown. Other times, it involves the ink becoming a completely different colour altogether, like green changing to black.

Let's take a look at the following four stamps:


Here we have a BABN booklet stamp in the deep brown shade, with satin PVA gum, a Winnipeg tagged sheet stamp in chocolate brown, a General Ottawa Tagged stamp in reddish brown, and an untagged sheet stamp on hibrite paper in the chocolate brown shade.

Let's take a look at how they appear under UV:


Both stamps on the ends appear to be printed in black when viewed under UV, losing all the brown. The middle two stamps both appear dark brown, with no reddish undertone, when under normal lighting conditions, both stamps have a clear reddish tone. Generally, these inks seem to be limited on this value, to those stamps printed on hibrite paper, and the PVA gum stamps with a some hint or red to the colour, whether untagged, Winnipeg centre bar tagged, or general Ottawa OP-2 tagged. 

2c Pacific Coast Totem Pole

Non-Transformative Inks

In discussing the non-transformative inks on this value, let us begin with the ink that appears more or less the same under the UV light as in normal light: the myrtle green from the dex gum printings. Take a look at the following 2 stamps:


Here we have two of the CBN sheet stamps in two slightly different shades of the myrtle green, with the left stamp being printed in a slightly brighter shade, and Winnipeg centre bar tagged. Both are printed on dull fluorescent paper with type 8 dex gum. As we will see, under the UV light, they do not look much different, once your eyes adjust to the violet light:



The picture makes the right stamp look a bit black, but in reality it looks very close to the same shade of deep myrtle green as the stamp does in normal light. This ink seems to predominate on the dex gum sheet stamps. 

Moving on to the printings with PVA gum, the vast majority are printed in a non-transformative ink, which merely looks darker under the light, but is still green, rather than black. Here are four such stamps in normal light:



These are all shades of deep green, except for the second stamp from the left, which is a distinct bright green. The first two stamps on the left, are printed on smooth, white vertically wove paper, while the last two are printed on a horizontally ribbed, white vertical wove paper. All the stamps except for the second last stamp, are untagged, and have eggshell PVA gum. The second last stamp is general Ottawa OP-2 tagged, and has matte PVA gum. 

Under the UV light, the first and last stamps get to be a very dark green, but not black:



The picture, makes the two end stamps look black here, but they are actually, very dark green. The middle two stamps are clearly dark green, and are deeper than the shades as they appear in normal light. These inks appear in several of the PVA gum printings, with various grades of fluorescence. 

Transformative Inks

Some of the PVA gum printings and the CBN printing on hibrite paper that was made for the OPAL booklet are found with transformative inks, which in all cases appear black under the UV light. 



Here we have a Winnipeg centre bar tagged printing on horizontally ribbed, white vertical wove, with eggshell PVA gum. Then we have a general Ottawa OP-2 tagged printing in bright green, on horizontally ribbed, white vertical wove with eggshell PVA gum. Then there is an untagged printing on smooth, white vertical wove with matte PVA gum, and finally, there is the OPAL booklet printing on hibrite vertical wove paper, with vertical mesh and dex gum. The shades are generally either deep green, or deep bright green, with the OPAL booklet printing being a slightly lighter and duller version of the deep green. 

Here they are under the UV light:



As you can see, there is no green colour left in the ink. Everything appears black. These inks seem to occur on the PVA gum printings with either very low, or very high fluorescence. 

3c Combine Harvester and Oil Rig

Non-Transformative Inks

On this value, very few of the printings were made with ink that did not look darker under UV light than in normal light. However, there are a few of the printings made on dead, non-fluorescent paper that appear deep dull purple in both normal light and under UV light. Here is an example of one such printing: a precanceled example of the deep dull purple, on stiff vertical wove with type 1 dex gum:



Here is how it looks under UV:


The picture is a bit blurry, but you can clearly see that it is dull purple and it's appearance hasn't changed significantly. 

Most of the printings of this stamp, in various shades of dull purple, including those with a reddish undertone, all appear darker when viewed under UV. Here are four examples on various papers, which appear darker under UV light as compared to normal light:



On the left, and second from the right, there is the deep, dull purple on two different types of dull fluorescent paper, one with type 1 dex gum and the other with type 2 dex gum. Second from the left, is a lighter, duller shade, with shiny type 3 dex gum and on low fluorescent paper. Lastly, on the right is a deep dull purple precancel on speckled dull fluorescent paper, with type 8 satin dex gum. 

Here they are under UV:



If you look at the shading in the wheatfield, rather than the Queen, you can see that none of these stamps appear black, but they generally appear to be much deeper shades of purple. This is the type of ink in which the vast majority of the stamps of this denomination were printed.

Transformative Inks

Two printings of this value were made on white fluorescent paper: the general Ottawa OP-2 tagged precancel with matte PVA gum, and the OPAL booklet printing on hibrite paper:


Both these stamps appear black when viewed under UV light:




4c Seaway Lock

Unlike all the other values examined so far, I have not come across any 4c stamps printed in a transformative ink. All of the inks either appear more or less the same under UV and normal light, or they appear darker under UV.

Let us begin with those stamps whose colour appears more or less the same under UV. Here are five such stamps:


On the left we have scarlet printed on a dull fluorescent, stiff vertical wove paper with horizontal mesh, and type 3 or 4 dex gum. This stamp is Winnipeg tagged with a right side bar. Then we have a scarlet booklet stamp on dull fluorescent horizontal wove paper, with type 8 satin dex gum. In the middle, is a scarlet stamp on less stiff, non-fluorescent vertical wove with type 4 dex gum. Then second from the right is a scarlet stamp printed on a non-fluorescent vertical wove, with type 2 dex gum. Lastly, on the right, we have a perf. 10 BABN booklet stamp in carmine red , on dull fluorescent, horizintal wove paper with type 1 dex gum. 

Let's take a look at these under UV:


Although they do look slightly deeper here in the picture, in reality the stamps look very similar under UV to how they look in normal light.  These inks appear to be limited to the CBN sheet stamps, booklet stamps and coils with dex gum, as well as the BABN booklet stamps. 

The remainder of the stamps printed with dex gum and those with PVA gum, seem to all be printed in brighter shades of scarlet, which merely look darker under UV, but do not become black. Here are five more dex gum stamps and three with PVA gum, all of which appear darker under UV than they do in normal light:



If you compare the scans carefully, you can see that many of the dex gum stamps, being the three on the right, and all the PVA gum stamps are in brighter shades than the earlier dex gum stamps. Most of the stamps on the top row are printed on dull fluorescent paper, or speckled fluorescent paper, and generally with a satin dex gum like type 3 or 4. On the bottom row, we have a bright scarlet stamp on medium fluorescent vertical wove, with matte PVA gum. This stamp is general Ottawa OP-2 tagged. The stamp on the right is the same, except that instead of being general tagged, it is the scarce printing with the Winnipeg centre bar. The middle stamp is similar, but the shade is a bit duller, and the paper is dull fluorescent rather than being fluorescent at all. 

Let's take a look at them under UV:


As you can see, every stamp under here looks red and not black. If you compare the images of each stamp carefully under both UV and normal light, you will see that the colours, in every case, appear darker. 

That brings me to the conclusion of this week's post. Next week, I will continue with the 5c through 8c values. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

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

Today's post will conclude my examination of the visible shade varieties on the 1967-1973 Centennial issue

20c Dark Blue - Quebec Ferry

There are two distinct groups of shades on this value. On the stamps issued with dex gum, the shades range from a steel blue to a deep blue and finally to indigo. This last shade contains quite a lot of black, and is very dark. The stamps issued with PVA gum tend to be printed with much brighter shades of blue, with the deepest ones being close to the brightest of those with dex gum.

Dex Gum Stamps


In comparing the shades on this stamp, I find the solid letters of "Canada" to give the best representation of the true colour. The top left stamp is a near perfect match to Gibbons's indigo. The stamp to the right of it is also closest to Indigo, but contains a touch less black, and is brighter.

The bottom left stamp is an almost perfect match to Gibbons's steel blue, and appears much brighter than the two stamps on the row above. Finally, the stamp to the right is very close to Gibbons's deep blue, but is just a little bit darker.

All of these stamps are printed on cream coloured vertical wove paper. The gum types vary from type 1 to types 3 and 4 dex gum.


PVA Gum Stamps


The stamp on the left is a perfect match to Gibbons's deep blue. It is Winnipeg tagged and is printed on a creamy horizontal wove paper, with eggshell PVA gum. The stamp on the right is not a match to any of Gibbons's swatches, but it is closest to the deep blue, but much brighter. I would therefore call it "deep bright blue". The example here is untagged, and printed on white vertical wove paper, with eggshell PVA gum.

To give you a better idea of the contrast between the indigo shade of the dex gum printings and the deep bright blue of the PVA gum stamps, take a look at this scan:


With all the attention given by Unitrade to shade differences on the classic period it is baffling to me that such an obvious colour difference receives no recognition whatsoever in the modern period.

25c Slate Green - Solemn Land

This is another stamp from this series which was only printed by CBN, and was only ever issued with dex gum, as the replacement stamp from the next series was first issued in early 1972. Still it is curious that there were no printings from late 1971 with PVA gum, as this would have been a reasonably heavily used stamp.

There are a surprising range of shades on this stamp, many of which are quite subtle, but some of which are quite extreme. The basic colour is bottle green or slate green, and the shades vary in terms of the amount of blue contained and the green and the amount of black. There is also variation in terms of depth and dullness.


It is a bit tricky to see the differences just from looking at this scan, due to the small size of the images. However, if you allow your eyes to adjust, you should be able to see many of the differences. For instance, on the top row, the stamp on the right is clearly darker than the other two stamps. Both stamps on the middle row are bluer then the stamps on the top row, with the stamp on the right being darker. Finally, the stamps on the bottom row all seem duller than the other stamps. 

However, I will go through the shades, one row at a time, with larger scans. The entire mountain of the design is excellent for comparing shades, as I find that they show up quite easily. 

So, let's take a close look at the first row:


The stamp on the left is a perfect match to Gibbons's deep grey-green. This stamp is printed on cream horizontal wove paper with a clear vertical mesh and type 1 dex gum. The stamp in the middle is close to this shade, but it has a bluish tinge, and contains less grey.  This stamp is on vertical wove with type 1 dex gum also. The stamp on the right is the same basic shade as the left stamp, but without the grey undertone.  This stamp is printed on cream vertical wove, with type 4 dex gum.

Now, lets take a look at the second row:



The left stamp on this row is clearly much closet to blue green, than it is to slate green. It does not really match any of the swatches on Gibbons's colour key. However, it is closest to what Gibbons's dull blue green swatch would be if it were deeper. This stamp is printed on vertical wove paper with clear vertical mesh and type 4 dex gum. The right stamp is closest to the deep grey-green, but has a distinctly bluish undertone. This is the scarce Winnipeg tagged printing on hibrite paper, which is vertical wove, with clear vertical mesh and type 3 dex gum.

Now let's finish with the third row:



The first two stamps in this row are almost the exact same shade, but if you compare them closely, the middle stamp will exhibit a slightly bluer colour. The colour is very similar to the first stamp on the second row, but both these stamps are slightly darker than that stamp. However, all of them are variations of deep dull blue green. Both the left stamp is printed on vertical wove with clear mesh and type 1 dex gum. The right stamp is both bluer and duller than these two stamps, but is still a variant of deep dull blue-green. This one is printed on horizontal wove paper with feint vertical mesh and type 3 dex gum.  

50c Orange Brown - Summer's Stores

This is another stamp that, at first glance, appears not to have a lot of shades, but actually has quite a number. Once again, there is a clear demarcation between the shades found on the printings with dex gum, and those found on the stamps with PVA gum. The two basic shade groupings are orange-brown and brown-orange. The PVA gum stamps and some of the dex gum stamps are shades of brown-orange, while some of the dex gum stamps are more of a brown-orange, where the shades contain more brown than orange.

I will show all the shades together on one scan, will describe the basic differences between the broad shade groups and will then look at each row up close:


Here you can see quite clearly that the middle and right stamps of the second row, and the first two stamps of the third row are more brownish than they are orange, while the brightest, and most orange shade is in the lower right stamp, which is the PVA gum printing. The middle and right stamps of the top row are clearly also more orange than brown. Finally, the first stamps of each the first and second row are a good balance of both orange and brown. I find that the shading on the grain elevators provides a good basis for comparing the shades. 

Now, let's take a close look at the first row:


There is no brown-orange swatch on the Gibbons colour key, but the left stamp matches what I think this swatch would look like if a small amount of brown were to be added to the orange swatch. The stamps to the right are both much more orange, with the stamp in the centre being the deeper of the two. These two stamps are more of a brownish orange, which is what you would have if you took the orange swatch and added about one eighth to one quarter brown, whereas the brown orange is closer to 50% brown.

The two stamps with selvage on this row are printed on low fluorescent, vertical wove paper, with clear vertical mesh and types 1 and 3 dex gum. The middle stamp is printed on dull fluorescent, vertical wove paper with clear vertical mesh, and type 1 dex gum.

Now let's take a look at the second row:


The left stamp is a slightly deeper and browner version of the brown-orange. This stamp is printed on hibrite horizontal wove paper with clear vertical mesh and type 8 dex gum. The middle stamp is closest to Gibbons's orange-brown, but is more orange and lighter. This stamp is printed on dull fluorescent horizontal wove paper, with type 4 dex gum. The stamp on the right is a bit more orange, once again, and a bit deeper than the centre stamp. This one is printed on dead, vertical wove paper with type 1 dex gum.

Now let's move on to the third row:



The left stamp is a similar shade to the right stamp on the row above, but this one is both lighter and duller. It is printed on a dull fluorescent, horizontal wove paper with type 3 dex gum. The middle stamp has the intensity of the yellow brown on the Gibbons colour key, but the orangy tinge of Gibbons's cinnamon. I actually think that it is a fairly close match to what cinnamon would be if it were darker. This stamp is also printed on dead, horizontal wove paper with type 3 dex gum. Finally, the stamp at the bottom right is closest to the Gibbons dull orange swatch, but deeper. However, this colour contains the least amount of brown, and the most amount of orange as compared to the other eight stamps.

$1 Carmine Red - Edmonton Oilfield

Of all the high value stamps of the series, this one has the most subtle of the shade differences, and it may first appear as though there are no shade differences. However, with patience and care, it is possible to see variations in how much bluish undertone is present, versus how much scarlet there is in the shade. The dullest and most bluish shades seem to be limited to the dex gum stamps, while the brightest and most scarlet of the shades seem to be limited to those stamps issued with PVA gum. In comparing the shades of this stamp, I find that it is best to focus on the dirt road in the foreground.

Stamps With Dex Gum


The starting point in analyzing these shades is the stamp in the middle, which is a fairly close match to Gibbons's deep rose red. The stamp to the right is very close to this, but is a closer match to Gibbons's scarlet, while the stamp on the left is closest to what would result is a little carmine were added to the deep rose red, as there is a definite bluish undertone to this shade.

To see the differences more closely, I will show two close up scans, with the first being stamps 1 and 2, and the next one being stamps 2 and 3:


Here, the bluish undertone of the left stamp is much more apparent in this scan, when compared to the stamp on the right. Both these stamps are printed on vertical wove paper with faint vertical mesh, and type 4 dex gum. The paper of the stamp on the left is dead under ultraviolet light, whereas the paper of the stamp on the right is a low fluorescent bluish white.



The scarlet stamp on the right, is clearly brighter than the deep rose red, as it is in the Gibbons colour key. The scarlet stamp is printed on dull fluorescent, horizontal wove paper, with clear vertical mesh, and type 1 dex gum.

Both stamps on the second row are a much duller shade, and both contain a strong bluish undertone, with the stamp on the right being both deeper, and duller than the one on the left. Let's take a close look at these to get a better idea of what the exact shades are:


The stamp on the right is closest to Gibbon's carmine-red, but with more scarlet and less blue that the Gibbons swatch. The stamp on the left is a slightly lighter and brighter shade, but again, it is much closer to carmine-red than it is to any other shade. Both stamps are printed on dull fluorescent, horizontal wove paper, with no visible mesh, and type 3 dex gum.

Stamps With PVA Gum

The PVA gum stamps are closest in shade to the first dex gum stamp shown above. In other words, they are closest to what deep rose red would look like if a little scarlet were added to the mix.


The stamp on the left contains just a hint more blue in the colour than the right stamp. However, both are more bluish than the deep rose red and the scarlet shades. Both are printed on white, low fluorescent, vertical wove paper with eggshell PVA gum.

This concludes my examination of the shades of the Centennial issue stamps as they appear in ordinary light. Next week, I will start looking at the shades as they appear under long-wave ultraviolet light. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

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


Today's post continues my examination of shades on this issue, and features two of my favourite stamps for the range of colour exhibited: the 10c Jack Pine and 15c Bylot Island stamps. It is almost impossible to exhibit the full range of shades that can be found without doing a detailed study of used examples, but I will attempt to show a representative selection of the shades that can be found on these stamps in this post, and will add other examples as they come to my attention.

8c Slate - Parliamentary Library

The basic catalogue description for this stamp is slate, but there is variation in terms of the amount of blue, green, and the amount of black, or grey that is present in the mix. Generally, the earlier printings with dex gum and many of the booklet stamps are found in a slate that is more bluish, while the later PVA gum printings tend to be a slate that contains much more grey.

With the exception of the coils, which were printed only by CBN, all the stamps were printed by the BABN. The range of shades is fairly limited, so I will will show them all by way of a single group of scans. Unfortunately I no longer have the slate swatches on my Gibbons colour key, so I will have to describe these shades in relative terms.

Here is the scan showing all of the shades together:


At first glance, these may seem to look the same, but after your eyes adjust to seeing these stamps all together, you will begin to notice the subtle differences between the different shades. A good starting point is the second stamp from the left in the top row. This is the standard deep greenish slate shade. The stamp is printed on horizontal cream wove paper, with light vertical ribbing, and type 1 dex gum. Looking straight down to the stamp below it, we see the greyish slate, which is actually very close to grey. This stamp is Winnipeg tagged and is printed on horizontal white wove paper, with light vertical ribbing and white satin PVA gum. These are the two extremes which define the range of shades that exist on this value.

Looking at the top row, both the right hand coil stamp, and the second stamp from the left are the deep greenish slate shade. The stamp on the extreme left, which is printed on whiter horizontal wove paper without any ribbing, is a slightly less intense version of the greenish slate. It is very close to the other two stamps, but is just a bit lighter. The first coil stamp (third stamp from the left) is a distinctly bluish slate compared to the other three stamps. I find that focusing on the queen is the best way to see this difference.

Moving to the second row, all of the stamps here lack the greenish undertone that three of the stamps on the top row have. All four of these stamps are printed with PVA gum, though the type of PVA gum does vary, and the paper of the middle two stamps is vertically ribbed, while the two outer stamps are printed on smooth paper. The left stamp and the first booklet stamp (third from left) are approximately the same shade, and are what I would call a pure slate, which is neither overly bluish, greenish or greyish. The second stamp from the left, is much more greyish and less bluish, while the stamp on the right is more bluish, being almost the exact same shade as the upper left stamp on the first row.

Now let's take a look at these stamps more closely in pairs as they appear on the card, starting with the two sheet stamps with dex gum:


The difference between these first two stamps is much more apparent here, with the stamp on the left being noticeably brighter than the stamp on the right.

Now, let's look at the two coils:



I have found that the coils in general, show much less variation than either the sheet stamps, or the booklet stamps. However, you should be able to see from this scan that the right stamp is definitely greenish compared to the left stamp. Both stamps are General Ottawa Tagged, and both appear to be OP-2. However, the one on the right is printed on a vertical wove paper with matte PVA gum, and the tagging is a pale washed out green. The stamp on the left is printed on a vertical wove paper with slightly shinier eggshell PVA gum, and the tagging is a much deeper and brighter yellow. Under ultraviolet light, the paper of the left stamp is a medium fluorescent, while the paper of the right stamp gives a dull fluorescent greyish reaction.

Now, let us move on to the sheet stamps with PVA gum:



Here you can again, see the differences in shade more clearly, with the stamp on the right lacking the bluish undertone of the stamp on the left. Both of these have white PVA gum with a satin sheen, and the paper of both is a white horizontal wove paper. However, as I have mentioned above, the paper of the left stamp is smooth, while the the paper of the right stamp is vertically ribbed.

Finally, let's finish by looking at the booklet stamps:




These two stamps are extremely close in shade, and to many collectors would be indistinguishable. However, if you look very closely, you can just see that the right stamp is ever so slightly greenish compared to the left stamp. The left stamp is untagged, and printed on a white, horizontal wove paper, with light vertical ribbing, and with a creamy PVA gum that has a satin sheen. It comes from the 25c booklets that were issued mainly between 1972 and 1974. The stamp on the right is General Ottawa tagged with the migratory OP-4 taggant compound, and is printed on smooth, horizontal wove paper with a cream PVA gum that is thicker and has an almost semi-gloss sheen. It comes from the large $1 booklet that was issued on December 30, 1971.

8c Violet Brown - Alaska Highway

This value was only printed by the CBN and is the only stamp in the series that exists only untagged and with only dex gum. All the other values either exist tagged in some form, or exist with PVA gum, but this one does not. Until fairly recently, there were no listed varieties in most catalogues, but in recent years, Unitrade has listed three varieties of paper. However, there are a few distinct shades as well. Unitrade lists the colour as being violet brown, which is true, but the colour varies in terms of how much brown, versus how much purple is included in the blend, with the more purple ones being much closer to deep maroon on the Stanley Gibbons colour key.

Here are four stamps showing the different shades, with two being printed on the usual creamy dull paper, and the other two being printed on the white, non-fluorescent paper that was introduced briefly in 1967:


This is one of those stamps where if you focus too much on the colour, they will all start to look the same after a while, but if you relax you gaze and compare the entire stamp designs, you will see the differences quite clearly. The first two stamps on the top row are printings on the cream coloured, dull fluorescent paper, while the other two stamps are on the much whiter dead paper. The two stamps on dead paper appear much colder in tone than those on the cream paper, which are much warmer in appearance. That is the first difference between the shades. 

Looking at the first two stamps on the top row, the one on the left is the rosiest of the two and contains far more purple than any of the other stamps. On the Gibbons colour key, it is closest to what maroon would be if it were darker and contained a slight hint of brown. On the other hand, the right stamp is much browner, and is closest to what purple brown would be if it were deeper and a bit duller.  Let's take a closer look at those first two stamps:



Again, try not to focus too much when looking at these, otherwise they will look the same. Look at them with a relaxed gaze and you should see that the left stamp is much more purple than the right stamp.

Now, turning our attention to the two stamps on dead paper, the colour is about mid-way between these first two shades, being closest to what Gibbons's deep rose lilac would be if it were a touch browner. Let's take a close up look at the middle two stamps in the top row:


Interestingly, these two shades look very similar to one another, but the stamp on dead paper, on the right is a slightly deeper and colder shade. Like the two stamps on cream paper though, the main shades differ in terms of how much purple there is relative to brown. Let's take a close look at the two stamps on the dead paper and see if the differences are more visible:



As your eyes adjust, you should be able to see that the left stamp contains considerably more purple to the colour and less brown.

10c Olive Green - Jack Pine

This stamp shows an absolutely amazing range of shades that run from brown olive all the way to deep yellow green. I find that in general, the stamps with dex gum usually contain either a hint of brown, or grey and are usually shades of olive, rather than shades of dark yellow green. Once the PVA gum printings appear in 1971, the brown and grey disappears, and so does the olive, so that the predominant shade during this period is dark yellow green.

The shades on this stamp can be broken down into three groups:

1. Those found on the stamps with Dex Gum.
2. Those found on the untagged and Winnipeg tagged stamps with the PVA gum and spotty white gum, and
3. Those found on the General Ottawa tagged stamps.

I will deal with each of these individually.

Stamps With Dex Gum

My representation of shades for the stamps with dex gum is by no means complete, as I do not currently have examples where the shade contains a fair amount of brown to the olive, but I will add them as soon as they become available, so that you can see what I am talking about.

The scan below shows four of the shades that I do have:


Like the 8c Alaska Highway, this is another stamp that is best compared with a relaxed gaze, and with the overall design. However, if you do prefer to focus on one part of the design, then I find the large mass of foliage toward the bottom of the tree to be best, or the ground near the tree. 

These are all shades of olive as it appears in the Gibbons colour key, with the colour varying in terms of how much yellow there is, versus how much grey. If you look at the above scan, the upper left stamp on the top row contains the most yellow, while the stamp on the second row contains the most grey. The first stamp on the top row is almost an exact match for Gibbons's olive green. The second stamp on the top row is similar at first glance, but it lacks the yellowish cast, and is greyish by comparison. It is closest to Gibbons's grey-olive. Here are these two stamps viewed more closely:


Here you can clearly see the definite yellowish cast of the stamp on the left. 

The third stamp on the top row lacks any grey undertone and is closest to Gibbons's deep yellow green, which is unusual for the dex gum stamps. Here is a close up comparison between this stamp and the second stamp from the top row:



Here you can see that the right stamp is much yellower, which is what would be expected for a deep yellow green shade. 

Finally, the stamp on the second row lacks the yellowish cast and the greyish cast that the first and second stamps contain, being closest to Gibbons's deep olive. Here is a close-up comparison of this stamp, with the third stamp from the top row:



These two stamps are close in shade, but the right stamp is deeper and less yellowish than the one on the right. 

In summary, none of the shades above are particularly bright or vibrant. There is a dullness to most of them that you tend not to see on the PVA gum stamps. 

Stamps With PVA Gum

The colours of the stamps with PVA gum have a richness and depth that the stamps with dex gum nearly always lack. They tend not to have any obvious brownish or greyish tone and instead they tend to vary in terms of the amount of yellow in the colour. Below are two stamps with PVA gum and two with the special variant of glossy PVA - they so called "spotty white gum":


Interestingly, the stamps with the PVA gum both show heavier shading in both the sky and the water, so that the overall colour appears more yellowish compared to the two stamps with the spotty white gum. The two PVA gum stamps are similar in shade, with the left stamp being a deeper shade than the right stamp. Both papers give a low fluorescent reaction under ultraviolet light, and both have the matte PVA gum, but the left stamp is printed on vertical wove paper, while the right stamp is printed on horizontal wove paper. The shade of the left stamp is an exact match to Gibbons's deep yellow green.

Here is a comparison between this stamp and the third stamp with dex gum that I said was closest to the deep yellow green:


Notice how much deeper and richer the colour of the stamp with PVA gum is compared to the dex gum stamp on the right. 

Turning to the two stamps with spotty white gum on the bottom row, the left stamp is identical in shade to the first stamp with PVA gum, being a deep yellow green. The stamp to its right is just a touch brighter.

It is appropriate to point out at this point that the untagged and Winnipeg tagged stamps exhibit the same range of shades, which is why I did not point out which stamps were tagged and which were not. However, the stamps with general Ottawa tagging of this value, are generally a slightly different shade again.

General Ottawa Tagged Stamps

The stamps with General Ottawa tagging are also closest to Gibbons's deep yellow green, but in all the stamps I have examined, the colour is both brighter and lighter, as shown in this comparison scan of one of the above stamps with a general tagged stamp:


Unfortunately the scan doesn't show the difference as clearly as it actually is, but the general tagged stamp on the right appears more yellowish to the one on the left

There is a very minute amount of variation within this shade, in terms of intensity and brightness/dullness. The following three stamps are each a bit different, but most collectors would probably say they were the exact same stamp:


The stamp in the centre is slightly deeper in shade than the other two, and the stamp on the right is slightly duller in shade than the stamp on the left. All three stamps are printed on vertical wove paper with eggshell PVA gum, but the two stamps on the ends give a low fluorescent reaction under ultraviolet light, whereas the stamp in the middle gives a brighter, medium fluorescent bluish white reaction under ultraviolet light. 

15c Purple - Bylot Island

Of all the stamps in this set, this one is my favourite, hands down for shades, as it exhibits a range that is one of the widest in the set. The shades generally range from deep dull purple, to blackish purple, to deep rose lilac and finally to deep purple.

Stamps With Dex Gum


The shades on the stamps with dex gum run from deep dull purple to plum, with the shades varying largely in terms of how much red is in the shade. The first stamp on the top row is almost an exact match to Gibbons's deep dull purple. The middle stamp in this row is similar, but is just a bit lighter and redder. These first two stamps are printed on a greyish-cream vertical wove paper, with types 1 and 4 dex gum. The stamp on the right is an almost exact match to Gibbons's blackish purple, and is printed on white, vertical wove paper with type 4 dex gum. 

Moving on to the second row, the left stamp is very similar to the last, but is just a bit deeper and less reddish, but is still closest to blackish purple. The stamp on the right is almost an exact match to Gibbons's deep rose lilac. It is a very similar colour to blackish purple, but it is a little more reddish. This stamp is printed on hibrite vertical wove paper, with type 2 dex gum. 

On the third row, the left stamp is almost the same shade as the hibrite stamp from the row above. I detect just a very small hint of brown in the deep rose-lilac. It is printed on a light cream vertical wove paper with type 3 dex gum. Finally, the reddest shade in this group is found on the right stamp in this row. It is closest to Gibbons's deep purple swatch. It is also printed on hibrite vertical wove paper with type 3 dex gum. 

Lets take a closet look at each of these three rows:


Here you can see that the first two shades are both very dull, while the shade of the right stamp is blackish. In comparing the shades, I find the dark shading in the mountains to be the most useful.



Here we can see the difference between blackish purple and deep rose lilac, with the deep rose lilac being much rosier than the blackish purple.



Finally, we can see the very subtle difference on this row between deep rose-lilac and deep purple. In reality the deep purple stamp looks quite a bit rosier than the scan makes it appear. 


Stamps With PVA Gum

The stamps with PVA gum are much more reddish in general, than the dex gum stamps. I have yet to encounter anything deeper than deep rose lilac, with most of the shades being much redder than this. 


The stamps on the top row are the reddest shades out of all the 15c stamps I have seen and worked with, while the shades in the second row are much closer to the dex gum stamp shades. Starting with the left stamp on the bottom row, we have an almost exact match to the deep rose lilac shade that we saw in the dex gum stamps above. This stamp is the common printing on fluorescent vertical white wove paper with matte PVA gum. To its right, we have a slightly more reddish shade on a Winnipeg Tagged stamp that is printed on a cream horizontal wove paper with matte PVA gum.

The stamps on the top row are all shades that are closest to Gibbons's maroon, with the lightest shade being on the left, and the deepest being on the right. All are printed on white vertical wove paper with matte PVA gum.

General Ottawa Tagged Stamps

The general tagged stamps exhibit a much narrower range of shades, being closest to the deep rose lilac shades, but being a bit browner.


The stamp on the left is the rosiest shade, being closest to Gibbons's plum, but being just a touch duller. This stamp is printed on white horizontal wove paper, with matte PVA gum. The middle stamp and the right stamp are closest to deep rose-lilac, but are a bit duller, with the right stamp being slightly lighter than the middle stamp. Both stamps are printed on white horizontal wove paper with eggshell PVA gum.

This concludes my examination of these four values. Next week, will be the last of my posts dealing with the shades as they appear in normal light. In that post, I will detail the shades found on the 20c, 25c, 50c and $1 values.