The 6c Orange Transportation Stamp of the 1967-1973 Centennial Issue Part Two

Today's post will get into the remaining printings of the sheet stamps of the 6c orange transportation design. This is an interesting stamp because it proved to be wholly unsuitable for the mail sorting machines that the post office was introducing. Collectors who spend a significant amount of time with this issue will note that the Winnipeg tagging is often very difficult to see on these stamps, even under UV light. This is one of the reasons why the orange colour was dropped and replaced with black in early 1970.

Last week I looked at the very first printings of the sheet stamps, which were comb perforated 10. This week, I will explore the later printings of the untagged stamps, which were comb perforated 12.5 x 12, and the tagged stamps that were issued in both perforations. Unlike the perf. 10 stamps that I looked at last week, there are no known fluorescent orange ink varieties known on either the perf. 12.5 x 12 untagged stamps, or the Winnipeg tagged stamps. However, the rarest of all Centennial regular issue stamps is to be found among this group of printings: the hibrite paper perf. 12.5 x 12 with Winnipeg tagging. Fewer than 100 mint and 100 used examples of this stamp are known according to Unitrade. I once found three used examples in a large box lot of used Centennial stamps 15 years ago. But I have never seen any since. They are exceptionally rare, and consequently, I do not have an actual example to show here. But I will discuss it.

The Untagged Perf. 12.5 x 12 Sheet Stamps - Unitrade #459b, biii, biv and bv

Paper Attributes Other Than Fluorescence

The paper used to print these stamps is also a soft horizontal wove paper. However, within this there are three different kinds of paper, ignoring fluorescence levels, which differ as follows:

  1. A smooth, cream coloured wove that appears distinctly off-white when viewed against a stark white background. There is no visible surface ribbing on this paper, even when the stamps on it are viewed at an angle to the light source. The printing surface is very smooth and appears to have a very light coating, which prevents the surface fibres from coming loose. When held up and viewed against strong back lighting, stamps on this paper will show a faint vertical mesh pattern in the paper.
  2. A similar paper to the above, except that when viewed against strong back lighting, the mesh pattern appears horizontal, rather than vertical.
  3. A cream coloured wove paper that shows light vertical ribbing on the printing surface. This ribbing can be quite obvious, or it may be quite hard to see, until the stamps printed on this type of paper are viewed at an angle to the light source, where the ribbing become more visible. The mesh pattern is very distinct, when the stamps are held up to a strong back light.
  4. The same as (3) above, except that the paper colour is slightly whiter in normal light. This is the hibrite paper. 
While (4) above is confined to the hibrite papers, the ribbed papers are generally non-and dull fluorescent, the smooth papers seem to exist with all levels of fluorescence other than hibrite. Therefore, I would expect that three of these four types of paper can likely be found with three of the four listed levels of paper fluorescence/ 


Paper Fluorescence

Unitrade now lists four levels of paper fluorescence, which are two more than were listed in the past few years. The levels that are listed are dull fluorescent, non-fluorescent, hibrite and low fluorescent flecked. In practice, distinguishing between the dull fluorescent, non-fluorescent and low fluorescent papers is difficult without comparison examples, which is very likely why they were not listed by Unitrade until relatively recently. The picture below shows examples of these three levels of fluorescence:


The above picture shows two blocks and a pair stacked on top of the second block. The left block is the non-fluorescent paper, and you should be able to see that it appears violet grey under UV light. The second block is the ivory version of the dull fluorescent paper, while the top pair is the low fluorescent flecked paper. You can see the difference between the dull fluorescent and low fluorescent paper if you compare the top pair with the stamps on the right side of the picture, which below to the dull fluorescent block. As you can see, the low fluorescent paper is much brighter than the dull fluorescent paper, even if it is not bright in its own right.

The picture below shows two very similar examples of the non-fluorescent paper:


The block on the bottom appears violet grey under UV light, while the top pair is a grey colour without the violet undertone. 

For the dull fluorescent papers, I have found no fewer than four different kinds. The picture below shows the first two of these:



The larger block of 6 stamps, which is protruding from the left side of the picture is deep grey under the UV light, while the top block is an ivory colour under the UV light. 

The next two variations of dull fluorescent paper are similar to the deep grey, and are shown below:



In this picture, the stamp and the block appear to be the exact same colour under UV. In reality though, the top stamp contains a violet undertone to the grey colour in which the stamp paper appears. The bottom block is a similar grey to the larger block shown previously, but the grey colour of the paper for this block is slightly lighter. 

Once again, neither the non-fluorescent papers, nor the dull fluorescent papers contain any fluorescent fibres.

The next picture shows three examples of the low fluorescent flecked paper:



The blocks on the left and centre are both a brighter violet grey under UV, and contain very few medium fluorescent fibres and 1-2 hibrite fibres. The left block is just a bit brighter than the block at the centre. The right pair is a greyish white colour under UV, and contains a very sparse concentration of low fluorescent fibres. 

The next picture shows the unmistakable hibrite paper:


This is one of the few so called hibrite papers that is actually a true hibrite. It is a very bright bluish white colour, with no mottling at all. 

Shades

There are several shades of the red-orange ink used to print these stamps, despite no shades being listed by Unitrade. Generally there is more red in the perf. 12.5 x 12 stamps as compared to the perf. 10 stamps, or the colour is often duller.

The scan below shows the first two of the 5 shades I have identified on this stamp:


The block on the right side is a dull red orange, while the block on the left is a pale bright red orange. Under UV light, both of these blocks appear red orange.

The next scan shows two more shades:


The block of six is printed in a very similar shade to the pale bright red-orange above. The only difference is that the ink on this block is not quite as bright as the pale bright red-orange. So I would call it simply the pale red-orange. The block on the right is a deep dull red-orange shade. These shades appear deep orange under UV light, but do not appear to be especially reddish. 

The next picture shows the bright red-orange shade:


This shade is found on the hibrite paper, though I would expect that it exists on all the other paper types also. Under UV light, the ink almost appears black. Thus it is an example of a transformative ink.

The picture below shows the difference between those inks that appear red-orange under UV light and those which do not:



The pair on the right is the red-orange, while the block on the right simply appears deep orange.


Gum

The dextrose gum found on these stamps appears to fall into 2 different types:


  1. A smooth cream gum that has a semi-gloss sheen, a slight bit of cracklyness to the surface, ad no streaks or brushstrokes visible in the gum. 
  2. A smooth cream gum that has a semi-gloss sheen, but appears to have horizontal brushstrokes in the gum. 
The picture below shows these two types of gum quite clearly, I think:




You can see that the two gum types are completely different in terms of their overall appearance.

Perforation

As stated in the heading of this section, these stamps were comb perforated 12.5 x 12. I have not found any variation at all in the perforation.

Plate Flaws

Over 100 minor flaws, most of which are constant, are recorded on this design. Most all of them consist of stray specks and dots in various parts of the design, and the margins. I will illustrate these in a separate post as I come across them.

Bringing it All Together

All of the perf. 12.5 x 12 stamps were printed from plate 3 only. In addition, the panes were guillotined in the manner described for the perf. 10 tagged stamps, so that in addition to 4 different plate 3 inscription blocks, it is also possible to collect 20 different blank corner blocks of any given variety.

For the non-hibrite paper, I identified three paper types, 9 levels of fluorescence, 5 shades and two types of gum. Thus, it is possible that there could be up to 3 x 9 x 5 x 2 = 270 different collectible stamps, 1,080 different plate 3 blocks and 5,400 collectible corner blocks.

At the moment, the hibrite stamps seem to exist in only 1 paper, one gum type and 1 shade. So there are really only 4 plate 3 blocks and 20 blank corner blocks possible, though there could be shade variations that I have simply not seen, since I only have a few examples of the hibrite paper in stock.

The Winnipeg Tagged Stamps Comb Perforated 10 - Unitrade #459p

Paper Attributes Other Than Fluorescence

The paper used to print these stamps is a horizontal cream wove paper, that appears to be a light cream colour when viewed against a stark white background. The printing surface of the paper is smooth, but uncoated and porous. There are no loose fibres visible on the paper surface. There is also no ribbing visible on the paper surface, but if you hold a stamp up to a strong back light, you can just see a very faint vertical mesh pattern in the paper. There are other instances in which the mesh pattern is very clear in back light as well.

Paper Fluorescence

Unitrade only lists this stamp as existing on dull fluorescent paper. This is correct, but there are at least three sub-varieties of the dull fluorescent paper. Three of the variations that I have found are shown below:



The three stamps shown above appear almost identical, but in reality each of them are a slightly different colour:


  1. The top stamp appears a very light bluish grey under UV light.
  2. The bottom left stamp appears grey under UV light. 
  3. The bottom right stamp appears greyish white under UV light.
None of the three papers show any visible fluorescent fibres. 


Shades

I haven't found any significant shade variation in the orange ink used to print these stamps. Generally, it is always a deep, bright red-orange as shown below:


There are, however, slight differences in how this ink appears under UV light, as shown below:



The above picture shows two basic differences in the appearance of the orange ink under UV light. The bottom left stamp appears the exact same bright red-orange shade under UV, that it appears in normal light. The other two stamps appear a much deeper orange, that lacks the brightness, and the reddish tone that appears in normal light.

I would still classify these inks as non-transformative because the basic colour of the stamps under UV light is still orange.


Gum

I have found two types of dextrose gum on these tagged stamps:


  1. A smooth cream gum that shows no cracks, has a semi-gloss sheen, and shows what appear to be very light horizontal brush strokes. 
  2. A smooth cream gum that has a satin sheen and shows a very fine diagonal crack pattern. 


Perforation

As stated in the title, these stamps were all comb perforated exactly 10. I have not found any variations at all in the perforation.

Winnipeg Tagging

Unlike the other stamps of this series, examined so far, the Winnipeg tagging on these stamps is very difficult to see, both in normal light, and under UV. In normal light, you will see a very slight darkening at the sides of the stamps, where the tagging bars run down the stamp. Under UV, there is a very light bluish white glow. The picture below shows two examples of these stamps:


The bars on the left stamp are almost completely invisible. You have to look at the upper left and upper right corners of the stamp to see them. If you look carefully, you can see a line in the margin where the paper in the middle appears more greyish than the paper at the very ends of the stamp. These slightly brighter areas are the tagging bars. The right stamp shows the tagging bars a little more clearly, particularly at the lower right of the right stamp. Here, you should be able to see a clear vertical line in the lower margin at right, and then again at left. These are the tagging bars. 

Unlike the Winnipeg tagging found on the other stamps of this series that were printed by the CBN, there is little to no afterglow visible after the UV light is switched off. Consequently, these are very easy stamps to overlook. 


Plate Flaws

Over 100 minor flaws, most of which are constant, are recorded on this design. Most all of them consist of stray specks and dots in various parts of the design, and the margins. I will illustrate these in a separate post as I come across them.

Bringing it All Together

The tagged panes were all trimmed, so the only way that blocks can be collected, is as blank corner blocks. Unlike the CBN that perforated the panes on all sides and then guillotined them apart, the BABN did not perforate the panes where they were to be guillotined, so that many blocks have straight edges on two sides. This means that rather than 12 possible collectible positions, based on selvage widths, there are up to 20 collectible blocks in each sheet layout with these stamps.

If we completely ignore the plate flaws, there are up to 6 different papers (each of three types of dull fluorescence, and faint or clear vertical mesh), two different ink types and two gum types. Thus there are potentially 24 different types of collectible stamps and 480 collectible corner blocks.

The Winnipeg Tagged Stamps Comb Perforated 12.5 x 12 - Unitrade #459bp, bpi and bpii

Paper Attributes Other Than Fluorescence

The papers used to print these stamps are the same as those found on the untagged stamps in this perforation.

Paper Fluorescence

Unitrade lists this stamp as existing with three levels of paper fluorescence: dull fluorescent, low fluorescent and hibrite. I have found that the low fluorescent paper exists both with and without fluorescent fibres in the paper. The dull fluorescent paper exists in the same range of colours under UV, as the untagges stamps, as the following pictures should show:


The block on the left is the paper giving a violet grey reaction under UV, while the block in the middle is the ivory paper. Finally, the block on the right is the greyish white paper under UV light.



The block on the left is the dull fluorescent grey paper, while the low fluorescent blocks are shown in the middle and right. The middle block is a brighter greyish white colour under UV, and contains no fluorescent fibres, while the block on the right is a lighter violet grey that contains a very sparse concentration of medium fluorescent fibres.


Shades

Not surprisingly, this stamp is found in more or less the exact same range of shades as the untagged stamps. So, there should be at least five shades of the red-orange ink.

Gum

On this stamp, I have found all three types of dextrose gum that I have encountered on the untagged sheet stamps:


  1. A smooth cream gum that has a satin sheen and shows a very fine diagonal crack pattern.
  2. A smooth cream gum that has a semi-gloss sheen, a slight bit of cracklyness to the surface, ad no streaks or brushstrokes visible in the gum. 
  3. A smooth cream gum that has a semi-gloss sheen, but appears to have horizontal brushstrokes in the gum. 


Perforation

As was the case with the untagged stamps, these are comb perforated 12.5 x 12. I have not ever found any variation in the perforation.

Winnipeg Tagging

As was the case with the perf. 10 stamps, the Winnipeg tagging is usually quite difficult to see under UV light. In most cases the tagged parts of the stamp appear darker in colour, rather than lighter, which is the opposite of what we usually see with Winnipeg tagging. However, in some instances, one can find examples tagged using bands that appear a light bluish white, and are lighter than the rest of the stamp. There was an experimental type of taggant that was in use, which gave a bright yellowish white tag. Unfortunately, I do not have an example of it to show here, but will add an image as soon as I find one.

The picture below shows the first two types:


On the left block, the tagging makes the stamp appear darker on the tagged areas. On the right single, the tagging bars show lines that are slightly brighter than the rest of the stamp. 

In addition to appearing different under UV light, the tagging also can appear different in normal light, with the tagging bars appearing deeper and more prominent on some stamps than on others. In the scan below are two blocks that illustrate this nicely:


The block on the right shows the normal tagging, which is very light and difficult to see, unless you are looking closely and carefully at the block. The block on the left shoes much darker tagging, that is quite obvious to the naked eye. 

Plate Flaws

Over 100 minor flaws, most of which are constant, are recorded on this design. Most all of them consist of stray specks and dots in various parts of the design, and the margins. I will illustrate these in a separate post as I come across them.

Bringing it All Together

Again, as with all Winnipeg tagged stamps, there are no inscription blocks, and up to 20 different blank corner blocks. With these stamps there are 3 different paper types, 9 levels of fluorescence, 5 shades, three types of gum, and at least three types of tagging. So there are potentially, 3 x 9 x 5 x 3 x 3 = 1,215 different collectible single stamps and 24,300 possible corner blocks.

This brings us to the end of the sheet stamps of the 6c orange. Next week, I will look at the coil stamps and the booklet stamps of this colour. The following week after, I will begin looking at the sheet stamps of the 6c black of the same design.

An Important Announcement:

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I am particularly proud of the site's navigation. I have set the stamp categories up in such a way that you can browse:

  1. By issue.
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When the inventory is all listed, it should be possible to browse practically anything you want without having to look through more than 2 or 3 pages of results at a time. Of course, you will still have the search function to fall back on, but the difference is you don't have to use it. You can just casually shop your favourite category or issue. 

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Orders under$10 USD: 5%.
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