Showing posts from 2018

The Commemorative Issues of 1972 - Part One

This is my last post before my Christmas break, and my second last post before I get into another very long series of posts for the 1972-1978 Caricature Issue. This week, I have explored the first four commemorative issues of 1972. Like the previous issues of 1971, a good grounding in the paper varieties of these stamps will prove to be a very useful reference for the specialist of the 1967-73 Centennial issue, who is trying to sort the 1972 printings of some of the stamps from the 1971 printings, as the stamps of 1972 exhibit characteristics that were not seen on the earlier stamps. In my detailed post I go through the usual discussions of paper types, fluorescence, gum and perforations. There are several things though about these issues that stand out: There are more se-tenant stamps being issued again, but this time, they can only be found in horizontal or vertical pairs.  There are many fewer varieties of fluorescence on most of these stamps, with most having fewer th

The Commemorative Issues of 1971 - Part Two

This week's post completes my examination of the last six commemorative issues from 1971. This is the last year to include stamps with dextrine gum, and the formula for PVA gum had more or less been perfected by both the BABN and CBN by the end of the year, after several months of experimentation. The use of chalk-surfaced paper continued and by the end of the year, only 2 stamps were issued on non-chalky paper. BABN introduced, with the last stamp of 1971, the Pierre Laporte stamp, a ribbed, chalk-surfaced paper, that continued to be used to produce the first printings of some of the 1972-78 Landscape definitives. Fluorescence turns out to be a far more complicated topic on these issues than it has been for any other period in quite a long time. The main reason is that the fluorescence on the front and the back of the stamps varies, due to the chalk surfacing on the front of the stamps. Most issues show at least 3 or 4 varieties of fluorescence on the front, and almost

The Commemorative Issues of 1971 - Part One

In this week's post I explore the first six commemorative issues of 1971, which comprised 10 stamps, including the "Maple Leaf in Four Seasons" which was issued over the course of the year, at the beginning of each season.  As I note in my detailed post, 1971 was a significant year in three respects, the main one of which os that this is the first time that PVA gum is introduced to replace dextrine gum.  As we will see next week, this replacement is not completed until 1972, with two of the Christmas stamps having the old dextrine gum. 1971 was, therefore a year in which experimentation was undertaken by the printing companies to find a gum that was optimal for use. In addition to the so called "spotty white gum" that is found on a few of the stamps from this year, there were also gums with a distinctly dull sheen, which I refer to here as eggshell, and I have even discovered a small number of stamps with what appears to be almost completely invisible

The Commemorative Issues of 1970 - Part 2

My apologies for being late with this week's post. I had a computer hardware disaster yesterday that saw me lose most of my data, and I spent most of yesterday trying to recover it, without any success I might add. So, I did not get a change to write this week's post until today. Today, I delved into the last 17 stamps of 1970, 12 of which came from the Christmas issue. These issues were replete with varieties that are not listed in Unitrade, such as: A distinct smooth/ribbed paper distinction that is found on all of the issues except for the Alexander Mackenzie issue and the Oliver Mowat issue.  Additional plate flaws on the Christmas issue 5c and 6c stamps. A double print of the Canada inscription on the Group of Seven issue.  Three or more varieties of paper fluorescence for nearly all the stamps listed. Shade varieties on several of the Christmas stamps and the Group of Seven issue. In addition, there are the usual variations in perforation on the stamps

The Commemorative Issues of 1970 - Part One

Today, I began my examination of the stamps of the 1970's with the first 10 stamps of 1970. This is one of the supposedly simpler periods according to Unitrade, with no varieties other than the basic Winnipeg tagged versions of the commemoratives being listed.  In contrast to the previous two years, in which most of the stamps are printed on fluorescent papers, this is the first time in two years that the vast majority of the 10 stamps are printed on dull fluorescent papers, with only one issue being issued on high fluorescent paper. Despite the relatively simple appearance, it turns out that most of the issues have upwards of 6 different varieties of dull fluorescent paper. There are also the usual variations in perforation on the CBN printed stamps. When these two factors are combined, there is quite a bit more collecting scope than one would expect at first glance.  There are not really much shade varieties to collect, nor are there any constant varieties known at

The Commemorative Issues of 1969 - Part Two

Today's post completes my examination of the 1969 commemorative issues of Canada, and looks at the last 9 stamps issued in that year. Canadian Bank Note Company (CBN) printed all but two of these using either lithography or engraving and lithography, while the British American Bank Note Company printed the other two, using engraving and photogravure.  For these last 9 stamps, high fluorescent or hibrite paper is now the norm, for all except two issues: the Issac Brock Issue and the Stephen Leacock issue, which was the last one to appear on November 12, 1969. Unitrade does list a dull paper variety on the other BABN issue, the Charlottetown Bicentennial, though no other dull paper varieties, are, as yet known on the other issues. Gum and perforation displays the usual variations that were noted in the last post and there are a good number of constant varieties on the lithographed stamps. None of these were listed 20 years ago, having all reached prominence since then. So, th

The Commemorative Issues of 1969 Part One

This week is the first of my shorter posts, which will explore the first half of the commemorative issues that were released by the Canadian post office in 1969. 1969 continues the innovation that was begun in 1968, with hibrite papers firmly taking hold as the standard paper used for stamp printing, and the prevalence of dull paper beginning to drop off. The 10 comb perforation that the BABN had introduced in 1968 is abandoned by them and replaced with a much finer 12.5 x 12 comb perforation. In terms of printing techniques, photogravure and engraving and lithography and engraving are the most common, but pure photogravure and pure lithography are used also. Perhaps the most marked difference between the 1969 issues and the 1967 and 1968 issues is the lack of perforation varieties. Only 2 stamps of the first 6 stamps issued in 1969 have four variations of the the 11.85 or 11.95 line perforation. The remaining stamps are all only known in a single perforation. This is also the

I will Be Shortening The Length Of My Posts Effective Next Week

It has become apparent lately that I simply do not have enough time to write my detailed blog posts, while tending to the other aspects of my business and personal life that need attention. I am finding that to complete these posts to the standard that I believe is important is taking me between 8-10 hours, which is essentially an entire day for the Canadian post and about half a day for the Nigeria post. I can only really devote a day to blogging in a week. So, my choices are basically to either change my posting schedule to once per week, or shorten the length of my posts, so that I can still deliver some content each and every week. After careful consideration, I have decided to opt for the shorter posts. I have done some research on reader engagement, and there is quite a lot of evidence to support the notion that readers will engage better with shorter posts anyways. So, starting with next week's post, I will be breaking the posts up into parts. 1969's commemoratives

The 1968 Commemorative Issues

This week I turn my attention to the 1968 commemorative issues. As I point out in my detailed post that follows, this year marks the beginning of a new era in which certain aspects of stamp production that had been experimental in previous years now becomes standard practice. These aspects are: All of the stamps printed are now in the new metric sizes, rather than the old imperial ones.  Fluorescent papers are now the norm rather than the exception. Straight edged sheet stamps appear for the first time since 1934.  Cello-paqs, which had been in use since 1961 are discontinued in favour of large softcover booklets for the Christmas issues.  Lithography, photogravure, engraving and lithography, and engraving and photogravure all become mainstream methods of printing. Photogravure and engraving is a completely new method of printing that BABN introduces in this year, and photogravure is introduced for the first time by CBN. Prior to this almost all Canadian stamps had been

The 1967 Commemorative Issues

Today's post marks the first in a new series - one that will explore the intricacies of the commemorative stamps that were issued between 1967 and 1972, just before the next definitive issue, the Caricature issue appeared. I have elected to keep each post restricted to the stamps of just one year, so I anticipate that this series will consist of six posts.  The commemorative issues are often overlooked by specialists who think that since they were only issued for a brief period of time, and because they are aimed at collectors, that there is nothing interesting to study about them. I wholeheartedly disagree. For one thing they serve as important time markers for the various changes that the post office adopted in terms of paper, perforation, gum, ink and tagging. By carefully studying these changes in the commemorative stamps and being familiar with the dates, you form a basis against which to study the same changes that you encounter in the definitive stamps of the same

The $1 Edmonton Oilfield Stamp From The 1967-1973 Centennial Issue

Today, I finally reach the end of my detailed coverage of this incredible definitive issue, with the $1 value depicting the Edmonton Oilfield, by H.G Glyde. Like most of the stamps in this issue, this stamp had many printings and there are plenty of paper and gum varieties to collect, as well as a few subtle shades.  Unitrade lists no fewer than 6 varieties of this stamp, four of which have dextrine gum, and the remaining two of which are PVA gum printings. The dextrine gum printings are listed as existing on dull, dead, low fluorescent and hibrite paper. As is the case for the other values of this series, the paper exhibits other differences besides the fluorescence level, and the low and medium fluorescent papers are actually flecked papers at a lower fluorescence level, which appear brighter than they actually are, due to the fluorescent fibre content of the paper.  The shades found on this stamp are very subtle and really only visible when several stamps are very closel

The 50c Summers Stores Stamp Of The 1967-1973 Centennial Issue

Today's post took longer than expected because I took a different approach this time. Rather than detail the paper varieties, shades and paper varieties separately, I identified the shade varieties first and then for each identified variety of shade, I detailed the paper and gum varieties. This makes for a more precise determination of the maximum number of varieties that may be found. In any event, you can access the full post on my website, by clicking on the following link:

Off On Vacation for 2 Weeks And The New Brixton Chrome Website Is Finally Ready

I must apologize again to my readers for another break in the continuity of my posts. I had resumed posting last week and had hoped to complete this week's post today before I go on vacation tomorrow for two weeks. However, the final content edits that I had to make to the my new website took more time than I expected, so unfortunately I did not get a chance to prepare this week's post. However, the website is now completely functional. The only thing I have left to do is migrate these blogs to it, install the language translation app and connect all the social media sales channels. I will deal with all that when I return, as well as resuming my regular posting schedule. I do apologize for all the interruptions, but I can promise you all that I don't have any other plans, except possibly to take a week in January next year. So, you can look forward to at least 2 or three uninterrupted months of postings. The website itself has been well worth the effort and the patienc

The 25c Solemn Land Definitive of the 1967-1973 Centennial Issue

At last I have completed enough of my new website to be in a position to write and publish my first post dealing with the 25c Solemn Land definitive from the series. Rather than post the content here and migrate it to the new site, I have decided to publish it entirely on the new website with a link here that you can click to get to it: I will do this for the next several weeks to give all my readers a chance to get used to reading the new blog on my website, and then eventually, I will move the content from this blog to my website and will shut this blog down. 

One More Week Until Posts Resume - Almost There!

I wanted to let my readers know that I am almost finished my new website, and need another week to complete the finishing touches. So, I will not be posting this week either. However, I will pick up where I left off next Tuesday, with the 25c Solemn Land stamp from the 1967-73 Centennial Issue. Thanks very much for your patience. In the meantime, I would encourage you all to check out how the site looks so far: I have added a lot of information resource pages aimed at collectors of all levels of experience. The "Getting Started With Stamps" section covers a lot of topics for beginners, and "Stamp School" covers a range of topics for the intermediate to advanced collector. I would love to have comments about any topics that you think should be covered that are not, as I would like to include as many as I can ultimately. 

No New Posts For 3 Weeks And This Blog Will Be Moving

Hello everyone. I wanted to apologize for the fact that I will be unable to write any new posts for the next 2-3 weeks. I feel that I owe all my regular and loyal readers an explanation for why I am having to delay my posts, so here goes. When I started out as a stamp dealer and blogger, my intention was to focus all my attention and energy on building the best stamp stock that I could, writing top quality content and getting into a position to be able to service collectors from all over the world. This is no easy task, as I have written about many times in the past. So, when it came to deciding how I wanted to build a business online, I thought that paying a company like e-bay to take care of all the information technology, transaction processing, marketing etc. would make sense. I really thought that e-bay would act like a business partner and help my business grow, in exchange for the $500-$700 I was paying them every month. I was wrong. Dead wrong. E-bay is a member of a g

The 20c Quebec Ferry Stamp of the 1967-1973 Centennial Issue

With over a year in the making, this series of posts is finally entering the home stretch, with the last four values of the set: the 20c, 25c, 50c and $1. This week I will deal with all the printings of the 20c value, which depicts "The Ferry Quebec" by J.W. Morrice. It is one of the less complicated values in the set, at least according to Unitrade. However, as we shall see, there is still plenty of scope to interest the specialist. Interestingly, none of the high values from this point forward exist with general Ottawa tagging. This value exists only Winnipeg tagged. According to Unitrade, the printings with dextrine gum were in use from February 8, 1967, when the set was first issued, until May 1972, when the printings with PVA gum replaced them. The life of these later printings was very brief, as the 20c Prairies from the Caricature Issue was issued on September 8, 1972. The Winnipeg tagged stamps appeared on December 9, 1969, on cream paper with dextrine gum, and the

The 15c Bylot Island Stamp of the 1967-73 Centennial Issue Part Two

Today, I finish off my examination of the 15c Bylot Island stamp from the series, with an exploration of the printings made using PVA gum. Unfortunately I do not have some of the scarcer paper varieties on hand, so my descriptions will be less than complete, and I will have to add examples as they become available. Unitrade lists four varieties of the untagged stamps, three of which are very scarce, and does not list any plastic flow varieties, even though they clearly do exist on the untagged PVA gum printings, as well as on the dextrine gum printings. I have started to use the term dextrine rather than dextrose after David Gronbeck-Jones, the famous Centennial issue specialist and author pointed out to me that dextrose is the sugar from which the dextrine gum is made. The tagged stamps are listed by Unitrade as existing with both Winnipeg tagging and General Ottawa tagging, on both dull and low fluorescent papers, for a total of 4 basic varieties. All of these exist, of course wit