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 as many on the back of the stamps. In addition, for many of the issues, like the Paul Kane Issue and the BC Centennial Issue, most combinations of front and back fluorescence exist, with the Paul Kane issue being extraordinarily complicated.

These issues also have the distinction of being the first group in several years for which proof material can be found and for which a few major errors can also be found. Finally, the plate blocks, first day covers and commercial postal history offer lots of scope for the budding specialist as well, and almost all for very little money.

Finally, this is an important reference period to those interested in the study of the 1967-1973 Centennial Issue, as several of the paper and gum types introduced in 1971-1972 make their first appearance on these stamps. Thus, these stamps can provide important clues that will help a Centennial specialist narrow down the dates of issuance for some of the PVA gum printings. For example, the Census and Radio Canada Issues, which appeared on June 1, 1971 were the last to have the "spotty white gum". Thus, one might conclude that the spotty white gum on the 10c Centennial must come from printings made before July 1971. Similarly, the papers on the Pierre Laporte stamp may prove useful when studying the printings of the 8c Parliamentary Library with PVA gum, or the booklet stamps with PVA gum, as they would have utilized the same papers.

To view the full post, which includes extensive scans and pictures, please click on the following link:


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