Thanks for your message. I made a mistake regarding the 6 cent die and have made the correction. I had misunderstood what I had read in an article by Leopold Beaudet in the Robin Harris book "Centennial Definitive Series 1967 -1973". Mr. Beaudet's article is a must if you want to know how the Centennial issue was printed. Mr. Beaudet provides a detailed account of how the Canadian Bank Note Company and the British American Bank Note Co. printed the Centennial stamps. Here is the index:
While on the subject, I thought this might be an appropriate opportunity to discuss the different printings of the 6 cent Centennial sheet stamp and coils
, probably the most confusing of Centennial stamps.
Please understand that I am a cover enthusiast; stamps and their production are not my specialty. However I have been collecting and studying the Centennial stamps since 1967 and I think
I've got the 6 cent sheet stamp and coils figured out (at a basic level).
So let's start the 6 cent Centennial stamp adventure. It's a long one.
On November 1, 1968, the domestic letter rate was increased from 5 cents to 6 cents. The British American Bank No. Co. (BABN) was given the contract to print the letter rate
denomination sheet stamps. The Canadian Bank Note Co. (CBNC) had previously printed all
denominations. Coil stamps continued to be printed by CBNC.
BABN and CBNC used different methods
to print their stamps 1) 6 cent orange sheet stamp BABN
According to Mr. Beaudet, the die for this stamp was engraved by BABN. The stamps were printed on a Goebel rotary press.
Three cylinders were produced (Plates 1 -3).2) 6 cent orange coil stamp CBNC
Mr. Beaudet writes that CBNC borrowed
the BABN die to produce the 6 cent coil which was issued in January, 1969:3) Comparing the BABN and CBNC 6 cent stamps
When the orange stamps are viewed side-by-side (BABN sheet stamp,left,and CBNC coil stamp, right, there isn't much difference in detail. 4) Colour Change from Orange to Black, January 7, 1970
The six cent stamp colour was changed from orange to black in 1970 because the orange colour did not provide sufficient contrast for optical cancelling machines to locate the stamp on the envelope.
The first BABN 6 cent black sheet stamp was issued on January 7, 1970. The stamp was produced from the same cylinders (1-3) used to print the 6 cent orange stamps, and therefore the same die.
Unfortunately, the printing process resulted in a stamp with weak lines and pale colour. Detail was lost in the Queen's face when compared with the orange stamp.5) 6 cent black CBNC coil stamp July 1970
The weakness of the BABN 6c black stamp is even more pronounced when we see the CBNC coil black stamp issued in July 1970, produced from same die that the BABN had used for its sheet stamps:6)Comparing the BABN and CBNC 6 cent black stamps
When the black stamps are viewed side-by-side (BABN sheet stamp,left,and CBNC coil stamp, right) we see just how unsatisfactory the BABN effort was. 7) BABN issues an improved 6 cent black stamp : April, 1970
A stamp with deeper lines, showing more detail was issued in April, 1970 (Cylinder/plate No. 4) 8) Comparing Jan 1970 and April 1970 BABN stamps
Looking at the right sides of the stamps, Jan 1970 (l) and April 1970 (r), we see the extent to which the lines have been strengthened strengthening in the April 1970 (Cylinder 4) issue.
Stamp catalogues identify the Jan 1970 stamp as Die I and the April 1970 stamp as Die II. The experts in the field believe that Die I was "reworked". (This was the mistake in the Postal History Corner article lithographing had asked about)
Since I don't know much about printing, the best I can do is tell you what the experts have concluded. 9) CBN 6 cent black sheet stamp : January 1972
On July 1, 1971, the domestic letter rate increased to 7 cents. The printed matter rate increased from 5 cents to 6 cents. This meant that CBN could print 6 cent sheet stamps for printed matter use. On January 1, 1972, the CBN 6 cent sheet stamp was issued.
Catalogues call this the black CBN die. 10) Comparing BABN Jan. 70, BABN April 70, and CBN
Here are the three 6 cent black sheet stamps:
The story isn't over. This is just the basics. I haven't discussed perforations, paper types, precancels, and tagging.
I hope I haven't confused you too much. I find it difficult to keep it straight in my mind.