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The 1972-1978 Caricature and Landscape Issue of Canada

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Pillar Of The Community
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Posted 02/11/2019   08:10 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Galeoptix to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
In my Unitrade 2019 on page 185 it is stated - for the 7c and 8c 1972 Caricatures - that "The BABN printings of the 7c and 8c values apear to have a rougher surfaced paper and the tagging apears blotchy (i.e. not solid). The CBN printings have a smoother, "shiner"paper, the colour seems to have the appearance of being "toned down"....

Apparently Unitrade hasn't realized that basically both printing houses use the same type of paper for the monocoloured recess printings!

All have been printed on Abitibi paper with the felt side of the paper at the BACK! See a previous posting with the craters.

The fronts, however, have the wire side of the paper and depending on the wire [sieve] structure being either IIId [twill] or IIIa [multilayered] can have different "rough" surfaces at times, but mainly it shows a calendered, flat,smooth surface for BOTH BABN and CBN!
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Edited by Galeoptix - 02/11/2019 08:32 am
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Posted 02/12/2019   6:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Brixtonchrome to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This week I examine another very important aspect of the stamps issued as part of this series: the tagging. This is the first series for which all the major values, except for the $2 are found with some form of tagging. Like the previous Centennial issue, some values can be found with both Ottawa and Winnipeg tagging, but by and large, Ottawa tagging was the standard form of tagging used. Also, the first printings of the middle values to be Ottawa Tagged used the unstable OP-4 tagging compound, which migrated through the stamps. This was later changed to a more stable OP-2 compound. The Ottawa tagging was originally done by way of 3 mm bars, but these were later widened to 4 mm.

This is as far as all the standard catalogues go on this topic, and I might add that this is a much greater level of detail than the used to cover. When I was a young boy, the catalogues only distinguished between Winnipeg and Ottawa tagging and that was it. There were no listings for OP-4 versus OP-2 and no differentiation between 3 mm tagging bars and 4 mm ones.

It may surprise collectors to learn that there are actually two additional dimensions to study when looking at the tagging of this issue, as well as the various errors and shifts that are encountered as well. I will cover these two aspects in detail in the remainder of this post:

1. The intensity of the tagging compound on the stamp, as it appears under normal lighting conditions.

2. The method by which the tagging was applied, as shown by its appearance.

As we shall see the low values printed by the CBN show a considerable variation in how the tagging appears under normal light. On some stamps the tagging is so light that the stamps almost appear to be untagged. Most stamps have tagging that is a light yellowish cream - visible, but not dark. Still, there are other printings, usually later ones where the tagging is a very dark yellow. It is not clear whether or not these differences result from the application of different amounts of taggant, or whether they result from chemical variations in the taggant compound itself. However, they are very distinct, and I believe, collectible.

If you study the commemorative stamps of the period and then the stamps of this series you will also notice a difference in the way the tagging appears to have been applied to the stamps that were printed by BABN. For CBN, there is no difference - all the tagging appears smooth and solid - being very likely applied by flexography, which is the modern equivalent of typography. However, the BABN appears to have initially applied the tagging using screened photogravure, as clear screening dots can be seen in the tagging when it is examined under ultraviolet light. This did not appear to be satisfactory as it often resulted in weak and incomplete tagging bars. This can be seen on the 1973 Commonwealth Heads of Government stamps, where narrow appearing, weak and partially incomplete tagging is commonly seen.

It would appear that after re-designing their printing process, the BABN began using rubber cylinders to apply the tagging. I suspect that rubber was used as the tagging appears mottled and solid when viewed under ultraviolet light. This appearance is approximately the same as what we would expect to see if we applied paint to a wall using a rubber roller. This is generally how the BABN printed commemoratives and stamps of this series appear after 1974. Similar differences can be seen in the tagged stamps of other countries during this period. For example many of the stamps of Great Britain issued during this period show similar differences in the appearance of the tagging on stamps. So, to me, this supports the notion that this is a significant and collectible difference, when considering the tagging.

The remainder of this post will look at the basic differences between the tagging used by the CBN and BABN and will incorporate a discussion of these two aspects.

The Tagging Used by the CBN

The CBN used only OP-2 taggant on the low value stamps that it printed. In all cases, the tagging appears completely solid, both under normal light, and under UV light. The tagging was applied in bars that are 4 mm wide, down the vertical perforations on the sheets. The spacing between the bars is 16 mm.

Stamps printed by CBN can be found with either light tagging, moderate tagging and dark tagging. The scan below shows the different appearance of these types under normal light:

The dark tagging is shown on the right had 3c stamp, while the moderate tagging is shown in the middle stamp. The left stamp shows the light tagging. As you can see the differences between these stamps are quite noticable.

Here are the same stamps as seen under UV light:

As you can see, the tagging on all three stamps appears completely solid. However, the colour of the tagging does show a very subtle difference. The tagging of the lightly tagged stamps appears a distinct greenish yellow, whereas the darker tagging appears a pure, deep, bright, yellow that does not have the greenish tinge.

The darker tagging appears to correspond to the latest printings of these stamps, made between 1976 and 1978. I would suspect that the light tagging corresponds to the earlier 1973 and 1974 printings.

The coil stamps exhibit the lightest tagging of all. I have seen the moderate and light tagging, as well as an even lighter tagging that, for all intents and purposes, appears invisible in normal light. The scan below shows all three types:

The "invisible" tagging is shown on the 8c stamp in the centre, while the light tagging is shown on the left stamp, and the moderate tagging is shown on the right stamp. I have found that the tagging on these stamps tends to appear slightly greenish yellow, and have not seen any that are the really deep, bright yellow that the stamps with dark tagging are.

I have not seen any variation in the width of the tagging bars, nor have I seen any variation in the spacing between tagging bars. However, there are several instances on most values in which the tagging bars are shifted, resulting in 1 4 mm bar down the stamp. In some cases the bar appears more or less down the centre, on on other stamps, the bars appear at the extreme right, or left hand side of the stamp:

The stamp on the left shows a centre tag bar, and appears greenish yellow under the UV light, suggesting that it is from one of the earlier printings. The centre stamp shows a right hand band, while the right stamp shows a left hand band. These two examples both show the much brighter yellow that completely lacks any greenish undertone under UV light.

The BABN Tagging Used on The Sheet Stamps and Booklets

On the low value sheet and booklet stamps that the BABN printed, the same tagging configuration of 4 mm wide bands, spaced 16 mm apart was used. Generally, the tagging appeared much lighter than on the CBN stamps, with almost all stamps being of either the "invisible" or light variety. On many printings of the 8c Queen stamps, the blue ink has mixed in with the taggant compound, resulting in tagging that appears very light blue in colour.
The scan below shows three examples of BABN sheet and booklet stamps as seen under normal light:

The stamps at the sides have the "invisible" tagging, while the middle stamp has the light blue tagging described above. Generally this tagging can be seen if the stamps are held at an angle to a strong light source, as a slight sheen running down the stamps.
The picture below shows the appearance of these stamps under UV light:

It is difficult to see in this picture, but if you look at the bottom half of the right tagging bar of the middle stamp and the bottom of the left tagging bar of the right stamp, you can see the mottling of the tagging. The tagging generally appears greenish yellow under UV. The right stamp shows a hairline of tagging down the centre and left of the stamp. These varieties commonly occur on the booklet stamps printed by BABN.

Like the CBN printed stamps, the BABN stamps can be found with similar shifts in the tagging.

Tagging Found on the 10c-50c Values

The initial printings of these stamps had Winnipeg tagging that was applied down the vertical perforations in 8 mm bands that were spaced 15.75 mm apart. These bands appear light cream under normal light and bluish white under UV light. The tagging does exhibit a 1-2 second afterglow when the UV light source is suddenly switched off. The tagging bars themselves always appear dotted, as though applied using photogravure. After this was phased out, the next printings used OP-4 3 mm Ottawa tagging. This tagging appears a very similar colour under UV to the Winnipeg tagging, with some examples appearing more yellowish than bluish. The tagging bars were 3 mm wide, and were spaced 21 mm apart. Unlike the Winnipeg tagging, which appears as slightly darker bands along the sides of the tagged stamps, the OP-4 tagging bars are invisible under normal light.
The picture below shows examples of the Winnipeg tagging and OP-4 Ottawa tagging:

The OP-4 tagging is shown at the left, while the Winnipeg tagging is shown on the right stamp.

The OP-4 taggant was phased out by late 1972 and replaced by the more stable OP-2 taggant. Initially, the tagging was applied in 3 mm wide bands, spaced 21 mm apart, and later the bands were widened to 4 mm bands, spaced 20 mm apart. I have read in one of the philatelic publications a few years ago, I cannot recall where now, that some examples of the 10c have been discovered with 2 mm tagging bars. I have not seen these, so I cannot confirm their existence. The tagging generally appears mottled and applied with rubber cylinders.
The picture below shows both types of OP-2 tagging below:

The 3 mm tagging is shown on the left, while the 4 mm tagging is shown on the right. Generally the visibility in normal light of the 3 mm tagging varies from invisible, to just barely visible, as slightly shiny bands running down the sides of the stamps. The 4 mm tagging on the other hand is usually very clearly visible as glossy bands running down the sides of the tagged stamps.

I have not yet come across any significant tagging shifts on these, although Rose lists several varieties that can be found on all five of the medium values. I have come across an interesting tagging variety on the OP-4 printing of the 15c Mountain sheep, in which a spot of taggant has gotten on the mountain, resembling a "low moon", as shown below:

The Tagging Found on the BABN Printing of the $1 Vancouver

The printings of this stamp from 1973 to 1978 utilize the same tagging as the mid-values, with the only major difference being the spacing between the tagging bars, with those stamps having 3 mm bars being 44 mm apart and those having 4 mm bands being just 43.5 mm apart. This value however shows the full transition in the method of application used for the tagging, from photogravre to rubber cylinders. The first printings show tagging that has a clear "screened" appearance, while later printings show tagging that appears much more solid, only showing slight dotting. The later printings show tagging that has a full mottled appearance. In normal light, the tagging that is not mottled, is not clearly visible on the stamps. In contrast, the mottled tagging can always be seen as shiny narrow bands at the sides of the stamp.

The picture below shows all three of these tagging types:

The initial printing from 1973 is shown by the bottom stamp. Here, you can see that the tagging looks weak and incomplete compared to the other stamps above it. In actual fact, the tagging appears to have been applied by screened photogravure, which did not work well with the chalk coating. A later printing is shown by the top right stamp, which shows tagging that appears much more solid. The top left stamp is one of the later perf. 12.5 x 12 printings on hibrite paper that shows tagging that appears mottled, much like the tagging found on the perf. 13.3 printings.

This concludes my examination of the tagging. This leaves us with just the gum and the paper as the remaining characteristics remaining to study on these stamps. Next week I will look at the gum and the chalk surfacing found on the different printings of the stamps. Then, I will be ready to start discussing the papers used in depth.

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Pillar Of The Community
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Posted 02/13/2019   7:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add lithograving to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Brixtonchrome, thank you for another great effort.
This brings back memories of me checking for tagging
when these stamps were first issued.
Exciting stuff at the time.

I had this UV lamp which picked up both short and long wave.
IIRC it was a Raytech which lasted quite a long time but
finally conked out a few years ago.
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Posted Yesterday   6:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Brixtonchrome to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Lithoengraving. I must apologize for the small size of the pictures last week. I'm not sure what happened with them, but it would not allow me to upload the full pictures.

Anyways, this week I looked at the gum and the chalk surfacing on these stamps. This is the last topic I will cover before I get into the paper varieties on these stamps.

At first glance, the gum appears to simply be a uniform PVA gum. While it is true that the gum is indeed PVA, there are some subtle differences in the sheen of the gum found on some stamps that suggests that there were slight differences in chemical composition of the gum used. Furthermore, the gum used by BABN appears to be different from the gum used by CBN on their stamps. I will spend some time discussing these differences, all of which are considered by Unitrade to be too specialized to warrant mention in their catalogue.

The chalk surfacing is an aspect of the paper that Unitrade has begun to pay attention to in recent years. I will discuss and show the differences between the vertical ribbed surfacing, what Unitrade calls the horizontal ribbed surfacing, and the completely smooth surfacing of the later printings.

Gum Used on CBN and Ashton Potter/BABN Printings

The gum found on the CBN printings of the low value prime minister's sketches and the Ashton Potter/BABN printings of the $1 and $2 is very similar. The gum generally is quite thinly applied because the texture of the wire-side of the paper is not at all obscured by the gum. The gum itself is colourless and under magnification, some very minute cracking is visible.

Where the gum does differ between printings is in the sheen. Normally, on most of the earlier CBN printings, the gum has a universal satin sheen in that it reflects a fair amount of light that shines down on it. Later printings can be found with a gum that is more matte, reflecting less light than the normal gum. I call this the eggshell PVA, being that the sheen is more of an eggshell, rather than a satin sheen.

The picture below shows two stamps with the normal satin PVA gum:

So, if you look at the above picture, you can see that the gum does reflect a fair amount of light, and that the texture of the paper is visible through the gum.

The picture below shows an example of the eggshell PVA gum on a stamp that is printed on ribbed effect paper (I will discuss this in my next post):

Here, you can see that this gum is quite matte and does not reflect much light at all. Also, the texture of the paper is readily visible in the gum.

In my examination of thousands of stamps, I have found that the matte PVA gum only seems to be found on later printings of the low values and the coil stamps. Given that the 8c coil does not appear until April 1974, it would appear that this gum is found on printings after March 1974. Most all of the CBN printings of the 7c and 8c values, issued in late 1976 and 1977 are generally all found with the matte gum. The $1 and $2 values are generally only found with the satin PVA gum.

Gum Used on BABN Printings

The gum found on the BABN printings is generally very uniform in appearance and smooth, appearing to be a bit thicker than the gum used on the CBN printings of similar stamps. Like the gum found on CBN printings of the low values, it is generally colourless. However on the mid-values and $1 stamps, it is a very light cream colour. I know this because used examples of these stamps appear much whiter on the back than gummed examples, which suggests that the gum itself is actually a light cream colour. Unlike the CBN gum, the BABN gum is smooth and does not show the texture of the underlying wire side of the paper. It also reflects a satin sheen when viewed at an angle to a light source.

The picture below shows a CBN printing of the 8c Queen Elizabeth II stamp next to a BABN printing:

The BABN printing is shown on the right, while the CBN printing is shown on the left. As you can see, there is no significant difference in the sheen of the gum, except that the CBN printing is a little more matte. What is different is that the BABN printing has a much smoother appearance, while the CBN gum shows the texture of the wire side of the paper that it has been applied to.

In addition to the smooth gum, some of the very last printings of the BABN booklet stamps made in 1977 and 1978 are found with gum that shows distinct vertical ribbing on its surface. I have not seen used examples without gum that show the ribbing in the paper, which leads me to conclude that it is a feature of the gum, rather than the paper. It has listed in Unitrade on some stamps of the 1977-1982 Floral Issue, but it is not listed on this issue. The picture below shows the difference between the smooth an ribbed gums:

The stamp on the left is a booklet single of the 10c Queen with the ribbed gum, and on the right, a sheet stamp of the 10c, with the normal, smooth gum.

This picture shows several printings of the 10c forests stamp, each with the light cream PVA gum. There is one printing of the 10c I have found that has colourless gum, as it appears the normal white paper colour on the back. I have not found this on any of the other values in the set.

Chalk Surfacing on Mid and High Value BABN Printings

The initial printings made of these stamps in 1972 were made using a chalk coating that left a ribbed appearance on the paper the coating was applied to. I know that it was not used after 1972 because it is only found on the 1972 commemoratives printed by BABN and not those issued in 1973. The ribbing can be seen as distinct vertical striations down the stamps, and these are most easily seen then the stamps are held at an angle to a strong light source. The high resolution scan below shows an example of the vertical ribbed coating on the 10c forests:

Here is you look closely, you should be able to see the vertical striations in the paper in the top selvage around the word "British" and at the top of the stamp near the postes/postage inscription.

Later, starting in 1973, this coating was replaced by a smoother coating. Initially this coating shows very, very fine horizontal striations that are much less distinct that run across the surface of the stamp and are barely visible in reflected light. Then in 1974 onward, the coating was made completely smooth and even. The scan below shows an example of the smooth coating on the same basic stamp:

Compare this image to the one above, and you should be able to see that the surfacing on this paper is completely smooth, while the other one is clearly ribbed.

The picture below shows both types in reflected light:

The ribbed coating is shown at the top of the picture, and is very clear, while the smooth paper coating is shown on the stamp underneath it.

This picture shows a stamp with the horizontal ribbed coating on the left, and the even, completely smooth coating on the right. The difference is too subtle to show up clearly in a picture like this, but basically the stamp on the right shows no striations across the design in either direction. In contrast, the stamp on the left shows very, very light horizontal striations across the design.

As you will see as you get into working with the stamps of this issue, the stamps with the vertical ribbed coating tend to be relatively common, at least with the OP-4 tagging or OP-2 3 mm tagging on dull fluorescent paper. However, the printings made on the smooth paper with the light horizontal ribbing are always scarce and worth a premium, as they were only made for a very short time before being replaced by the type 2 printings.

This concludes my examination of these two attributes and next week I will be ready to begin my discussion of the papers used for these stamps. Next week I will be focusing on the physical attributes of paper texture, thickness, and weave direction. Later, I will examine, in detail, the fluorescence levels of the papers. After that I can begin looking at specific values in detail.

For those of you interested in my website, I should also mention that I will be lowering the price of most of my items priced over $3 by 30-50%. I am coming up with a new pricing regime, which I feel is more indicative of the current market conditions. My goal is to offer regular customers the flexibility of retail shopping with the benefits of wholesale pricing (at least on those items where the labour cost permits). I should have the updates completed by this time next week.

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Pillar Of The Community
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Posted Today  16 Hrs 55 Min ago  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Galeoptix to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

the "ribbing" is in the paper surface [wire structure as the wire side of the paper is at the front!] not in the coating! The "ribbing" is comparable to that of the low values that have NO coating.

The "ribbing" of the paper can be seen on several commemoratives as well!

What is in the coating are the OBA's [optical brightening agents that are white fluorescent under UV]

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Posted Today  13 Hrs 18 Min ago  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Brixtonchrome to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Rein.

I know that the ribbing can be found on several commems, but it does not seem to me to be pronounced enough to be from the paper. But I am prepared to concede that I am wrong. The only way to be sure would be to remove the coating, which cannot be done. The reason why I think it is the coating is because the backs of these stamps never show any evidence of ribbing, while the uncoated ribbed papers almost always do.
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Pillar Of The Community
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Posted Today  12 Hrs 16 Min ago  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Galeoptix to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Ribbing at the back is obvious and shows!

But ribbing at the front usually gets flattened by calendering unless the coating process makes the calendering unnecessary. In the cases that the wire structure is at the front, the felt side [the back!] is smooth "by nature"!
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