In 2006 I took upon myself to do some paper type reserch on Australian stamps starting from the decimal issues and I became too involved in the project that I started asking around web forums, received some favourable responses and gathered data from a number of sources. I had to include pre-decimals as I found some paper variations there too, I am not talking about the Helecon or White paper varieties only - it is about paper fluorescence, striations, paper fibre and much more.
Sadly I don;t have a Brusden White catalog so all my search was done online and with help from other enthusiasts. This was done way back in 2006 and it was lying dormant as there were other things which took my fancy (US paper types) but since I found this group I was thinking of posting my research and see how people responds
All I am seeking is more help from Specialists - please read on so that you can have an idea of what I am after.
SaleemAUSTRALIA PAPER VARIATION NOTES
Saleem M KhanSHADES - PAPER - FLUORESCENCE
Most stamp issues may include flaws in the minute class, variations in shades and paper, and degrees of fluorescence, the now wide use of the ultra violet lamp accentuates the extremes to which these matters may be carried.
Shades: The specialised inks are mixed to a precise formula by competent laboratory personnel, and despite that every endeavour is made to ensure subsequent supplies match the initial colours, some shade difference is inevitable, particularly over a long period of issue of a stamp. A shade may also appear different depending on variations of paper and surface coating; further, a worn doctor blade removes less ink from the printing plate thus causing a deeper tonal effect.
Paper: Paper is manufactured to certain specifications so far as ingredient content is concerned, but composition and tone varies a little within tolerable limits according to the country of origin. The surface, or both sides, may be treated with a sizing compound before application of a whitening agent (coating), both of which may react to ultra-violet light. In addition, excessive exposure to U.V. radiation, or even natural light (which contains U.V. rays) over a period of several months only, causes the whitening agent to break down slightly and the toning tends to cream.
Fluorescence: Since the introduction of phosphor coating on postage stamps in Australia in 1963, only two types, virtually identical in characteristics, have been used, viz: Helecon 3336 (made in U.S.A.), and Derby CPS39R (made in U.K.). Although these are stable compounds, the luminescence varies according to strength of application in tones of red, pink and orange, very weak to strong.
Irrespective of this, the A.P.O. requirement is that the Helecon content be sufficient to activate the automatic postmarking machines. Full details regarding Helecon and its use are contained in A.P.O. Philatelic Bulletin No. 72, June 1965, which also recommends viewing of stamps so treated through a suitable filter (Wratten No. 25) to retard visible blue light.
It is obvious therefore that each factor has some bearing on the other and the combination of the three would tend to assume proportions somewhat bewildering to the potential, and even to the moderate specialist. This may be capitalised upon and over-emphasised to some extentHELECON IN AUSTRALIAN POSTAGE STAMPS
Helecon is the commercial term for a phosphor substance of the Zinc Sulphide group which when excited by ultra-violet radiation in the 3000 - 4000 angstrom range, fluoresces brightly in the orange-red range of the spectrum and retains the luminescence for a fraction of a second after removal of the radiation source.
This substance has been incorporated into Australian postage stamps for purposes associated with electronic sorting, facing and cancelling of letters and postal articles. Helecon is included either in the printing ink or impregnated in the surface coating of the paper.
Satisfactory results were obtained from in experimental printing on Helecon paper of four million 11d stamps in 1963, and the stamps were released for general sale in December 1963, the next printing of the 11d being on normal white paper and released in September 1964. Not all pound, shilling & pence values were so treated, nor was there a specific date of issue in any instance.
Although colour changes were NOT made, slight shade variations are apparent due primarily to the inking effect on ordinary untreated and Helecon treated papers. The only certain method of positively identifying Helecon is by use of the ultra-violet lamp.STAMP PAPERS 1964 - 1971
Wiggins Teape and Harrison were the two suppliers of paper for stamp printing. Wiggins Teape owned both Shoalhaven Mills (N.SW.), where the paper was produced and Samuel Jones & Co, where the paper was coated and gummed.
From 1964 to 1971 stamp papers were produced to reflect the quality of the reproduction and the Post Office requirements relating to the facer cancelling machines. Technical printing problems relating to the clarity of the finished print had to be solved when phosphorescence was introduced into the paper
in 1964. Experiments and trials conducted by Samuel Jones at their Keon Park, Victoria factory resulted in the acceptance of KP5D (Keon Park Fifth Trial Making, Sample D) designated paper being introduced during the Christmas 1971 issue.
The Gum used was more or less yellowish "gum arabic". The overall appearance of the paper is however white compared to the original Wiggins Teape paper in use at this time.
When "gum arabic" became scarce and too expensive in 1973 trials of a new gum, Polyvinyl Alcohol, were made and this gum was subsequently applied to the base paper. This paper is termed KP6T (Keon Park Sixth Trial Making, T for tropical). It proved difficult to identify the sides of the unprinted sheets so a pink tint was added to the gum and trialled.
This however proved to be unsatisfactory due to the tint affecting the colour matching. A blue lint however proved satisfactory. The KP6T paper was initially for the sheet fed printing presses and subsequently for the Chambon roll fed presses. KP5D was used for the Chambon Press printings until the KP6T paper became available in rolls. This arrangement lasted until the Post Office began contracting stamp printing to private companies.EXPERIMENTS IN STAMP GUM
Due to world-wide shortage of gum arabic, an alternative adhesive, polyvinyl acetate (PVA) was used, to determine its suitability for postage stamps it was applied on a quantity of 5,580,000, 7c. Agate distributed to post offices in Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong areas in Victoria during November 1973. Supplies were also made available at Philatelic Bureaux.
Paper variation, unidentifiable, was also used for fresh printings of 7c Q.E.II, $1, $2, $4 NavigatorsGEORGE VI Issues on Thin Paper
The stamps of this reign were printed as before by the Note Printing Branch of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. All new issues were rotary recess-printed.
There is some variation in the thickness of the paper used for these issues. following measurements are of unused stamps with full gum, the measurement being taken over the printed stamp, not over blank selvedge. Stamps on ordinary watermarked paper average about .09 mm in thickness (.0035 inches) For those who wish to collect thin paper varieties, a watermarked stamp gauging less than .08 mm (.0031 inches) may be classed as thin.
Stamps on unwatermarked paper average about .085 mm (.0033 inches). The unwatermarked thin paper variety should gauge less than .075 mm (.0030 inches). For stamps without gum the above measurements should be decreased by about .004 mm (.0002 inches).
In the case of the 5/, 10/ and Â£1 Robes it was at one time customary to speak of 'thick' paper and 'thin' paper issues. Properly speaking the distinction is between chalk-surfaced paper and ordinary paper.WHITE PAPER
In mid. 1964 a whiter type of watermarked paper than the cream wove type was introduced at the Note Printing Branch. The 5/-, 7/6 and Â£2 Navigators were printed on this white paper, also fresh printings of 5/- Cattle Industry, Â£1 Bass, 10/- Flinders, 2/6 Aborigine, 2/ Golden Whistler, 2/5 Blue Wren were on this paper.
NOTE: The 2/5 Wren - colouring on the cream paper is duller and the fern is brown, rather than orange-brown In actual fact, the first printings were on Wiggins Teape paper without colour bars (autotrons) on the sheets, whereas the stocks printed on Harrison paper with autotrons comprised the initial release.
Notes on Queen Elizabeth II last pre-decimal definitives
1. The colour change from green to red was associated with the introduction of electronic face-canceller equipment and the use of Helecon.
2. Helecon paper. A small quantity was printed thereon. In sheet form the gummed side reacts and the stamps are moderately scarce. Two varieties exist on such paper, In booklets the Helecon coating is on the printed side and the incidence is very rare, two mint and several only used copies being known to date.
The use of an infra-red filter is strongly recommended when detecting the presence of Helecon with the U.V. lamp to offset the effect of other luminescent substances (fillers, coatings, etc.) which may be present and mislead. This applies also to soaked stamps where Helecon transfer can occur.
3. Booklet sheets were available at Philatelic Bureaux from July 1964 until stocks became exhausted consequent upon the colour change, booklets issued on 13 July 1965 were not available in sheet form
4. Non-Helecon ink booklets are very rare mint, these appear to have formed approximately 5% of the total booklet issue in Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia.DECIMAL CURRENCY
The Australian decimal series of definitive issues are printed on Helecon-impregnated paper.
For example the 4c stamps in both sheets and booklets are on this paper, however, collectors should be forever on the alert as there could be releases on ordinary paper due to accident or design.
Initially the Q.E. 4c value was issued on ordinary paper with Helecon in the ink to utilize earlier supplies of paper, but early in 1966 the Note Printing Branch began several test printings on experimental papers impregnated with Helecon. The stocks thereby accumulated were released in January 1967 in the normal way to N.S.W. and Victoria, the States where electronic mail-handling equipment is installed, and shortly afterwards through the Philatelic Bureaux.
All the experimental printings were made on Wiggins Teape paper containing Helecon in categories as under:
1. (a) Helecon coated with starch binder
(b) Derby luminescence coated with starch binder.
(There is no basic difference in these classes of paper, both of which were manufactured in the United Kingdom.)
2. Helecon coated with starch binder.
Manufactured at Shoalhaven, N.S.W., and shows a marked stipple under ultra-violet radiation.
3. Derby luminescence coated with Latex-Manutex binder manufactured in the United Kingdom:
(a) in sheets
(b) in booklets
Example : 4c Red
Ordinary paper, Helecon ink
Helecon paper, categories 1, 3 above
Helecon paper, category 2 above
Non-Helecon paper (only 3 used known)-MORE RESEARCH-
A watermarked Harrison white paper was introduced to the note printing branch in mid 1964. This paper replaced the supply of Wiggins Teape watermarked cream paper.
The first issue to be affected with this new, genuinely whiter, paper was the 5/- cattle in June 1964. Previous printruns of this value used two different Wiggins Teape cream papers. Subsequently, further printruns of the then partially complete Navigator series are found on this white paper (10sh, 1 pound). Previous printings were in cream. Remaining issues of the Navigator series, one of which replaced the 5/- cattle, were ONLY printed on this newer, whiter, watermarked paper.
It is erroneously stated in catalogues that the emergency 2/6d Aborigine was from the same watermarked paper stock of mid 1964. The reality is that the paper used in the 1965 was far more bleached than when this issue was first introduced in 1952. In September 1965, stocks of the 2/6d Robin had run out, the Chambon press was preparing for the decimal issues.
To overcome the shortage, electros containing imprint AND no imprint were utilised. A total of 85,064* stamps were issued on unwatermarked white paper. The odd quantity reflects the destruction of residual stock at decimalisation.
1d. violet Queen Elizabeth
This stamp had a remarkable print run from 2/2/1959 to the end of the pre decimal era in late '65. Printings from 1965 are noticeable as being considerably 'whiter' than the others. No doubt, print stock had run out and any suitable paper available was used during this year of turmoil when helecon issues came on stream.
2sh3d green Wattles
The so called 2/3d white paper of 1964, was simply a comparison against the maize paper which had run out and was not re-ordered. This issue was subsequently re-printed again on helecon coated paper in 1965. Additional print-runs were required of this heavily used parcel value to the UK. The maize paper had run out and fresh printings occurred on ordinary (white) paper. Like many helecon issues, the image is washed out and significantly paler.
Again, this 'white' paper cannot be compared to that supplied for the recess print machinery. This stock was especially supplied in rolls.
Trial printings were carried out on Wiggins Teape cream paper in 1962 and held in reserve. The first issued printings for all the bird series was on Harrison white paper during 1964/5. The trial printing of the 2/5d wren was later released as emergency stock 15th July 1965 just at the end of the pre-decimal era when the Chambon press was flat out producing new, decimal, issues.
Further studies by me have unearthed some more data regarding Australian paper used for stamp printing. Haven't heard anything from Brusden White people or other Aussie Specialists except one guy who plainly stated that I may have disturbed a lot of people who don't look twice at the low value pre-decimal and early decimal Aussie issues as an Australian Specialist means someone who studies either the Kangaroo issues or the King George V issues. Sadly the period I picked up is ignored mainly due to the immense work required for studies. The questions are:
1- The stamp paper was prepared at one location and coated at another location - Is it possible that some lots are printed on the coated sides while other lots are printed on the uncoated side of paper?
2- There is also a possibility that the two types of Helecon substance used - reacts differently with the long wave Ultra Violet lamps.
3- Another possibility is that once the printers ran out of one particular type os paper another type would have been used for next printing of definitives which are printed more than once.
4- Early printings on 'chalk surfaced paper' could well be on normal uncoated paper due to the same reason as above.
5- There is one Aussie dealer who is listing two paper varieties for most of the issues of this period and for later definitive series - are the other specialised Aussie dealers ignoring the varieties because it would be too much work for small returns?
6- it is possible that Australia Post would not even know how the paper was produced. They would have contracted for a quantity of paper of "x" quality, and if delivered to standard, that would be the end. Only the manufacturer could tell us how it was produced.
Some more data related to paper type that I have found on the net and have used it here with thanks in advance to Glenn and others who have helped unknowingly."Watermark Error" article by Glen Stephens
A new error has turned up 70 years after being mailed. For decades I have been a member of the Australian Commonwealth Collector's Club. I almost never attend meetings, (laziness!) but do find much of interest in the bi-monthly "Bulletin" Journals.
Annual membership dues to ACCC for Australians are $A30, and $A50 for overseas members. Remittances to GPO Box 1971, Sydney. NSW. 2001. Current Editor of the "Bulletin" is Dr. Geoff Kellow, also Editor of the superlative range of Australian Specialist Catalogues. (ACSC)
Dr Kellow ran an article that fascinated me in the August "Bulletin" reporting a new watermark error discovery.
A John Greenaway from Canberra had discovered a new error on a 1931 2d Red KGV CofA watermark stamp - SG 127.
The "C" of the C of A watermark had been soldered on backwards in one position. i.e. the C was reversed (or mirror imaged) from where it would normally be. The C in the upper middle of the error stamp reads in positive - looking at it from the back of the stamp, where watermarks show clearest on this (indeed most) issues.
Worldwide convention is that watermarks are catalogue listed and illustrated as they show from the FRONT of the stamp. Hopefully the illustrations nearby will give you a clearer idea. Remember these illustrations are what you see from the FRONT of the stamp.
Kellow says: "there is no question as to the genuineness of the variety". The 2d KGV is postmarked at "Koo-Wee-Rup" Victoria in September 1935.
Watermarks are made by pressing a mesh of steel wire (the "dandy roll") into the damp mushy paper pulp, compressing or thinning it in the area the wire touches. The watermark can be a simple image as we see on the single Crown over A stamps on early Roo and KGV issues. Or they can be a far more "busy" design as we encounter on the Small Multiple and "C of A" designs.
Paper was supplied to the Australian Note Printer in large sheet form from the UK. KGV head stamps were printed 8 panes of 60 each pass - i.e. '480 on' and then guillotined down to the normal PO sheets of 120. Wiggins Teape paper
The papermaker for this issue was Wiggins Teape in the UK, although issues like the 1934 Victoria Centenary also had Cowan supplied paper on the 2d value. The recent ACSC listings have separated these issues and some are quite valuable. Many dealers are NOT aware of this, and bargains abound!
Kellow tells me that the papermakers did not make the dandy roll for watermarks - that is a separate specialty manufacturing operation. The dandy roll would have been be supplied under authority to whichever papermaker was authorised to use them.
At some point a "C" broke or fell off the master grid, and was soldered on backwards in error. Seventy years have gone by and not one collector has ever noticed this - until now.
The new discovery
This discovery stamp is dated September 1935 as mentioned and was posted from "Koo-Wee-Rup" Victoria. I can't decipher either the name or date from photo, but Geoff Kellow assures me both are correct. I have seen a scan of the reverse, and the error looks indeed beyond question.
"C of A" watermarked stamps were first issued in 1931, and for the next 20 years every stamp printed were watermarked with this design. From the early 1950s onwards commemorative issues were unwatermarked, but all definitives were - even the humble Â½d orange value, until 1959
Indeed all the pre-Decimal Navigator stamps on sale until the 1966 Decimal issues were on the same "C of A" watermarked paper, as were all printings of the 5/- 1961/64 Cattleman.
So we are talking literally BILLIONS of stamps sold on "C of A" watermarked paper.
The "C of A" stood for "Commonwealth Of Australia". Most British Empire stamps in this era had a fairly similar Multiple "CA" watermark, which of course stood for Crown Agents.
-End of Glen's article-Feature Article The Australian Aborigine
By Harvey Terris. Moncton
Occasionally some countries have paid tribute to their indigenous people on postage stamps, but very few have named the individual chosen. One exception to this is Australia.
The 1950 series had a design for the 8 1/2p and 2sh6p values, prepared by Frank Manley, and was based upon a photograph by Ray Dustan. The engraving was done by E.R.M. Jones, recess printed on De la Rue paper.
The aborigine featured was a Central Australian native known as "One Pound Jimmy". He was so known because when asked how much he charged to perform a certain task, he invariably responded "One pound, boss".
His tribal name was Gwoya Jungarai, and he died on March 28, 1965, while on a walkabout with his relatives on Narweitooma Cattle Station, 120 miles west of Alice Springs. His exact age was not known, but he was believed to be over 70 years old when he died. He was not a particularly handsome individual, but he was certainly representative of his people, and his image will live in infinity.
The 8 1/2p (Scott no. 226) was printed on Watermark 15 paper, in dark brown, and perforated 15 x 14. The 2sh6p variety (Scott no. 248) was larger in size (21 x 25.5 mm) in the same dark brown colour, on watermark 15 sideways paper. Both were issued in 1964.
Supplies of the 2sh6p bird stamp ran out just before Christmas 1965, and as the photogravure press was in constant use preparing the new decimal series stamps, an emergency printing of two months supply (800,000 copies) of the 2sh6p Aborigine were prepared (Scott # 303).
Two old electros from 1952 had to be used. These showed the authority imprint as used for the wa- termarked version, and as this was overlooked the imprint now appears on unwatermarked paper. The sepia colour used is distinctly different from issue no. 248. The 1965 printing was on white Harrison paper, whereas the earlier watermarked issue was on toned paper.1989 Sports Series I
Specialist notes and numbering system are from "The Australian Commonwealth Specialist Catalogue" (ACSC), 2002 Edition. Published by Brusden-White.
The Australian Commonwealth Specialist Catalogue divides the issue into two by the type of paper used.
Harrison unwatermarked white paper incorporating helecon.
1358 3c Aussie Football (0 koalas)
1358c Yellow and Chestnut omitted
1358d Green flaw on left footballer's leg On original and 1K reprint
1358x CTO (from Stamp Collecting Kit)
1358z Original Printing Block of four left side
1358za Original Printing Block of four right side
1358zb 3c Aussie Football reprint (1 koala) Left side April 1991
1358zc 3c Aussie Football reprint (1 koala) Right side April 1991
1358zd 3c Aussie Football reprint (4 koala) Left side December 1998
1358ze 3c Aussie Football reprint (4 koala) Right side December 1998
1402w Post Office Pack with 1c bowls, 2c tenpin bowling, 3c Football, 39c fishing, 55c kite, 70c cricket & $1.10 golf Front and Inside Pack
Two sets of Stamp Collector Cards were issued. Set Two included the 3c Football issue
No 1359 CPL unwatermarked white paper incorporating helecon.
1359z 3c Aussie Football reprint (2 koala) Left side January 1995
1359za 3c Aussie Football reprint (2 koala) Right side January 1995
1359zb 3c Aussie Football reprint (3 koala) Left side September 1996
1359zc 3c Aussie Football reprint (3 koala) Right side September 1996
Date of Issue 13th February 1989
Design Geoff Cook, Melbourne
Printer Leigh-Mardon Pty Ltd, Melbourne (Moorabbin) for original, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Reprint. SNP Cambec 4th Reprint
Paper Harrison unwatermarked white Paper with helecon (Original & 1 Koala and 4 Koala), CPL unwatermarked white Paper with helecon (2 Koala and 3 koala)
Sheets Sheets of 100 in 10 rows of 10
Perforations 13.98 x 14.40
Printing Process Photolithography
Other Stamps In series 1c Bowls, 2c Tenpin Bowling, 39c Fishing, 55c Kite Flying, 70c Cricket, $1.10 Golf
Reprints (Koalas & Kangaroos)
During 1989 Australia Post decided to identify reprints by adding a koala symbol to the selvedge of sheets. The symbol was applied on each alternate row starting from the top of the sheet in both the right and left selvedge adjacent to the corner of the stamp. (see 1 koala reprint) In 1993 a decision was made to print the symbol on each row at both the left and right of the sheet. (see 2 koala reprint).
Successive reprints up to and including the fourth reprint will carry additional koalas. A kangaroo is shown for the fifth reprint and is positioned in the same way as the koalas. Additional reprints up to the eighth reprint will show the kangaroo with the appropriate number of koalas.
Another Paper Type reference found
From Charles Leski's Auction Sept 12th 2006-09-16
To furthur prove that what I have stumbled on is not a fluke I found the following two lots offered at a recently closed auction of Charles Leski - now I am sure I am onto something, earlier I was discarding the bluish white Ultra Violet reaction as washed off-fluorescence.
5c - 30c Birds; complete sheets of 100 of each with gutters, from the Jan.1967 (and later) reprints.
All these sheets are on White Paper, with a bluish-white UV reaction on front, the normal reaction
being pale-pink. BW.Cat.$9450. [See BW.448a, 449a, 454a, 455a, 456a, 457a, 458a & 459a].
Remarkably scarce. Superb condition. (800).....................................................................................................$1,250 - $1,500
7c - 10c Fish; complete sheets of 100 of each with gutters, from the Jan.1967 (and later) reprints.
All these sheets are on White Paper, with a bluish-white UV reaction on front, the normal reaction
being pale-pink. BW.Cat.$1300. [See BW.450a - 453a]. Remarkably scarce. Superb condition. (400) ....................... $150 - $200