Monday, January 10, 2011

Centennial Definitive
6 cent Black
Communication and Transportation
Sheet Stamps

A. British American Bank Note Company Printings

On January 1, 1970 a black-coloured 6 cent Communication and Transportation definitive stamp was issued. The original orange colour did not provide sufficient contrast for optical scanners used to detect the position of the stamp on the envelope.

I. BABN "Die I"

The British American Bank Note Company, using the same die used for the 6 cent orange stamp, prepared cylinders consisting of six panes each (600 stamps) for its initial printings. Catalogues refer to this stamp as Die I. The stamps were perforated 12.5 x 12.

1. Untagged

"Die I"

Cylinder 1

Cylinder 2

Cylinder 3 (April 7, 1970)

First Day Covers

Canada Post Office Presentation

H and E


Overseas Mailers



Canadian Bank Note Company


Sterling Offices of Canada Limited

David Pritchard

Commercial Usage

Toronto local letter, April 9, 1970

2. Winnipeg Tagging

Two side bars of phosphorescent tagging material were applied to the 6 cent stamp.

Winnipeg tag

Tagged stamp

Winnipeg to Aylmer, Ontario, March 30, 1971
Winnipeg Tag

3. Hi-Brite

The stamp was also printed on Hi-Brite paper (January 7, 1970).

Hi-Brite paper

Vancouver to Victoria, January 19, 1970
Hi-Brite paper


In April 1970, an improved version of the 6 cent stamp with thicker lines for the design was issued. Although catalogues refer to the fourth cylinder stamps as "Die II" it is likely that the cylinder was made with a  reworked Die I.

1. Untagged

"Die II"

Cylinder 4

Weston to Mississauga, March 4, 1971
6 cents "Die II"

2. Winnipeg Tag "Die II"

The "Die II" stamp was issued with one phosphorescent bar.

"Die II"
Winnipeg Single Bar Tag

Winnipeg to Toronto, March 19, 1974
"Die II" one-bar tag

3. Die II Precancel

BABN issued the 6 cent precancelled stamp in August 1971. The printed matter rate had been increased to 6 cents on July 1, 1971.

6 cents printed matter rate

Unauthorized use on letter mail
Edmonton to Don Mills, August 4, 1972

B. Canadian Bank Note Company Printings

On January 1, 1972, the domestic printed matter rate was increased from 5 cents to 6 cents. The Canadian Bank Note Company prepared two plates consisting of six panes each. The stamp whose appearance is distinguishable from the BABN printings has been referred to as the "CBN Die" stamp.

"CBN Die"

1. Untagged

Plate 1

Plate 2

February 15, 1973


Poly Vinyl Alcohol (PVA) gum was used in the printing of the 6 cent CBN stamps. The gum was white and more difficult to detect than the dextrine gum used by the BABN in its printings of the 6 cent stamp.

PVA gum (left) Dextrine gum (right)

"Printed on the Gum Side" Error

Some 6 cent stamps were printed on the PVA gum side in error and were distributed to post offices. Customers purchasing the error discovered that the stamps did not stick onto their envelopes.

A pair of "printed on the gum side" error stamps

2. Winnipeg Tag

The CBN Die stamp was issued with a single phosphorescent bar.

Winnipeg Tag
Single Bar

Edmunston, N.B., September 25, 1973
CBN Die Winnipeg tag

3. Ottawa tag

The CBN Die was issued with two fluorescent bars.

Ottawa Tag

Jasper to Toronto, September 21, 1972

Kitchener, October 11, 1973

4. Precancelled

The CBN precancelled 6 cent black stamp was issued untagged and tagged in February 1972 and December 1972 respectively.

a) Untagged

Consumers' Association of Canada newsletter, February 1973
6 cents printed matter rate

b) Ottawa Tagged

6 cents precancelled tagged stamp

Todd Furniture
6 cents precancelled tagged stamp