Spotted 45c Flag, a.k.a. “Snowstorm Variety”
April 17, 1998
Have you seen the 45¢ Flag definitive with randomly placed white spots of varying sizes? Chances are you have, either in person or in recent ads. We have had many calls (in fact, too many) regarding this “variety”.
These are damaged stamps!
These are not printing varieties and, in our opinion, have no value!
Multicoloured 45¢ Flag stamps come in various formats (click for printing history): sheets of 100 and 120; booklets of 10, 25, and 30. The spots occur only on the stamps from booklets. These stamps did not miss any ink (colour) in the printing process. As the booklet is opened and the stamps are spread out, spots of colour are removed from the stamps and are left adhering to the inside of the booklet cover.
There are two possibilities as to how these varieties could have occurred:
- as the panes are printed and immediately attached to the booklet cover, the printing ink is still moist in some spots and is transferred to the booklet cover.
- as a strip of glue is placed on the booklet cover to adhere the pane of stamps along the left selvedge edge, droplets of excess glue are splattered randomly on other parts of the cover. The pane of stamps then adheres to these spots of glue and random spots of colour are transferred to the booklet cover.
The former idea sounds good but is not the cause: it is quite unlikely that the panes are attached to the cover immediately after printing while the ink is still moist. In addition, random spots are removed from the stamp where there is no ink! Thus, by elimination, the second scenario is the cause of these spots.
We repeat, this variety is not a missing colour and does not occur during the printing of the stamps! They can be easily created by simply splashing glue onto any surface, sticking the pane to the glue, and removing the pane from the surface after it has dried.
Although they have no value, they do make for interesting proof to the poor binding techniques used to produce these booklets.
Printing History of 45c Flag
- Leigh-Mardon Pty, Limited printed sheets of 100 and booklets of 10 & 25, released Jul 31/95.
- Canadian Bank Note printed sheets of 100 and booklets of 10 & 25, released Oct 6/95 on Coated Paper and Apr 5/96 on Peterborough paper. The spots discussed in this article originate from these printings.
- In 1998 (Feb 2), the 45¢ Flag stamp was released in a smaller stamp/design size: Canadian Bank Note printed sheets of 120 and booklets of 10; Ashton-Potter printed booklets of 30.