Self-Adhesive Greeting Booklets (1994-1997)
By Robin Harris — November 1997 (Updated March 2, 1999)
[This article was published in the December 1997 Corgi Times, journal of the Elizabethan Study Group (an arm of the British North America Philatelic Society of Canada)]
- Greeting Booklets Checklist Table
- LM vs. AP Differences
- Stamps and Stickers Checklist
- Identifying Individual Stamps and Stickers
January 1994 saw the release by Canada Post of a new-style self-adhesive stamp that offered a number of firsts in Canadian philately:
- The design and format of the stamps was such that there are no squared “corners” — the edges are curved.
- The stamps were designed in a such a way that the public was able to “build” their own stamp. Seven different special occasion stickers were supplied that fit nicely onto the stamp image resulting in the possibility of 7 different stamps (in fact, the number is limitless, as we will see).
- As was customary with all previous Canadian self-adhesive stamps, the 43¢ Greeting booklet stamps were sold for a small premium over face value. However, all 45¢ booklets have been sold for their face value.
This article will touch upon the various booklets that have been issued, the numerous stickers that have appeared, how to identify the individual stamps and stickers, and finally a look at the inevitable errors that have occurred.
This design of booklet has been aptly called “Greeting” by Canada Post due to their design. Two different stamp designs were provided: a “left” and “right” facing image.
The first Greeting booklet to appear had a face value of 43¢, the first-class rate in effect at the time. A year and half later, with the rate increase of 2¢, to 45¢, a second Greeting booklet was issued. To date, there have been five separate releases of Greeting booklets. The table below lists the 5 booklets that have been issued.
Illustrated below are the front covers of the booklets that have been issued. The cover of the most recent booklet to be issued (Aug 15/97) is identical in design to the booklet issued Sep 1/95 (however, as the chart indicates, the paper used for each of these booklets is different).
The back cover of each booklet provided instructions on the use of the stamps. (BK183 also included a brief history of the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto).
|Stamp, Sticker Size||Flrsc||Stickers||Catalogue#|
|43¢||Jan 28/94||1||LM||J||grey||special occasions
|Sep 15/95||3||AP||C||dull||4: chiropracty||BK183|
|Jan 15/96||1||LM||F||special occasions
- Folded size: 105x155mm; unfolded size: 105x438mm; 2 folds with stamps and stickers together on same pane.
- Folded size: 78x155mm; unfolded size: 78x298mm; 1 fold with stickers on separate sheet, glued to the top inside half of booklet at the bottom of the sticker sheet.
- Folded size: 78x155mm; unfolded size: 78x298mm; 1 fold with stickers on separate sheet, glued to the bottom inside half of booklet at the top of the sticker sheet.
LM: Leigh-Mardon Pty of Australia
AP: Ashton-Potter Canada Ltd
J: JAC (hi-brite paper, very smooth appearance)
C: Coated Papers Ltd. (dull paper, under magnification it looks like a mixture of “pulp”)
F: Fasson Canada Inc. (hi-brite paper, very smooth appearance)
LM vs. AP Differences
There are two subtle differences in the designs of the stamps employed by the two different printers: background and copyright notice (of course, the size of the stamps from the two printers are different).
The Leigh-Mardon printings have special occasion words in the background of the design and a copyright notice of 1994; the Ashton-Potter printers have the names of the Canadian provinces in the background and a 1995 copyright notice.
A unique feature of each booklet is the inclusion of round “stickers” that could be selected by the mailer and fitted into the white space of the stamp. It is the sticker that gives the stamp its name of “Greeting”. The booklets supplied either 4 or 7 different designs.
Since May 1994 five different special occasion “cards” have been sold/distributed separately from the booklets. One of these was a promotional “give-away” while the other four could be purchased for a nominal amount.
The table below summarizes the various official stickers that have been issued, and their source.
|Jan 28/94||BK166||LM||J||19mm||HB||7: heart, bride/groom, cake, balloons, roses, pen, baby rattle|
|May 9/94||1 card with 50 stickers||18½||HF||1: Wedding (bride/groom) sold for $1.95|
|Sep 1/95||BK182||AP||J||17||HB||4: pen, heart, bride/groom, leaf|
|Sep 15/95||BK183||AP||C||HB||4: chiropracty: 2 hands, logo, plaque, D.D. Palmer|
|Jan 15/96||BK190||LM||F||19||HB||7: heart, bride/groom, cake, balloons, roses, pen, baby rattle|
|Feb 96||1 card with 10 stickers||18||HF||1: St. Valentine’s Day (heart) promotional item|
|Jun 8/96||17||Flrsc||1: Hamilton promotional item, sold for 20¢
(spelling error exists, see picture below)
|Dec 96||1 card with 15 stickers||17||HB||1: Christmas (Santa Claus)* sold for 50¢|
|Feb 97||17||HF||1: St. Valentine’s Day (cupid) sold for 50¢|
|Aug 15/97||BK200||AP||C||17||HB||4: pen, heart, bride/groom, leaf|
|Special thanks to Mirko Zatka (Calgary) for the loan of a couple of the sticker-only items which I had heard of but not seen. Special thanks to Norman le Breton (Regina) for the loan of the Hamilton error.||*was “re-used” as a promotional item in Nov 97 (given away free with the purchase of a Greeting booklet).|
The design of the Greeting stamps lends themselves to some innovative alternatives. Examples have been seen with hand-drawn illustrations, photographs, etc., etc. Shown at right is an overprint applied to a limited number of entire booklets and sold as a promotional item.
Two of the five booklets contained seven different stickers, as illustrated to the left. Two other booklets contained only four different stickers.
The fifth booklet, issued to commemorate the Chiropractic profession, contained four different stickers, however, these were not “Greeting” oriented.
The circular stickers, like the stamps, are die-cut. The actual sticker image is larger than the removed sticker, except one — a sticker in the Chiropractic booklet is a logo on a white background and did not require a surrounding border.
As shown in the previous table, there are also five sticker-only items, producing three new sticker designs and two new sizes of sticker (heart and wedding).
(As an aside, the design of the Santa sticker was taken from a christmas stamp issued four years earlier, in 1992! Notice though that the “sticker” Santa is a mirror image of the “stamp” Santa.)
The Actual Usage of Stamps and Stickers
It is up to the general public to choose a sticker to place on the stamp prior to mailing — if they choose a sticker at all. At the same time, there is nothing to say that a different item couldn’t be placed on the stamp! Examples of hand-drawn images and photographs of real people have been seen.
Listed below are the stickers and a checklist of the various combinations of sticker/stamp usage that would be most likely to occur. The 86 boxes () are the minimum number of sticker/stamp combinations that are needed to have a complete collection — good luck!
Any of the other blank spots could exist, if a sticker was used on a stamp from a different booklet.
(gold, large, HB)
(gold, small, HB)
(gold, small, dull)
|Bride & Groom||x|||||||||
|Chiro: 2 hands||x|||||
Identifying Individual Stamps and Stickers
The five booklets and four special occasion cards have resulted in the potential of 10 different stamps and 30 stickers. Can all 40 items be identified as being different? Four different 45¢ denominated self-adhesive Greeting booklets have been issued. Can an individual stamp be identified? Both questions are important for the collectors of single and/or used stamps.
As noted in the tables listed earlier, there are differences in the printer, paper, colour, background in the design, paper fluorescence, and size of design.
It is possible to easily identify 8 of the 10 possible stamps, using the following flow diagram:
- What is the denomination: 43¢ or 45¢? There was only one printing of the 43¢ value (BK166).
For the 45¢ values:
- What is the size/background? All of the smaller stamps have the provincial names in the background; all of the larger stamps have special occasion words in the background. There was only one printing of the larger size (BK190).
For the smaller 45¢ values:
- What is the fluorescence of the stamp? There was only one printing on HB paper (BK182).
For the smaller, dull, 45¢ values:
- Two booklets have appeared: a Chiropractic in 1995 (BK183) and a Greetings in 1997 (BK200). Although not a guarantee, the sticker used with the stamp could indicate which printing the stamp came from. Is there any other way?
Errors are inevitable. To date, four major errors have been found on these booklets.
Greeting Booklets — Errors
|Issued||Printer||Paper||Colour||Stamp, Sticker Size||Catalogue#||Error(s)|
|43¢||Jan 28/94||LM||J||grey||56x30, 19||1507/08
|* die cutting missing|
|45¢||Sep 1/95||AP||J||gold||51½x28, 17||1568/69
|Jan 15/96||LM||F||56x30, 19||1600/01
|* die cutting missing
* printed on gum side; no gum on stamps if removed from booklet, the gum remaining on the backing; 10 bklts recorded.
* die cutting diagonally shifted; top normal, bottom 5mm to right on stamps and labels.
|Aug 15/97||AP||C||51½x28, 17||BK200|
Here is an item sold by the post office to promote Singapore ’95 and CAPEX ’96. There are self-adhesive stickers on the inside: 5 rectangular-shaped for Singapore ’95 and 5 round CAPEX ’96.
These were not considered a part of the self-adhesive greeting booklets series. I suppose, though, that the round CAPEX ’96 sticker would “work” with the booklet stamps.