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Oceania/Australia : Question about Australia SG 401c

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Winedrinker
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12 Apr 2017
09:33:54pm
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SG 401c is part of the 1966-1973 Decimal currency series. SG 401 is the more common $1 - perforation 14.25 x 13.95, but in May 1973 SG 401c was printed with perforation 14.8 X 14.1. It has considerable more value. I paid just under $50 usd for this example, and the Scott value is $125.

Question. Is the existence of this stamp simply because a new machine was used to perforate this stamp, and why just the $1? Or was there another reason. The high value would indicate only a limited number were printed.

If any of the Australia experts know the answer to this it would be much appreciated.

Cheers!
Eric


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Rob1956
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Member ACCC (Australian Commonwealth Collectors Club of NSW)
13 Apr 2017
12:44:30pm
re: Question about Australia SG 401c

Hi Eric

Here is the reason why the 1966 and 1973 $1 Matthew Flinders stamps have different perforations etc.

Around mid-1973, the Note Printing Branch replaced a worn perforating comb with a new comb measuring 15 x 14 with the newer and more efficient Rembrandt press; the new comb became one of about six combs in use and affected the perforations of 'commemorative size' stamps. Remarkably, the change went unnoticed by philatelists for two years, so that the $1 Flinders stamp perforated 15 x 14 was not acquired in quantity by collectors during its remaining year of sale.

The 1973 issue was an emergency stamp as the new $1 Paintings definitive were not printed in time; there was no announcement whatever to collectors, and in fact the variance was not discovered until about 10 years later in 1983 when a collector Alan Salisbury discovered the difference and reported the find to the Australian Stamp Monthly.

As a result of collectors not being told of an emergency issue of Flinders being printed on the newer Rembrandt press with a different perforation of 15 x 14 (14.78 x 14) instead of the common 14½ x 14 (14.40 x 14.00); no collectors or dealers bought up copies as mint, as anyone who needed a $1 Navigator had bought it 7 years earlier (1966) believing the newer issue was a new batch of the same printing from the Chambon press, paper and perforation.

Once discovered of the differences, collectors began to feverishly hunt through bundleware (kiloware) looking for emergency issues of the $1 variety and most copies located at the time were used, and even used is catalogued at $20 and one on cover $200; opposed to the original printing being $1 used and $35 on cover.

Since then a few sheets of unused emergency stamps came onto the market with collectors clambering to own one or a few, today the 1973 emergency issue is still classified as Australia’s rarest early decimal issue.

Rob

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"Specialised Collector of Australian Pre-Decimal & Decimal Stamps"
Winedrinker
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13 Apr 2017
01:37:44pm
re: Question about Australia SG 401c

Robert,
Thank you very much for this information -- Golden!

What a strange and odd tale. Glad I purchased this one. Paid $42 usd -- not counting postage.

Cheers!
Eric

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Rob1956
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Member ACCC (Australian Commonwealth Collectors Club of NSW)
13 Apr 2017
02:10:01pm
re: Question about Australia SG 401c

Hi Eric

Quote:

"Robert,
Thank you very much for this information -- Golden!

What a strange and odd tale. Glad I purchased this one. Paid $42 usd -- not counting postage."



Glad to help. You got quite a bargain for the 15 x 14 perf. over here they sell for AU$80 (US$60) in mint condition and that is without postage. It's twin would cost $5 or less.

It is an odd tale, But it wasn't the first time where the stamp printers stuffed up by not informing the public and overestimating or underestimating stamp usage, it was either not enough or too much surplus.
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