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 Perf gauge

 Lowe-Martin Die Cutting

Flower definitives

Series I (50c era):
     Die cut
     F over R/O
     $1.45 0Lowe
     $1.45 line
     Ski slope
     $1.45 Insc
     Plate variety
     Missing colour

Series II (51c era):
     Die cut
     Compound perf
     High/center Insc
     Colour error
     C over S/O

Series III (52c era):
 Souvenir sheet
     Die cut
     Compound perf
     Die cut anomalies
     UPC doubling

Series IV (52c era):
 Souvenir sheet
     Die cut

Series V (57c era):
 Souvenir sheet
     Die cut
     Uncut panel

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Flowers: Series I (50c era)
Updated Feb 15/07
Series II (51c era)
Series III (52c era)
Series IV (52c era)
Series V (57c era)

Coils (100 / 50):


Initial release date: Dec 20/04

The stamps were released nearly a month before their intended postage rates came into effect.


  • 50c Red Calla Lily
  • 85c Yellow Calla Lily
  • $1.45 Purple Dutch Iris

Canada Post Archives details: 50c, 85c, $1.45 (opens in new window)

Scott/Unitrade numbers:

  • 2072-2074 (coils)
  • 2081-2082 (booklet singles)
  • BK303-BK304 (booklets)

Printer: Lowe-Martin (Ottawa, ON)
Printing method: Lithography (5 colours)
Paper: self-adhesive, Fasson

Designers: Monique Dufour, Sophie Lafortune

Postage rates (Jan 17/05 - Jan 15/06):

  • 50c - domestic lettermail (0-30g)
  • 85c -USA (0-30g) and domestic (30-50g)
  • $1.45 - International (0-30g)


  • coil rolls of 50 (85c and $1.45) or 100 (50c) with a 'gutter' every 10 stamps that contains an inscription. Gutters are collected in strips of 4 with 2 stamps on either side of the gutter. Single stamps are serpentine die cut on the top and bottom:
    • initial release: varies from 8 to 9 horiz.
    • from Feb/05: varies from 6 1/2 to 7 1/4 horiz.
    • single stamps as supplied in the Quarterly Pack and Annual Collection: die cut to shape (6 3/4 horiz.)

    It is known that the coils are printed with 10 rolls across the printing sleeve.


  • booklet 'panels' of 6 (85c and $1.45). Single stamps are die cut on all four sides.



Coil Checklist

Pane of 6
Vert Coil
Roll of 100
Vert Coil
Roll of 50
  Die cut 8.5 horiz 7 horiz 8.5 horiz 7 horiz
Domestic First-class rate:
50c Red Calla Lily   Dec 20/04 Feb/05    
USA/International rate:
85c Yellow Calla Lily Dec 20/04     Dec 20/04 Feb/05
$1.45 Purple Dutch Iris Dec 20/04     Dec 20/04 Feb/05

The date shown is the date of issue of that specific variety. A "blank" means the item does not exist.


Coil Distribution

The coils were distributed to post offices in boxes, with 10 rolls per box. Sometime during the year, a stamped barcode and product number was stamped on one end of the box.

The rolls were wrapped around a thick inner core or cardboard. A clear, self-adhesive sticker was applied on the end of the roll to keep it rolled. This 'wrapper' had a UPC barcode which would be scanned at the post office checkout. Three different types of these wrappers exist on this series of Flower coils. The "red" $0.50 wrapper was seen only on the "8-peak" 50c stamp.

Denomination "Large" UPC numbers "Small" UPC numbers

does this one exist?



Coil Serpentine Die Cutting

If you take any of the original printings of these coil stamps, you will get various die cuts, ranging from 7.9 to 8.9! (and almost every number in between).

They were reprinted with a serpentine die cut 7 horizontal - these started showing up in late February 2005.

If you are counting "peaks", the original had 9 or 10 peaks, the new perf has 8 peaks. Be warned though - counting peaks is not the same as "perfing" the stamp.

Top: original perf 8.6
Bottom: reprint perf 7


Coil Plating

As has been hinted at above, the serpentine die cutting is variable across the stamp. That is, it is not consistent from one stamp to another, between the top or bottom of the same stamp, and even inconsistent across a single stamp!

Recall that there are 10 rolls printed across the printing sleeve and a gutter every 10 stamps along a roll. Thus, the printing "plate" for these coils is 10 stamps across by 10 stamps down.

It is actually possible to place 10 rolls beside each other and watch how the die cutting flows from one roll to another. With this layout, one can plate all 100 positions because of the uniqueness of the die cutting. Said another way, each stamp has a unique set of die cutting that can be plated.

Click for more on "plating".

Since there were (at least) two die cutting mats used, there are 200 different (unique) stamps for each of the three denominations of these coils. The following image needed to be shrunk to "fit your screen", but it is in fact a group of 10 rolls placed beside each other - a plating "sheet":


Coil Gutter Inscriptions

TWO types of inscriptions exist on the original printings of the three Flower coil definitives (ie. the 'perf 8 1/2' version). The difference is in the location of the paper designation and colour dots compared to the inscription text.

A picture is worth a thousand words...

It turns out that BOTH types of inscriptions were probably around since the stamps were first issued on Dec 20, 2004.

Notice that the "F above O" seems to have a bolder text font than the "F above R" inscription.


Coil Inscription Error

The $1.45 Flower coil has been found where the inscription, found in the gutter every 10 stamps, has a "0" (zero) character added to the front of the printer's name.

$1.45 Purple Dutch Iris Coil
  Perf 8.5 Perf 7
"F over R" x  
"F over O" x (*) x (*)
"F over O", 0Lowe x x

* Remember the "plating" of these stamps (noted above)? Recall that there are 10 rolls of stamps across the printing sleeve. Nine of these ten rolls had the "0LOWE" inscription while only one, the left roll, had the correct "LOWE" inscription. As such, the items noted with the * are quite scarce.


Coil Die Cut "Ski Slope" Variety

A constant die cutting variety can be found on all three coil stamps:

  • original printing (serpentine die cut 8 1/2)
  • found on 1 out of 10 rolls (the leftmost roll on the plate)
  • between the 3rd and 4th stamps above every gutter on the roll
  • found on both "F over R" and "F over O" inscriptions
  • best collected in gutter strips of 6 or 2 used singles (with variety at top or bottom)


$1.45 "Purple Line" Constant Variety?

The $1.45 coil has been reported with what might be a constant flaw. Click here for an enlarged image.

We welcome your reports of confirmation of this flaw.



The 85c and $1.45 designs were issued in booklet "panels" of 6 stamps. The $1.45 appeared with the "colour dots" placed in two different positions within the bottom inscription.

Booklet Checklist

Booklet panes
  4mm tagging 3mm tagging
F paper
85c Yellow Calla Lily x   x  
  F paper "C" paper Dots at right Dots at left
$1.45 Purple Dutch Iris x (*) x x x

* shiny and dull tagging varieties exist

Booklet Tagging

The 85c and $1.45 Flower booklet panes each come with TWO different widths of tagging:

  • 4mm solid all around (passes over top of the design)
  • 3mm that cuts around the design (notched)

The $1.45 booklet can also be found with dull and shiny tagging.

85c tagging:

$1.45 tagging:


$1.45 Booklet Inscription

The $1.45 booklet comes with the paper designation/colour dots in two different locations:


Booklet Paper

The $1.45 booklet can also be found printed on Tullis Russell Coating paper (even though the paper designation says "F" in the inscription).


$1.45 Booklet Constant Plate Variety

A constant variety has been found in the inscription of the $1.45 booklet with the colour dots on the left side. It is a break in the letter R of "Lacroix".


Booklet Missing Colour

The 85c booklet was found with the black inscription missing or nearly missing. Of the few panes that were discovered, only one had the black missing completely - the rest had a "hint" of black showing on some of the stamps. All of these had the tagging shifted, resulting in 3-bar tagging.


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