Adminware Corporation (7k)

 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

 Tagging search
 Album pages    
 Study tips

 Elizabethan Glossary

Study Notes
 Modern stamp paper
 Phosphor tagging
 Postal rates

Flowers: Series II (51c era)
Updated Mar 10/07
Series I (50c era)
Series III (52c era)
Series IV (52c era)
Series V (57c era)

Coils (100 / 50):


Initial release date: Dec 19/05

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


  • 51c Red Bergamot Blossom
  • 89c Yellow Lady's Slipper
  • $1.05 Pink Fairy Slipper
  • $1.49 Himalayan Blue Poppy

Canada Post Archives details: 51c, 89c, $1.05, $1.49 (opens in new window)

Scott/Unitrade numbers:

  • 2128-2131 (coils)
  • 2132-2134 (booklet singles)
  • BK318-BK319 (booklets)

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

Designers: Monique Dufour, Sophie Lafortune

Postage rates (Jan 16/06 - Jan 15/07):

  • 51c - domestic lettermail (0-30g)
  • 89c -USA (0-30g) and domestic (30-50g)
  • $1.05 -domestic non-standard (0-60g), domestic oversize (0-100g) and USA (30-50g)
  • $1.49 - International (0-30g)


  • coil rolls of 50 (89c, $1.05 and $1.49) or 100 (51c) 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.
    • single stamps as supplied in the Quarterly Pack and Annual Collection: die cut to shape (6 3/4 horiz.)
    • from Nov/06: varies from 6 1/2 to 7 1/4 horiz.

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


  • booklet 'panels' of 6 (89c, $1.05 and $1.49). Single stamps are die cut on all four sides.



Coil Checklist

[H] = inscriptions is positioned "high" in gutter
[C] = inscriptions is "centered" in gutter

Wavy die cut vs. cut: the type of separation at the start and end of roll (see illustrations below)

  Die cut 7½ Die cut 7 (singles only) Die cut 8 – 9
  C paper F paper C paper F paper
  cut wavy die cut cut wavy die cut    
Domestic First-class rate:
51c Bergamot Blossoms   Dec 19/05 [H]
May 06 [C]
  Apr 06 [C] Apr 06 Jul 06 [C]  
USA rate:
89c Yellow Lady's Slipper   Jun 06 [H]
Jun 06 [C]
Dec 19/05 [H] Feb 06 [C] Apr 06   Sep 06 [C]
Domestic Non-standard and Oversize rate (0-100g):
$1.05 Pink Fairy Slipper Dec 19/05 [H] Feb 06 [C]
Mar 06 [H]
    Apr 06 Dec 06 [C]  
International rate:
$1.49 Himalayan Blue Poppies Dec 19/05 [H] Jul 06[C]     Apr 06    

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. If a large quantity of rolls are ordered, then 10 boxes are shipped in a larger box (thus, 100 rolls). Self-adhesive labels were applied to one end of these boxes that contained several pieces of information:

  • quantity of rolls per box
  • Canada Post product number
  • printing roll number, date, and time (except $1.49)
  • internal barcode and number
51c   89c
$1.05 $1.49

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. Each wrapper was colour-coded to match the corresponding stamp.

Denomination UPC barcode on wrapper


And here is a box containing 100 rolls: 10 boxes of 10 rolls each...


Coil Start/End Cutting

The original release of these four coil stamps had all rolls "scissor" cut at the start and end. The rolls were wrapped around an inner cardboard tube and then the clear self-adhesive UPC barcode wrapper applied. The rolls were not affixed to the inner tube.

Follow-up printings, starting in February 2006, had the rolls affixed to the inner tube and a new style of cutting between rolls - a wavy die cut.

Illustrated below is the end of the roll. This one was affixed to the inner cardboard tube, and when removed, left some paper fibers:


Coil Serpentine Die Cutting

Three different major die cutting “perforations” have appeared on some of these four stamps (all are approximate or average measurements):

  • serpentine die cut 7½ horizontally (initial printings) — 9 ‘peaks’ per stamp
  • 7 horizontally (only available as single stamps from Quarterly packs) — 8 ‘peaks’ per stamp
  • 8½ – 9 horizontally (51c, 89c, and $1.05 values) — 9½ to 10 ‘peaks’ per stamp (boxes must be dated after July 1st; only seen in Eastern Canada)

We say “approximately” because the serpentine die cutting is not consistent across the full printing press. In fact, even across a single stamp the peaks and valleys will vary both in depth and width. It is as if a piece of metal were made into an accordion and then stretched by hand with no apparent effort to precision.

It is even possible to get a different “perf” for the top of a stamp compared to the bottom of the same stamp. There are literally dozens of different combinations of measurements available on each of the two major die cutting values! In theory it is quite possible that all 100 positions (10 stamps between each gutter times 10 rolls across the printing press) for each die cut “perf” can be plated (giving us 200 different stamps).

Top: original perf 8 (9 peaks)
Bottom: reprint perf 9 (10 peaks)
Right: single from Quarterly Pack, perf 7 (8 peaks)


Compound Perf

The 51c, 89c, and $1.05 stamps that uses the die cutting mat of "8½ – 9 horizontally — 9½ to 10 peaks per stamp" include an interesting die cutting configuration.

On the 51c and $1.05 stamps, the die cutting between the 4th and 5th row of stamps above the gutter is a full 1½ perf different from the adjacent rows. On the 89c stamp, this falls between the 6th and 7th row of stamps above the gutter (the die cutting mat was inverted for this stamp!).

These measurements are averages, based on counting all of the peaks across the entire printing width of 10 rolls. An individual stamp could, and likely will, have a slightly different measurement.

  • Click for "Permanent" coil compound perf.
  • Click for more information and images of this "compound perf" and a discussion of why the 89c die cutting is inverted in relation to the 51c and $1.05 rolls.


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

Several months after the these coils had been around (about mid 2006), the vertical position of the inscription was moved within the gutter. The initial printings had this inscription positioned "high" in the gutter; the newer printings had the inscription "centered" in the gutter.

Actually, more accurately, the inscription is centered between the design of the stamp above and below the gutter. If the die cutting shifts in relation to the inscription, the appearance might be "high" or "centered" - always compare the inscription to the stamp designs, not the die cutting.

A picture is worth a thousand words...

[Sorry, I don't have a picture of the 51c and $1.49 values at this time.]


Coil Paper

On the first day of issue, three values (51c, $1.05, and $1.49) were printed on C paper (Tullis Russell Coating) while the 89c appeared on F paper (Fasson).

Subsequent reprints of the 51c and 89c stamps appeared on the 'other' paper.

The inscription found in the gutters indicate the paper (C or F in front of the colour dots).


Error of Colour

The 51c coil has been reported with a very striking error of colour. A close examination of the original stamps clearly shows that this is more than a "colour shade.

The error of colour is described as "brown red in colour, with the magenta dot being printed in a violet colour".



The 89c, $1.05 and $1.49 designs were issued in booklet "panels" of 6 stamps. The $1.49 appeared with the "colour dots" placed in two different positions within the bottom inscription.

Booklet Checklist

Booklet panes
  C over S C over O
89c Yellow Lady's Slipper Dec 19/05  
$1.05 Pink Fairy Slipper Dec 19/05  
$1.49 Himalayan Blue Poppies Dec 19/05 Feb 06


$1.49 Booklet Inscription

The $1.49 booklet comes with the paper designation/colour dots in two slightly different locations. The "C over O" variety appeared in February 2006.



These stamp designs, which became "obsolete" (i.e. their intended postage rates were no longer in affect) on Jan 15, 2007, appeared on size 8 (small) envelopes which appeared in late January 2007.

The envelopes are non-denominated, with the new "Permanent" logo.


Adminware Corporation
© 1999-2013, 2014 Robin Harris
Adminware is a trademark of Adminware Corporation.