Online Resources and Exhibits

Self-Adhesive Greeting Booklets (1994-1997)

Robin Harris

(This article was published in the December 1997 issue of The Corgi Times, newsletter of the Elizabethan II Study Group. It was posted on the Saskatoon Stamp Centre website in November 1997 and updated on 2 March 1999.)


January 1994 saw the release by Canada Post of a new-style self-adhesive stamp that offered a number of firsts in Canadian philately:

43 cent stamp with right facing image

43¢ stamp with right facing image

  • 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 were sold at 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.

Booklets

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.

45¢ stamp with left facing image

45¢ stamp with left facing image

45¢ stamp with right facing image

45¢ stamp with 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 five 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).

BK166 28 Jan 1994

BK166
28 Jan 1994

BK182 and BK200 1 Sep 1995 and 15 Aug 1997

BK182 & BK200
1 Sep 1995
15 Aug 1997

BK183 15 Sep 1995

BK183
15 Sep 1995

BK190 15 Jan 1996

BK190
15 Jan 1996

Greeting Booklets

Issued Bklt
Style
Ptr Paper Colour Background
(hidden date)
Stamp,
Sticker Size
Flrsc Stickers Cat #
Different Flrsc
43¢ 28 Jan 1994 1 LM J grey special occasions
(© 1994)
56x30, 19 HB 7 HB 1507/08
BK166
45¢ 1 Sep 1995 2 AP J gold provinces
(© 1995)
51½x28, 17 HB 4 1568/69
?BK182
15 Sep 1995 3 AP C dull 4: chiropracty BK183
15 Jan 1996 1 LM F special occasions
(© 1994)
56x30, 19 HB 7 1600/01
BK190
15 Aug 1997 3 AP C provinces
(© 1995)
51½x28, 17 dull 7 BK200

Booklet Style (Bklt Style)

  1. Folded size: 105x155mm; unfolded size: 105x438mm; two folds with stamps and stickers together on same pane.
  2. Folded size: 78x155mm; unfolded size: 78x298mm; one fold with stickers on separate sheet, glued to the top inside half of booklet at the bottom of the sticker sheet.
  3. Folded size: 78x155mm; unfolded size: 78x298mm; one fold with stickers on separate sheet, glued to the bottom inside half of booklet at the top of the sticker sheet.

Printer (Ptr)

LM: Leigh-Mardon Pty of Australia
AP: Ashton-Potter Canada Ltd

Paper

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)

Leigh-Mardon versus Ashton-Potter

There are two subtle differences in the designs of the stamps employed by the two printers: background and copyright notice. Of course, the size of the stamps from the two printers is different.

The Leigh-Mardon printings have special occasion words in the background of the design and a copyright notice of 1994; the Ashton-Potter printings have the names of the Canadian provinces in the background and a 1995 copyright notice.

Special Occasions (Leigh-Mardon)

Provincial names (Ashton-Potter)

Stickers

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 sticker 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.

Issued Source Printer Paper Sticker Size Flrsc Designs
28 Jan 1994 BK166 LM J 19mm HB 7: heart, bride/groom, cake, balloons, roses, pen, baby rattle
9 May 1994 1 card with 50 stickers 18½ HF 1: Wedding (bride/groom) sold for $1.95
1 Sep 1995 BK182 AP J 17 HB 4: pen, heart, bride/groom, leaf
15 Sep 1995 BK183 AP C HB 4: chiropracty: 2 hands, logo, plaque, D.D. Palmer
15 Jan 1996 BK190 LM F 19 HB 7: heart, bride/groom, cake, balloons, roses, pen, baby rattle
Feb 1996 1 card with 10 stickers 18 HF 1: St. Valentine’s Day (heart) promotional item
8 Jun 1996 17 Flrsc 1: Hamilton promotional item, sold for 20¢
(spelling error exists, see picture below)
Dec 1996 1 card with 15 stickers 17 HB 1: Christmas (Santa Claus) sold for 50¢ [see note 3]
Feb 1997 17 HF 1: St. Valentine’s Day (cupid) sold for 50¢
15 Aug 1997 BK200 AP C 17 HB 4: pen, heart, bride/groom, leaf
  1. Special thanks to Mirko Zatka (Calgary) for the loan of a couple of the sticker-only items that I had heard of but not seen.
  2. Special thanks to Norman le Breton (Regina) for the loan of the Hamilton error.
  3. The Dec. 1996 Santa Claus sticker card was “re-used” as a promotional item in Nov. 1997. It was given away free with the purchase of a Greeting booklet).

Wedding
9 May 1994

Valentines
Feb 1996

Hamilton
8 Jun 1996

Santa
Dec 1996

Hamilton error
“Vignettes” spelled wrong

Two of the five booklets contained seven different stickers (illustrated below left). Two other booklets contained only four different stickers.

The fifth booklet, issued to commemorate the Chiropractic profession, contained four different stickers (illustrated below right); 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).

The original seven stickers

The original seven stickers

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 four chiropractic stickers

The four chiropractic stickers

Santa, Valentine, Hamilton stickers

Santa, Valentine, and Hamilton stickers

Santa on the 1992 37 cent Christmas stamp

Santa on the 1992 37¢ Christmas stamp

Actual Usage of Stamps and Stickers

43 cent stamp with overprint

43¢ stamp with overprint

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 reading "Greetings from Ontario's BEAVER VALLEY" applied to a limited number of entire booklets and sold as a promotional item.

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 black circles (⚫) 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.

Sticker Checklist

Sticker Sticker
Diameter
43¢ Stamp
(grey, large)
45¢ Stamp
(gold, large, HB)
45¢ Stamp
(gold, small, HB)
45¢ Stamp
(gold, small, dull)
19mm 18mm 17mm “Right” “Left” “Right” “Left” “Right” “Left” “Right” “Left”
Heart x
x
x
Bride & Groom x
x
x(18½)
Cake x
Balloons x
Roses x
Pen x
x
Baby rattle x
Maple Leaf x
Chiro: 2 hands x
Chiro: Logo x
Chiro: Plaque x
Chiro: Palmer x
Hamilton x
Cupid x
Santa Claus x
no sticker

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 mint 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.

Stamps

It is possible to easily identify eight of the ten possible stamps, using the following flow diagram:

Stamp identification flow diagram

  1. What is the denomination: 43¢ or 45¢? There was only one printing of the 43¢ value (BK166).

    For the 45¢ values:
  2. 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:
  3. What is the fluorescence of the stamp? There was only one printing on HB paper (BK182).

    For the smaller, dull, 45¢ values:
  4. 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

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¢ 28 Jan 1994 LM J grey 56x30, 19 1507/08
BK166
  • Die cutting missing
45¢ 1 Sep 1995 AP J gold 51½x28, 17 1568/69
BK182
15 Sep 1995 AP C BK183
15 Jan 1996 LM F 56x30, 19 1600/01
BK190
  • Die cutting missing
  • Printed on gum side; no gum on stamps if removed from booklet, the gum remains on the backing; 10 booklets recorded.
  • Die cutting shifted diagonally; top normal, bottom 5 mm to right on stamps and labels.
15 Aug 1997 AP C 51½x28, 17 BK200
Bottom of booklet with die cut shifted diagonally to the right

Bottom of Leigh-Mardon booklet with the die cut shifted diagonally to the right.
The die cutting is overlaid in black to show where it occurs in the illustration.
Courtesy Saskatoon Stamp Centre.

Miscellaneous

Here is an item sold by Canada Post to promote Singapore ’95 and CAPEX ’96. There are self-adhesive stickers on the inside: five rectangular-shaped for Singapore ’95 and five round for CAPEX ’96.

Booklet of stickers for Singapore ’95 and CAPEX ’96
Above: cover. At right: interior.

These were not considered a part of the self-adhesive greeting booklets series. However, I suppose that the round CAPEX ’96 sticker would “work” with the booklet stamps.


Additional notes

In a catalogue dated 27 September 2010, Saskatoon Stamp Centre offered a proof sheet of the card with the Hamilton promotional stickers. There are six cards on the proof, each card containing ten stickers. The description of the lot, # 165, reads:

1601a PROOF * HAMILTON 1846-1996 Stickers for Greeting Stamps. Double sided PROOF SHEET of FRONT & BACK for 6 "LABEL" booklets as produced by "STiRLiNG PRiNT-ALL" of Hamilton. Designed by Ron Wilkie. 271x213mm. ONLY we've seen.

The lot was priced at $395.

Proof of card with Hamilton
            promotional stickers

Proof of six cards with Hamilton promotional stickers. The illustration shows the bottom half of the front of the proof (with three of the six cards) overlaying the top half of the back with the stickers.
Courtesy Saskatoon Stamp Centre.


Copyright © 1999 Robin Harris
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