Fish Definitives: 1979-1983

Border Types

Note: This page was updated after it was determined that the former border type C5 was in fact type C2 retouched. As a result, type C2A and C2B have replaced type C5.

Updated March 3, 2009

All stamps in the series were printed with a solid border of about 1mm thick around the fish design, and a half-tone coloured screen that extended into the perforations. On each stamp value, both the screen and solid border were printed with the same plate, therefore in the same colour.

Two different distinct screen types were used for the border on the initial printing. One is a fine screen, consisting of about 300 dots per inch at a 60 angle, and was used for 14 of the values. The other is a coarse screen of about 175 dots per inch, at a 45 angle. This was used for 4 values.

The first printing was as follows:

Fine Screen: 1c, 2c, 4c, 6c, 8c, 10c, 20c, 30c, 40c, 70c, $1, $2, $5
Coarse Screen: 15c, 25c, 35c, 50c, 45c new value added in 1981

Fine Screen
Fine Screen (300 dots per inch)
Coarse Screen
Coarse Screen (175 dots per inch)


Two types of fine screen borders were used. The 2c and 4c were printed with two colours, while the other values were printed with one colour. Under a magnifying glass, there are some other slight differences between the borders used on the 2c and the 4c and the others, but these are irrelevant as they were not shared with other fine screen values.

With the first printing, there were 4 types of coarse screen borders. This is significant, because further reprints of some values had the borders switched from fine to coarse. Also a new 45c design was added in 1981, and this value incorporated two different border types that had been previously used, and three retouches on one of them.

Type C1:
  • Solid frame shifted to the left
  • Notches in the lower right border; these do not show up too clearly on the 15c value, as the colour tends to bleed.
  • Original Printing: 15c value only
  • Reprints: 1c, 5c (with OFFICIAL overprint only), and 8c
Frame Type C1
Type C1
Type C2:
  • Solid frame well centered
  • Notch in the outside lower right border and rounded on inside. V-notch about 3mm from the right.
  • Indentations in upper left corner
  • Very slight radius in upper right corner
  • Original Printing: 25c value only
  • Reprints: 10c, 40c, and 45c (Plate 1A, positional) see below
Frame Type C2
Type C2

Type C2A:
  • C2 frame retouched
  • Outside notch filled in
  • V-notch filled in
  • Damage at top repaired
  • Original Printing: 45c value only (Plate 1A, positional)
Type C2A
Type C2A

Type C2B:
  • As C2A but damage at top left not repaired
  • Original Printing: 45c value only (Plate 1A, positional)
Type C2B
Type C2B

Type C2C: (image not available yet)
  • As C2 but retouched at top only.
  • Original Printing: 45c value only (Plate 1A, positional)
Type C3:
  • Solid frame shifted to the left
  • Rounded on upper-right inside solid frame.
  • Original Printing: 35c value only
  • Reprints: 30c, 45c value (Plate 1B) see below

Type C3
Type C4:
  • Solid frame fairly well centered
  • Damage on upper-right inside solid frame.
  • Original Printing: 50c value only
  • Reprints: 45c on 50c lithograph overprint

Type C4


The 45c Value of 1981

The 45c value, added in 1981, is the only value that is known to have more than one coarse screen border type. However, the oddity about it is that there was only one printing of this stamp, and three different border types were used. As mentioned previously, it was the only value that was not paired with another during the printing. It was printed in two panes of 38 stamps side-by-side, which were guillotined apart for distribution. The left panes were inscribed plate 1A, the right plate 1B.

For some strange reason, the left pane, inscribed plate 1A, had some of the stamps with border type C2, and others with the retouched type C2A. One single stamp has the retouched type C2B, and one type C2C. The 45c value is the only one that has appeared with type C2A, C2B and C2C. The complete second column of all 1A sheets have border type C2, along with stamps in the positions of row 4 stamp 3, and row 8 stamp 1. C2B is located in row 2 stamp 3, and C2C in row 8 stamp 4.

45c Plate 1A

Yet on the right sheet, inscribed 1B, all the stamps are type C3, the same as used for the original 35c stamp, and the 30c reprint. To summarize, the 45c value exists with 5 distinguishable border types:

  • Type C2
  • Type C2A
  • Type C2B
  • Type C2C
  • Type C3
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