I found two of this stamp in a lot I'm currently sorting. I'm still learning my way with these early Canadians, so any help is appreciated. I have one that measure perf 12 all sides, and this one. After checking and rechecking, it seems to measure 12.5. Now, my tiny bit of knowledge of these tells me that a 12.5 perf of this stamp is rare, so I'm under no assumption that I found something special. The rare one is supposed to have a wine color, I believe. This is certainly not wine.
So, what do I have? All I know is that it's a 37. Am I at least correct on that? And I see now that my image didn't load. I struggle with this a LOT on the forum. Please bear with me.
And when I try again to add the image, I get an error message telling me that I've added a duplicate image. What the heck? So frustrating.
The perf holes are irregular along the top edge in the example you show. The holes appear smaller at the top right, and larger at the top left. If you look at the top left, you will see the holes are actually a little to the left of the hole marks on your gauge.
Given that, I'm not fully convinced you have a perf 12½. Sorry to doubt -- but my personal practice is to doubt I have the rarity and force myself to provide convincing proof. High premium stamps can be found, but 99% of the time it ends up being the common variety upon closer examination (at least that's my experience).
Your pic is at a slight angle, so I cannot do the flip rotate perf test accurately.
Because the perf hole sizes along the top are not regular, I would suggest you do one or more of the following:
-- line the perfs up against the perf 12 stamp you have (check the other sides, not the top side; line up opposite sides, not just same side, and convince yourself the perfs vary by ½ gauge) -- when measure perfs for which hole size is not consistent, I prefer lining up the teeth of the stamp to cover up the "black holes" on the gauge, rather than trying to line up to "holes" to the "holes on the gauge"; the teeth should completely cover the black holes on the gauge when lined up properly
I did a "rough" count based on the width of your gauge, and I count much closer to 12 holes per 20mm rather than 12½ holes per 20mm. But then again, it's hard to do that accurately with the slight angle of your pic. When in doubt, disregard the perf gauge and simply count how many holes in 20mm using an accurate ruler. If you cannot consistently see a "clear half hole" at the 20mm mark while you shift the ruler around, and see this consistently on all 4 sides, then you have the perf 12. This method disregards perf hole size, and accounts for uneven paper shrinkage.
Hope you do indeed have a 12½, and I see you are already skeptical -- continue to work extra hard to convince yourself you have a 12½ before you send it off for certification.
On a side note, always check your entire gauge to make sure there are no manufacturing anomalies. It's been my experience that ~20% of the gauges I've seen/owned have an inaccuracy somewhere. I've known fellow collectors to replace their gauges after I challenged them to thoroughly test the accuracy of the gauge they were using. A common mistake is for collectors to assume if the gauge is accurate for one perforation, or for one part of the ruler, then the gauge is completely OK. I've seen gauges with rulers OK except for one very small part where that "mm" was actually a little smaller than a normal "mm" but made up elsewhere with a mark slightly larger then a normal "mm" -- obviously something shifted during the printing process. The entire ruler length was accurate, but a few of the marks were not. I was confused by why I was getting strange measurements when I was using that section of the ruler. This is why I always check the accuracy of any new ruler/gauge by shifting the by 1 and 2 cm to make sure every guide mark lines up. I'm not the only one who has run into a "bad ruler".
I've also encountered perforation gauges which were not calibrated properly to 2cm, or had parts correct at 2cm but other parts slight wider/narrower than 2cm. This is not an unusual flaw in perf gauges, because the manufacturer doesn't sit there and verify the accuracy of each gauge.
I've never used an electronic gauge. So I can't comment on that.
Although I don't use one, automated software measurements are probably most accurate (well, as accurate as your scanner calibration -- I have run into one scanner which was slightly misaligned so that everything was scanned at a very slight but perceivable angle).
In fact, because of my deteriorating eyesight, I now often manually make my measurements off of scanned stamp images. I use a scan of my Sonic Labs gauge as a template. The Sonic Labs gauge has about everything that a US (and most WW collectors) would need. Kiusalas portion on that gauge covers US stamps but not the Canadian varieties. If you want to go deeply into specializing with the Canadian small queens, you would want to separately get the Canadian version of the Kiusalas Gauge anyway.
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