VERY FINE. THIS IS THE ONLY REPORTED MODERN OFFSET PLATE NUMBER IN COLLECTOR HANDS. THE OFFSET PLATE, 39079, IS OFFICIALLY REPORTED AS HAVING NO IMPRESSIONS. A PHENOMENAL RARITY.
The 50c thru $5.00 of this issue were printed on two different presses. One press used offset (lithography), and the other engraved plates. According to the Durland book, offset plates 39077, 39078 and 39079 were used by the sheet-fed Miller offset press to print, respectively, the yellow candle, the orange glow and the brown background. The sheets were then moved to the sheet-fed Giori press which printed the intaglio brown candle holder and lettering. The intaglio plates were numbered 39076, 39086, 39087 and 39088.
As a result of the foldover it is possible to see the distance between the offset plate numbers and the stamp's design (the yellow and orange plate nos. appeared above the brown and so were not captured on this multiple). Offset plate numbers are impossible to find because a large foldover such as the one offered here, which are easier for inspectors to detect, would have to occur in order for it to be captured.
Official records indicate that no impressions were made from 39077 (yellow) and 39079 (brown), and there are no impression data for 39078 (orange). Durland notes that the first day of issue was July 2, 1979, and since all other offset plates for this issue were sent to press after that date, it must be that these three were used to print the initial supply.
Illustrated and described in an article (as quoted above) in 1994 Durland catalogue (copy accompanies).