of the release of the Olympic plate,
ICBC announced that there was no intention to make
sample plates available to the public and, while
there has been some informal discussion about the
possible availability of souvenir plates (i.e. similar
in type to the “BC-0000” Flag Graphic
base that was issued throughout the 1990s, and is
still sometimes mistaken for a genuine Sample),
this has not been finalised.
the avowal by ICBC to not make sample plates available,
so called "samples", such as those shown
above, have been turning up. However, it is this
writer's opinion that "000-AAA" is not
a genuine sample plate but is, in fact, a manufacturers
specimen probably created to facilitate in selecting
the ultimate design of the plate.
to this conclusion was rather easy as "000-AAA"
was previously issued in June of 2001 on the Flag
Graphic base when the series was flipped following
the exhaustion of the AAA-000 series. Furthermore,
ICBC adopted a policy a couple of years ago to stamp
sample plates with, surprisingly, the word "SAMPLE".
This way, there could be no confusing sample or
souvenir plates with the genuine article (a concern
for ICBC in other jurisdictions). It was this decision
that lead to the phasing out of the old souvenir
plates stamped "BC-0000" in 2003. Finally
(and this is a dead give away), in May 2007 the
web site for the German parent company of Waldale
Manufacturing Ltd (UTSCH AG) chose to promote its
participation in the Olympics by showcasing the
work it was doing on the plates - using a couple
of plates stamped with the "000-AAA" serial.