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What is watermark fluid?  
 

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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1503 Posts
Posted 08/10/2010   8:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add bfranton to your friends list  Get a Link to this Message
OKWatermark fluid....

And how does it work? And where do you get it? It's about the only "supply" I haven't found. Do you need black light too?

If you use watermark fluid, doesn't it wreck the gum? How do you check OLD stamps on hinges without ruining the hinge or stamp.

I have been looking at watermarks on the envelopes of some of my embossed, and you can see it in the paper. Haven't tried to look for something on a stamp.

On Modern stamps that are "Tagged" is this how you find it?
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
6357 Posts
Posted 08/10/2010   8:20 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add khj to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Watermark fluid...


Quote:
On Modern stamps that are "Tagged" is this how you find it?

No, you will need a short wavelength UV light source.


Quote:
I have been looking at watermarks on the envelopes of some of my embossed, and you can see it in the paper. Haven't tried to look for something on a stamp.


I would say the majority of watermarks can be determined by simply holding the stamp up to a light and looking at the back of the stamp, or simply putting the stamp face down on a black surface. However, some watermarks, such as the US watermarks and some of the more recent British Commonwealth watermarks, are difficult to detect without using watermark fluid.


Quote:
And how does it work? And where do you get it? It's about the only "supply" I haven't found. Do you need black light too?

You do not need a UV lamp. You will need a shallow black tray, that can be purchased along with the watermark fluid. Put the stamp face down in the tray, and pour fluid into the tray until the stamp is either well wetted (or completely immerse stamp if watermark is difficult to see). Once the stamp is wetted, you should be able to see the watermark pretty clearly.

Purchase watermark fluid from a stamp dealer. Some old-fashioned collectors still use lighter fluid. Yeah, it does the same trick. Of course, they often also smoke around their stamps, too!

The watermark/lighter fluid will evaporate pretty quickly when your remove the stamp from the tray. It only takes about 15-30s for the stamp to dry. Meanwhile, I would pour any excess fluid back into the container. Watermark fluid is not that cheap and evaporates very fast. I would strongly recommended accumulated a several stamps that you have to ID the watermark, before actually pouring the fluid. Then again, I'm sort of a tight-wad.


Quote:
If you use watermark fluid, doesn't it wreck the gum?

No it does not. It contains no water.


Quote:
How do you check OLD stamps on hinges without ruining the hinge or stamp.

You will not ruin the hinge with watermark fluid. However, if the hinge happens to cover up some essential part of the watermark, you may not be able to see it clearly. In that case, you will have to remove the hinge first.

There's a good article in Linn's Refresher Course on using watermark fluid. I will try to find the link.

k


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United States
398 Posts
Posted 08/10/2010   8:20 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ldhaber to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Watermarks are impressions made in the paper used for stamps whilst the paper is not yet fully dried out.

You are able to see the watermark when the stamp is immersed in a liquid. There is though a problem in that if you were to use water, the adhesive being water-soluble, the gum would be ruined.

So, rather than using water, a non-acqueous type of fluid is used, usually a petroleum derivative. You could use lighter fluid as a water mark detector, as some do, but that has some issues. Like it burns and is not safe to breathe.

Many would recommend Clarity (that's a brand name). I have used it, it is a little expensive but it is quite good and does not harm the stamps or the gum. It also is a volatile liquid that will evaporate quickly allowing the stamp to dry out. In addition to the liquid, you need a tray, typically black to use with the liquid.

It is very difficult to see a watermark if the watermark is obscured by a hinge. Because the hinge prevents the stamp from getting wet from the watermark detector in that area.

You could also see the watermark by looking for the shadow of the watermark as you are doing with the envelops, But stamps being very small and the watermark being smaller and sometimes quite difficult to spot, such as for the single line USPS watermarks, you need help and hence the use of the fluid.

Tagging refers usually to phosphorus or florescent tagging that uses UV light to tag a stamp for sorting purposes. Quite separate from watermarks which was develop to prevent forgery.
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Posted 08/10/2010   8:25 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revstampman to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Most stamp dealers that sell supplies will carry it. You can also mail order it. If you Can't find it locally try Subway Stamp Shop in Altoona, Pa. In a pinch you can use Rossignol Lighter Fluid. Just be careful it IS slightly more flammable and does not evaporate as quickly. Therefore it is a little more dangerous.
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Posted 08/10/2010   8:25 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add khj to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
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Posted 08/10/2010   9:57 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Edwin to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
good question, as I knew of them, and what they were, but not the details. so if you have no gum on your stamps do you need to still use this fluid?

khj, thanks for the link I sure like that MULTI-GAUGE on that article I don't have one yet, would you guys suggest that one? or another...
I have not quite gotten to the point of researching what multi gauge I would buy, or if there even is a golden egg gauge.

Ed
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Posted 08/10/2010   10:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add khj to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
would you guys suggest that one? or another...

There are 2 perforation gauges that I use. The Linn's Multi-Gauge and Sonic Imagery Labs' Precision US Specialty Multi-Gauge. There are trade-offs to each. I normally use the Sonic Labs' gauge unless it is inconvenient -- then I switch to the Linn's gauge.

The Linn's gauge is suitable for most needs. The more expensive and bulkier Sonic Labs' gauge has a lot of bells and whistles for the specialist in US stamps -- and it turns out extremely useful for finalizing the ID of some world-wide stamps as well!

k
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Posted 08/10/2010   10:49 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Edwin to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
thanks I'll look for those
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Posted 08/11/2010   11:40 am  Show Profile Check Battlestamps's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Battlestamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I prefer the Ronsonol myself. It's so much cheaper and long as the area is ventilated and no open flames you should be fine. Beats what collector's use to use: Benzene
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United States
576 Posts
Posted 08/12/2010   7:19 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add cgrotha to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I also am a converted (from watermark detector fluid) Ronsonol user and am happy with it with the exception of the longer evaporation time. But, the availability and cost outweighs the the downside for me.
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Posted 08/25/2010   05:06 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add freebird to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"Clarity" Watermark Fluid allows collectors to safely inspect watermarks and repairs on stamps. The formulation contains no solvents, no CFC's, no HCFC's and will not affect inks and adhesives on the stamp. The materials are non/flammable, non-toxic, and non-hazardous which makes clarity safe to use at home.
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Posted 08/25/2010   11:13 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Curt to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Benzene is a known carcinogen. Use a GOOD mask.
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Posted 08/25/2010   11:33 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add khj to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Benzene is a known carcinogen. Use a GOOD mask.

Better yet, don't use Benzene; or else you may end up using a mask for the rest of your life.
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1946 Posts
Posted 08/26/2010   11:27 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rohumpy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Absolutely, Don't Use Benzene. It is a really nasty substance.
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Pillar Of The Community
750 Posts
Posted 08/26/2010   10:11 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Edwin to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply


Employers must label containers of benzene, except for pipes, located in the workplace. The labels must comply with the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.1200(f) and, in addition, must read as follows: "Danger: Contains Benzene-Cancer hazard."
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Posted 06/30/2013   11:13 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jogil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Some had trichloroethane and others had trichlorotrifluoroethane, but it appears that these have been replaced with a new substitute.
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