I struggle with color identification on some stamps - especially the 24c shade (Scott 70 and 78). I've seen the various scans showing the shades but comparing a stamp in hand to a screen image just doesn't work for me. I've gotten it wrong more than once. One day maybe I'll have a complete certified set of shades but that will not be for a long time.
I see there is a color extraction tool on Stamp Smarter. That intrigues me. Are there tables that define the correct colors for the various 24c shades in digital form? In other words if I use the extractor how can I use that information to help identify the shade or is the only reliable way to compare to a confirmed physical stamp?
You are not alone in your struggle with Scott 70 and 78. The problem is that the color of these stamps is extremely fugitive when exposed to light. In many cases their current shade is not their original shade. Scott 70b is frequently a problem stamp often submitted to Expert Committees. Many times the submitted item is a chemical changling and not a steel blue. In the early '80s Lou Grunin exhibited his 1861 collection and he had a patriotic cover with a 24˘ stamp in a brilliant shade of Violet (Scott 70c), I have seen nothing like it since and it probably does not look like that any more. I own 11 24˘ stamps and of that 11 there are probably 10 different shades including a Scott 78b that is truly gray and unlike any other 78b that I have seen. Scans and even White's book can only put you in the family, but they can not give you the exact shade. When it comes to the difference between Scott 70 and 78 I would start with the paper as the two issues do come on a different paper. The earlier issue tends to be on a thinner more translucent paper.
Rick, The color extractor tools works great...as long at you are trying to ID the computer colors of an image. The obvious problems are three fold; 1. Stamps in hand are not the same as stamp images. The color extractor tool IDs as many colors as the computer generated image and this may or may not be what the stamp in hand actually is. 2. There is no standard for color nomenclature. 3. All colors are ephemeral. No ink, dyes, or even pure pigments are inert, they ALL react with the environment and therefore they all change color over time.
There is limited value in talking about stamp colors if a person scans several stamps together since it is then relative (perhaps enough value to recommend sending the stamp in for a cert). But beyond that we are all wasting a fair amount of time discussing the colors of disparately sourced scanned images, being displayed on multiple monitors, and being viewed by many different sets of eyes.
In my opinion the only reliable way to determine colors is to have a substantial stamp color reference collection, appropriate ambient lighting, experience, and good eyesight. Don
Thanks. I had a feeling this would be the type of answer I'd get. I've been selling on a very small scale the last couple years and the only two returns I've had are misidentified 24s. My latest purchase has several. I'm doomed.