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Color Shades Of The 1851-57 3c Washington And H2o2

 
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Posted 09/20/2019   3:29 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi rodg,
Conservation is the act of preservation.
Don
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Posted 09/20/2019   3:34 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add txstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You make a good point - for the casual collector, most of this discussion does not concern you.

You should not be using H2O2.

This is a very esoteric discussion of the curious way that 3c 1851-57 colors are collected, and how it is centered very much around H2O2. Most people that collect this are very detailed and dedicated collectors who take the time to learn what they are doing.
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Posted 09/20/2019   4:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add txstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
also would say that those stamps which were originally discolored seemed to revert back quicker than similar stamps stored in the same environment.


I just want to highlight this statement that you made, as its obviously important.

I sense that you are likely correct about this, but, nevertheless, what is your basis for this statement?

If its really true, then, one wonders how long it takes a treated stamp to re-sulphurize? Presumably, its proportionate to the content of Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) in the atmosphere at a given spot and the ink chemistry of the stamp itself.

It certainly makes sense to me that based upon the chemical composition of some inks, that some could be more susceptible to this. Treating them, removes the SO2 but it then reappears at some rate.

The point here, is its not the H2O2 that has anything to do with this, but, rather, the chemical composition of the ink itself, and the surrounding environment. The H2O2 temporarily pretties it up.

I get your point, and its a very useful take.

I think we may have one example already, with philazilla's stamp, which pretty clearly went bad in less than 10 years, apparently.
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Posted 09/20/2019   5:25 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It was just my casual observation. Perhaps some stamp chemistries are more susceptible then others? I believe this is an electrochemical process, at a molecular level electrons are transferring. Perhaps some batches of ink have chemistries which facilitate this process more than others?
Don
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Posted 09/20/2019   6:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add txstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Right, and as I worked through my last post, things cleared up for me on this ..

If you live next to a sulphur mine and smoke 2 packs a day lighting the matches near your stamps, then after you move and quit smoking, treat your 3c stamp with H2O2 and you should get good longer term results.

If the key factor is ink chemistry then its the stamp, and it will re-sulphurize at the same rate it previously did given similar atmospheric conditions.
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Posted 09/20/2019   6:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Philazilla to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I wonder what the chemistry going on is with the H2O2. . . .I know H2O2 + SO2 = H2O + H2SO4 (balancing the equation aside). I presume we're creating a weak [sulphuric] acidic bath when we treat stamps with H2O2 which could cause damage. What is actually in the stamp that is reacting with H2O2? Maybe some form of Iron Sulfide?

BTW, this thread has been very helpful - thank you for the thoughtful replies!
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Posted 09/20/2019   6:28 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add txstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'm sure a real chemist (not me) can clarify.

Bill once abbreviated it to me as: H2O2 losing an oxygen atom, becoming water (H2O).
Then the evicted oxygen atom binds with another from the stamp forming O2.
That was as far as he got that day.
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Posted 09/20/2019   7:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add txstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Pure speculation only on my part but maybe only 1 O from SO2 bonds with the stamp initially, with SO going elsewhere.
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Posted 09/20/2019   8:44 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
What you're doing with this is oxidizing the sulfur component of a residue. Plain water is H2O (How do you do subscripts?). Hydrogen peroxide is H2O2 - same as water plus an extra oxygen atom, but chemically it's another animal entirely. When the peroxide breaks down, it generates oxygen and water. 2H2O2 -> 2H2O + O2. The O2 is elemental oxygen, and as the name suggests, it's one very good oxidizing agent. When pure oxygen meets up with sulphur, it oxidizes the sulphur - S + O2 -> SO2. The SO2 is a gas, and any excess O2 is a gas, and H2O is water. There's no reason to have to rinse a stamp after using hydrogen peroxide. It's essentially self-cleaning.
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Posted 09/20/2019   9:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add txstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Very good. Thanks for clearing that up.
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Posted 09/20/2019   9:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add txstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
There's no reason to have to rinse a stamp after using hydrogen peroxide. It's essentially self-cleaning.


So this segues well into the next obvious discussion.

So the H2O2 and Sulphur on the stamp essentially cancel each other out nicely.

The obvious question is, once the Sulphur is gone from the stamp but there is still excess H2O2 on the stamp, now what?

My understanding is that it acts as a bleach.
This is the reason to rinse with water to stop this reaction from ruining the stamp.

If all the H2O2 was used to eliminate the Sulphur, then I see how no water application step would be needed. But that is never the case, almost, thus I am claiming that it is very important to apply water to stop the bleaching.
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Edited by txstamp - 09/20/2019 9:42 pm
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Posted 09/20/2019   9:43 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Philazilla to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I put a junk #11 in H2O2. . .going to let it sit overnight and see what happens. . .
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Posted 09/20/2019   9:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add txstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I don't know how much H2O2 it takes (20% solution, etc) but at some point, I have heard stories of people ending up with a blank piece of paper where a stamp impression used to be.
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Posted 09/20/2019   10:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Philazilla to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The stamp has been soaking in 3% H2O2 for three hours now. It does not appear to be bleaching out yet.
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Posted 09/20/2019   10:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add sinclair2010 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This thread blew up fast.... A few comments...

Nice results on the bright OB, Philazilla! It may fair much better under the PF microscope if you submit it.

The use of the word shade to describe all manor of color varieties is ubiquitous among collectors, dealers, and experts alike. I do the same thing and am going to keep doing it and I think everybody else will to, well, 99% of us anyway. I probably won't be going to any color theory forums in the near future.

You can use the word restore while not really intending to invoke the full meaning of the word as it relates to the philatelic sin of "stamp restoration". Parsing ones words may score debate points but this isn't a debate forum either. In fact I used the word restore when talking about peroxide treatment just the other day. I may use the word just about as freely as I use the word shade. It is not some de facto admission or acknowledgement that peroxide treatment is "stamp restoration".

The primary colorant in the 3c stamps was iron oxide in the orange brown stamps and then changed to red lead at the end of 1851 and the '51 orange brown period. The EOB stamps from Plate 1L were apparently the first stamps to be printed with the new ink formulation.

The color of some 3c stamps can be a real challenge to preserve. An ounce of prevention is worth a tanker of peroxide.

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