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Colors Of Us Classic Stamps Under UV Light

 
 
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Pillar Of The Community

Germany
1303 Posts
Posted 09/21/2019   10:08 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add stamperix to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hello,

I wonder why there is no information about the color of US classic stamps under UV light in the Scott catalogue. Is there another source for this? The UV light can be very useful for color determination (in Michel Germany there are many examples). PSE made a small book to show it as well (Philatelic Book of Secrets), but it's only for a few stamps and it's more like a service to the readers than research.

So has there never been any research (articles) about the US inks under UV light and maybe some list of examples?

I just saw, for example, the "orange carmine" of Scott 324 in the catalogue and wondered if this could be a good example to see differences under UV (like there is, from the source above, for the 2c 1894/99 stamp colors). Another example would be the 2c Washington coil carmine lake vs. carmine. But this is not only about one stamp but more a general question.

The Philatelic Foundation uses UV light as well for sure for some rare colors, I suppose, but where is the information source for the "UV colors"?

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Valued Member
United States
278 Posts
Posted 09/21/2019   5:03 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add m and m to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
if I understand the use of a uv lamp correctly it will show florescence. it will show up some types of alterations and repairs and also bring up lightened or erased cancels. as far as I am aware it is not normally used to discern color. also the uv strength and age of its lamp would play a part and I suspect not all would be equal.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
6094 Posts
Posted 09/21/2019   5:10 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It is used to know J22-J28 from the brown/red brown shades; the clarets fluoresce and the others do not.
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Pillar Of The Community
Germany
1303 Posts
Posted 09/22/2019   06:19 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stamperix to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you. Indeed, this is not only to look for repairs but also determine colors. In Australia (KGV) or Germany for example, many rare colors have distinctive UV colors, and this is not an exception but nearly a rule for some issues and colors that the UV color is important. So I wondered why in US classic this is not only rarely but actually never the case that an UV color is given in the catalogue. As I can't imagine that nobody ever looked at colors under UV there must have been any research, so I asked.

Thank you revcollector for the first examples - does the PF use UV color to determine any colors and so there must be a "UV color catalogue" somehow?

I think it would be very useful to publish it as the PSE did as the PSE list does not seem to be correct all in all and more like a spontaneous idea of the authors.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
6094 Posts
Posted 09/22/2019   09:25 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The only other example of "color" that the UV is good for telling in US that I am aware of is the violet/green/intermediate papers on the first proprietary revenue issue. UV makes it easy to tell the intermediate papers are really violet even when the naked eye thinks they might be green.
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Valued Member
Learn More...
268 Posts
Posted 09/22/2019   10:59 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add StateRevs to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
UV makes it easy to tell the intermediate papers are really violet even when the naked eye thinks they might be green.


Revcollector: can you expand on the specifics? That is a neat trick! Short or Long wave? What should we see and which ones do what?

Thanks in advance!
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1255 Posts
Posted 09/23/2019   12:51 am  Show Profile Check cfrphoto's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add cfrphoto to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Scott vermilion postage due stamps, J29 and J30 should fluoresce under longwave UV light. Hard paper in the Bank Note series is bright under longwave UV light while soft paper looks "dead". It is said that strong longwave UV light will bring out the blue color in pink or rose pink stamps of the 1861 issue. One of the volumes in the Professional Stamp Experts Book of Philatelic Secrets describes the type of high intensity UV lamp used by PSE. As I recall the article is in volume 2.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
6094 Posts
Posted 09/23/2019   07:15 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I believe it's long wave, not the type for the modern coils. The UV intensifies the natural shade of the paper, so the green is REALLY green and the violet and intermediate are clearly violet.
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Pillar Of The Community
Germany
1303 Posts
Posted 09/23/2019   12:43 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stamperix to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you both. I will check some 3c 1861 stamps. In any case, UV light is a very useful tool to determine color in other countries, and it's a bit unfortunate that it does not to be used in the USA for classic stamps - even not by PF or PSE.

The book of PSE I mentioned above have many examples of Pantone colors, but only UV colors for the 2c 1894/99 stamps. So the 3c 1851 or 1861 have their text and table there, but no UV information. If we look at how many color threads we have at SCF (also recently) it should be obvious that the UV color can be of some use. As some colors are in normal light sometimes very similar, but very different under UV light.

So this thread could perhaps be a start for everyone who wants to participate and share his information.
Interesting stamps would be, as mentioned, 3c 1851 and 1861, but also 1c 1861 and 30c #830 and $1 #832 or my example of #324 and the 2c carmine lake coils. And all this not only as an effect of how the paper has fluorescence but also the ink, and here not only if it has fluorescence, but in which color his reaction is.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1255 Posts
Posted 09/23/2019   5:28 pm  Show Profile Check cfrphoto's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add cfrphoto to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
PSE and PSAG have professional quality longwave UV lights that can be used in connection with color determination. For awhile, PSE was using longwave UV to identify 634b and other Fourth Bureau carmine lake varieties. In retrospect, careful comparison with a color reference might have have produced better results. For some colors there is no substitute for a good reference.
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Edited by cfrphoto - 09/23/2019 5:36 pm
Valued Member
United States
105 Posts
Posted 09/24/2019   4:28 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mstocky2 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I focus on mainly more modern stamps were I use LW UV all the time to look for ink varieties. I have found many Scott unlisted varieties this way. Reds, yellow and orange inks are the one most likely to have fluorescent varieties. Some greens and browns do as well.

I have a large number of 220 type issues so I did a quick look by dumping the pile under my UV light. It was pretty clear there was at least three different ink varieties from my quick look. For these and same colors in 1894/95 Bureau issues, LW UV can prove quick successful in doing a first order separation. What I found is on one end of the spectrum the ink was bright orange / highly fluorescent and on the other end dark orange / non- fluorescent. There was at least one variety in the middle that was somewhat fluorescent appearing a light orange. Based on this I expect that LW UV could work well for other issues as well.
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