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The Wonderful World Of Colors

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Posted 02/16/2020   12:20 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add BakerJ to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Does anyone have a favorite "GO-TO" for determining the different shades of colors? Like on these different blues, I know it lists different shades for 63 and its A's, B's and so on. Some of the images I have seen do not seem to help.

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Posted 02/16/2020   12:22 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BakerJ to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As always, all input is appreciated. Thank you in advance.
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Posted 02/16/2020   02:52 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rgstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
http://goscf.com/t/47859

Some great color charts in this thread for scott 63, and good discussion
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Posted 02/16/2020   08:04 am  Show Profile Check sinclair2010's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add sinclair2010 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Collecting the shades of the 1c 1861 can be very satisfying, especially when you find one as fresh as the day it was printed.

If I have time over the next few days I will post some helpful images, sans the ultra-rare, perhaps impossible to find in an uncertified state, ultramarine.
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Posted 02/16/2020   11:18 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BakerJ to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Great link! Thanks for posting it. I looked over those pics from the link from that collection. I am not sure if it just me seeing things or not, but I believe I see a difference between the Ultramarine and the others. That difference isn't just the shade of blue either. It looks like there is a small hump in the shading of the "U" if you ask me. Your thoughts?



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Posted 02/16/2020   10:20 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Philazilla to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This is one of the main references of the PF on stamp colors: https://www.amazon.com/Encyclopedia...p/B00CIYIJP4 If you find a copy for less than $500, buy it.
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Posted 02/17/2020   01:05 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BakerJ to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
That copy is gone. I will have to go to the library tomorrow and see what they have. I know they used to have a lot of stamp related stuff there. Maybe They will have a copy of it.
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Posted 02/17/2020   02:53 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Stamp colors are all in your head. Colors are a sensation and are not a physical property of a stamp. Colors are no different than a smell or a touch. If I touched your arm, you would feel it but you would not think of the touch as a property of my finger. Instead you think of it as a sensation that's happening to you. When I touch your arm, the sensation you feel can vary depending on the condition of your skin and has little to do with my finger's physical property. For example, yesterday when I touched your arm it felt gentle but today when I touch your arm in the exact same way you find it painful because got sunburned this morning.

Yet somehow folks seem to think that a stamp has a physical property like blue or ultramarine. If colors were an intrinsic property of a stamp, then color matching would be easy and colors would be the same in all lighting conditions. But it is our senses that tells us what color a stamp is and that sensation will change under different lighting conditions. And of course no two people have the exact same sensations, no two people have the exact same lighting conditions.

If folks are sitting around in a room some people will think it is warm and some people will think it is cool. If you only talk to two people and they both happen to think that the room is warm, do we then conclude that the room is indeed warm? What if there are 10 people in the room and 6 think it warm and 4 think it cool. Can we then absolutely conclude that that room is warm based upon a simple majority? The people asking for a sweater certainly will not agree. This is the problem with sensations, they are 100% subjective. When we try to match stamp colors we are really trying to match sensations.
Don
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Posted 02/17/2020   05:54 am  Show Profile Check sinclair2010's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add sinclair2010 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I get it now! It is a sensational feeling! So if a tree falls in the woods and nobody is there to see it, no wait, sense it, it is colorless. Brilliant! Thank you, Don. Maybe I don't need to post any helpful images.
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Posted 02/17/2020   06:21 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stamperix to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Different opinions are ok. And should be part of a good discussion.

What will just always stay the same problem is: slightest differences of stamp colors, especially when they are rare and expensive, should never only be based on the pure perception. Nobody knows how the original color looked like, and if the stamp today is this original color, or if one or both colors have changed.

So the best way would be to describe and publish additional characteristics for the most interesting and expensive - and difficult - colors. If those can't be found then no real scientific approach to analyze colors (not their perception...) will be possble that will be accepted by everybody.

What would be those characteristics? Color under UV light, ink properties (thickness and so on), paper.

(by the way the last question of the OP was not about color)
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Edited by stamperix - 02/17/2020 06:28 am
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Posted 02/17/2020   10:34 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BakerJ to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Physical properties can be observed or measured without changing the composition of matter. Physical properties are used to observe and describe matter. Physical properties include: appearance, texture, color, odor, melting point, boiling point, density, solubility, polarity, and many others. The three states of matter are: solid, liquid, and gas. The melting point and boiling point are related to changes of the state of matter. All matter may exist in any of three physical states of matter.

So if color isn't a physical property, then why is it used to describe people places, and/or things? Why is it used in describing a stamp as Bic# 15000X to 15000Y?

I just wanted to know if there was a guide that people used. After going to that link that raised a new question about a hump I noticed in the shading under the "U" Doesn't matter what the color is, the fact remains that there is a hump in the shading or am I just seeing things?

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Edited by BakerJ - 02/17/2020 10:35 am
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Posted 02/17/2020   12:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Caper123 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Baker - FYI - from, a certed 63b Dark Blue




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Posted 02/17/2020   12:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add danstamps54 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Don is correct. Colors are "in our head." That is, they are subjective identifications of what we perceive. Our eyes, the environment in which we do the seeing and even the categories we use to name colors are different so we don't always agree on the colors we see.

It is a physical fact, however, that an object such as a stamp will reflect light of certain wavelengths. We sometimes refer to this physical property as 'color' too. This 'color' can be measured. Don is also correct that the methodology we typically use, scanning, color charts etc., won't do an accurate job of determining the 'color' of a stamp for the reasons Don has explained ad infinitum.

Can stamp 'color' be accurately determined? I would answer theoretically yes. It would involve a spectrophotometric analysis under controlled conditions of a statistically significant number of the stamp in question. It's unlikely that this methodology will catch on in philately but it has been tried.

A German study group has studied some DDR stamps. It's called "das Köpfe-Projekt" If you want to wade through some technical German and math, here is their website:

http://www.koepfe1.de/navigation/farben_fs.html

Click on the words [Allgemeine Einleitung] [Einleitung Farbforschung Köpfeserie] at the top of the page and let the fun begin!


Dan





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Experienced stamps need a home too. I'd rather have an example that is imperfect than no example.
I collect for enjoyment, not investment.
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Posted 02/17/2020   1:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BakerJ to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have no issues learning. I welcome any and all information. Now, if you go back to the original question, I never said about having this shade or that one. I never asked anyone to identify anything. I said I know it lists different ones. I don't care if they are pale blue, ultramarine, dark blue, deep blue. I don't even care if they are turd brown. I simply asked....Does anyone have a favorite "GO-TO" for determining the different shades of colors? After visiting a link that was shared, I noticed a hump on the shading of the "U" and asked about it and yet someone thinks they need to be a smart ass. That is ok. I appreciate humor. As far as what I said about Physical Properties, I copied that right out of a chemistry book just because. I am here to learn. I am here for help and guidance. When I ask something, I am usually specific about what I am asking.
So, all that said, if you know of a link or any reference material, great! Thank you for the link Dan. I will check it out.
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Posted 02/17/2020   2:22 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Dan,
I agree that there are objective things about color, the wavelengths that are being reflected are an obvious example. For folks who might want to read more about the objective nature of color, this MIT article covers it all pretty well (they admit that the article is a minority opinion among color scientists). https://web.mit.edu/abyrne/www/ColorRealism.html

But at the end of the day hobbyists have certain wavelengths bounce off the surface of a stamp, enter our eyes and are converted into signals that are sent to the visual cortex of our brains, and it is our brains which tell us what we are looking at. The dependency upon the reflected wavelengths (the ambient light) that is the largest factor in this equation, yet I rarely (if ever) have seen ambient light mention or reference in posts, articles, or books about stamp colors. Making matters even more far removed, we have added several layers of technology into the mix with the introduction of scanners, compressed file formats, and then viewing everything on different devices.

But those who have invested significant amounts of time doing discovery and research into stamp colors should not think that anyone is saying it is fruitless and/or worthless. The opposite is true, folks who have assembled reference examples, studied stamp colors and production details are critical in moving stamp color science forward. I think the primary issue here is that stamp color science requires far more time, effort, and money than the overwhelming majority of collectors will ever invest. In my opinion catalog publishers and those that came before us who decide it was a good idea to use stamp colors for identification clearly over looked this fact.

I have a high level of confidence that a person like Winston can accurately ID certain stamp colors, even those which sit on toned paper or are sulphurated. But I have near zero confidence in stamp image posted by a inexperience collector, using a consumer level scanner with Lord-know-what post scanned filters and file compression formats accurately showing a stamp's color. When I go to stamp clubs or visit this community, I find there are but a tiny handful of people like Winston who can intelligently discuss stamp colors. This is why I feel it important to raise 'color issues', explore them, and give folks an opportunity to learn more about colors in the world around us. There is a huge body of work on color science online that fits every level of understanding. I encourage those who are interested in stamp colors to investigate these resources.


BakerJ,
Hard copy color references (like the one mentioned above) all suffer from the same problem as stamps; inks and paper change over time. Even the best (i.e. most costly) hard copy references have a life expectancy of less than 10 years. You can read on up the life expectancy of color standards on website like Pantone. https://www.pantone.com/color-intel...me-and-money

Online color references have a dependency upon your computer, your ambient lighting, and your display monitor. In other words, results will absolutely vary from setup to setup.

There is some limited value in having single scans of multiple stamps (like you did above) since no matter how bad a monitor may be a user can make a relative comparison between the stamps.

Don
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Posted 02/17/2020   6:19 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dlambert1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Having spent some time in the gravure printing industry, I feel somewhat qualified to agree with 51Studebaker. Color, as seen by the human eye, is subjective and we were always cognizant of that and tried to minimize the variables, such as always comparing to an approved reference standard, always viewing under the same lighting conditions in a light box, and always using the same human to make the final call - the senior ink mixer, for example.

Our light box used lamps that attempted to replicate daylight. Viewing under incandescent lighting vs. fluorescent lighting always yields different results, for example. Even the lamps that were supposed to emulate daylight were inconsistent.

We also used a spectrophotometric system to assist in mixing the inks to the desired color, but this measured transmission wavelengths, not reflectance as perceived on a printed image. We tried to match intensity and hue as part of the process.

Once the approved ink is delivered to the press, however, the job is at the mercy, skill and attention level of the press operator who is expected to maintain the "correct" color at from 300-1000 feet per minute. Sometimes we wondered that we got anything right, the latter being the eye of the customer.

I have tried to speak only to the printing process, long before the problems added by scanners, printers, software algorithms, etc.

Color is truly in the eye and brain of the beholder.

Regards,
Donald
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