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How To Check For A Grill While On A Cover?

 
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Posted 07/31/2020   11:05 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add BakerJ to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hi all! I am curious..... Is there a way to check a stamp for a grill while it is on a cover without removing the stamp? Like a 114 to see if it has a whole grill, split grill, or no grill. Or the difference between a 114 and a 125 while on cover. Or same with a 136 and a 147 on a cover.... I thank you in advance.
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Posted 08/01/2020   12:08 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
A couple of thoughts come to mind:
1. All your 3 cent locomotive stamps will be 114, period. Some may have a split or double grill, true.
2. Do not remove the stamps from the covers no matter how tempted you are. The value on-cover will (almost) always be more for the complete piece of postal history than any soaked-off stamp.

The best way I find to see grills is with side lighting at an extreme low angle. Consider this scan of a cover and its stamp with direct head-on lighting from a scanner. It shows very little grill detail:




Not a satisfactory view of the grill at all. But when viewed at a low angle with a bright light also at a low angle looking into the light like this ...


one can rotate the cover around to get the best shadow effect of the rows and columns of the grill. I did a set-up like this in a dark room:


And then can take a photo straight-on with the side-lighting at the best angle - in this case at about the 3:00 position.


And the grill shows up quite well - even when not professionally exposed for true color. Of course there is no need to try to photograph the grill, just that low angle light is your friend.
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Edited by John Becker - 08/01/2020 12:40 pm
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Posted 08/01/2020   08:27 am  Show Profile Check KRelyea's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add KRelyea to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Nice post John!
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Posted 08/01/2020   10:17 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BakerJ to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
WOW!!! Just WOW!!! That is awesome John Becker! Thank you very much! I really do appreciate it.
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Posted 08/01/2020   2:55 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add danstamps54 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Impressive technique, John!
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Experienced stamps need a home too. I'd rather have an example that is imperfect than no example.
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Posted 08/03/2020   1:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Casey Magoo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It also helps to have some tools in your box. A digital microscope, scanner and free photo software like GIMP can make missions like this fun and interesting. The same goes for watermarks which can be very hard to detect without some hi tech tricks.
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