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Finding Watermarks Using Ronson Butane Fuel

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United States
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Posted 01/17/2021   5:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add jimp to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
A stamp dealer recently told me that I could use Ronson Butane Fuel to see watermarks. Has anyone done this and is it safe to use on both used and mint stamps without affecting color, gum or any other aspect of the stamp's appearance? If you have done this and are certain of the answer, please respond. Thanks.
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Posted 01/17/2021   5:44 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Stamp collectors have been using lighter fuel to help see watermarks for decades, without adverse consequences.
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United States
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Posted 01/17/2021   5:47 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Jr. Ratfish to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi and Welcome.
I have been using lighter fluid to identify watermarks forever. Butane I don't think will work, but I don't know. He probably meant Ronsonol lighter fluid.
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Posted 01/17/2021   6:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add StateRevs to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As far as I know, Ronsonol is safe for all US stamps, mint or used.

That said, I believe there are many European stamps you have to be very careful with as it will cause the ink to run.

I don't collect foreign, but remember seeing the warning numerous times.
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Posted 01/17/2021   6:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add redwoodrandy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Ronsonol lighter fluid is naptha used for watermark detection. Ronsonol butane fuel is not to be used on stamps.
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Posted 01/17/2021   6:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Ned's last words before the explosion and fireball were "It's vertical!!!"
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Edited by rogdcam - 01/17/2021 6:39 pm
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Posted 01/17/2021   7:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dlambert1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Butane is a gas, not a liquid; tough to use to find watermarks. Ronsonol is very good.
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Posted 01/17/2021   8:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dudley to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Just be sure to use it in a ventilated area.
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Posted 01/18/2021   01:55 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I witnessed a stamp expert (Randy Shoemaker)
use Ronsonal Lighter fluid on a possible $1,000,0000 stamp.

It was not the right grill, est value $50
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Spain
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Posted 01/18/2021   05:25 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Roberto59 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello.
I have always done it. I also use it to peel off adhesive stamps.
Regards.

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Posted 01/18/2021   06:06 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
sr - As far as I know, stamps with fugitive inks, such as the GB Jubilee series, run in contact with water, not Zippo.
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Posted 01/18/2021   08:54 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add danstamps54 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Welcome Jimp!

I've been using lighter fluid on stamps for decades without any problems. Do a search here for "Ronsonol" and you will find many threads on this issue.

Dan
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Posted 01/18/2021   10:58 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Andyrich74 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I recall reading somewhere that watermark fluid should not be used on chalky paper; anyone know anything about that?
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Posted 01/18/2021   12:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Pickastory to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Watermark fluids;
Not to many selections nowadays as the US has restricted so many chemicals from the public to use. Even spray paint can't be purchased from a unlocked cabinet at Home Depot.
Ronsonol is a type of dirty naphtha, which is the 'sweat' from gas lines transporting natural gas products.
As a contractor I would get Trichloroethylene (TCE) to several dealers as it is a much cleaner product.(made the trading better)
Warning;;; Very dangerous, Very flammable, used as Anesthetic, (Gotta keep your nose out of it!)
A really fast product used in deep well solvent vapor tanks (I worked in aerospace biz)
I haven't seen TCE available on the shelf in years.
All solvents have handling problems and safety issues.
(personally I don't use lighter fluids, too dirty)

Hi Rod;
Not all Ronsonol containers contain the same things, as the item was being used by a lot of smokers at the time. A product for watermark fluids
was usually in glass containers was a pain like Harco Fluids etc.., so the dealers would put fluids into the old Ronsonol containers as it had a removable top to be filled from 1 quart or gal of fluid and could be carried easily, I would fill the containers for them.
Ask Randy if he had Ronsonol in the container or? (might be trade secret)


PS/ After TCE became a more controlled product I did have a few guys that wanted Methyl Ethyl Ketone MEK was used for all kinds of industry and easy to get until the movie business ran into huge problems in Calif using the MEK to 'age' wood to look old for props, etc..., so after the EPA, AQMD, Costal Commission, health, unions, the product was controlled now.
(I hope I'm not rambling on this topic)

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Edited by Pickastory - 01/18/2021 2:20 pm
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Posted 01/18/2021   1:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Philatarium to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Do note that using watermark fluid on older used stamps with stamps that have colored cancels can fade or remove that cancel. (Speaking from experience.)
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Posted 01/18/2021   2:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Pickastory to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Phil....
I ruined 3 before the 'experience' light started flashing!
About $20.00 for tuition...even with TCE at the time some inks and colors were a great surprise. The solvents at the time for cancels was what was available at the time and poor quality, so a surprise here and there.
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