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Jamaican Philatelic Mystery

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Posted 06/23/2022   05:39 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My father spent his entire career at Kodak in the dyes and chemicals division. In the 1970s, Kodak was being asked to produce a dye which would not fade from several of the largest textile mills serving the automobile industry. The reason was that as the price of autos increased, the banking industry was being asked to issue auto loans going out 5-7 years and if the paint and interior colors did not stay vibrant people were getting angry at making payments on a car which was starting to fade and look bad. While there was a small bit of room for improving the dyes fastness, I recall my father on a phone conference where Kodak chemists and researchers made the point that even pure color pigments change over a 5-7 year time period.

As a person who has ever spent five figures on painting an antique auto can tell you, there is no way to match the actual color of a car when it first came off the production line. You are spending big bucks to basically 'come as close as you can get'. If you have a car that is 5 years old and you need just a fender repainted, the original paint formula will not match the color of the car as it is now.

The point is that paint, dyes, or inks (and the pigments that form the colors) are ephemeral. They begin to change as soon as they are exposed to environmental conditions. If 100 years ago we took a sheet of 100 stamps, given 100 people here one of those stamps and had them carefully store them, the variance in the colors/hues today would be significant. We would have some folks (including catalog publishers and dealers) who want call some of the stamp from that same sheet as color varieties (a cynical person would say there is obviously financial motivation to that).

There most certainly were chemical (ink) changes that occurred in stamp printing processes. Perhaps the workers substituted an ink, used a different ink supplier, or did not do a good job cleaning the presses between runs. But trying to ID these subtle ink changes after decades of environmental impact takes years of study, a stamp reference library of significant size, and a highly defined and controlled ambient lighting configuration. This would get you to the point of being able make much better guesses at a stamp's original color but still leave plenty of room for mistakes.

Adding a layer of technology over this, such as scanning a stamp, saving an image file, and then viewing that image file on thousands of different devices is the definition of titling at windmills. But hey, hobbyists keep buying catalogs and paying good money for stamp color 'varieties'.
Don
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Posted 06/23/2022   09:40 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add KGVIStamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
What many people don't seem to realize about color shades in reference to stamps is that most of them occurred due to multiple printings which were the result of stamps having been initially printed and then when the supply ran low an order for an additional printing was made. I am speaking of stamps produced for the British Colonies from 1900 to the mid-1950's which is an area I have studied.

The printer would mix the color of the ink as to the specifications and apply it to whatever paper they were given for use. In many cases the colors were approximately the same, but in other cases due to material shortages they were not.

The British Colony stamps as well as others tend to be interesting to collect due to these variations. A good example is the Yellow papers used in the production of the King George V stamps from 1912 to 1920. These stamps can be found on ten different colored papers (but not all from the same Colony). These papers were sourced from different suppliers. The intent was just to print the stamps on Yellow paper, but the first supplier closed in 1913 which resulted in the use of other suppliers or methods like the surface colored (white back) issues. The net result is that there are various collectable paper color shades which are real and are catalogued - if you care to collect them. I am posting my Cayman Islands yellow paper ID chart to show the ones that are cataloged for that country. Notice there is also color variation in the purple inks used, but the paper colors tend to be what is used to identify them.

Similar things happened to the inks used that caused supply issues when various dyes were not available, or could not be properly matched. If you look at the listings in the Stanley Gibbons Catalogue, you will see that they describe the initial printing of a stamp. If there are color shades listed they are because they were found in later printings and were different enough to have been listed. I know of no color shade that was listed because it was a subtle variation on the same sheet of stamps. There were some that resulted from printings the next day, like the Ascension posting I made earlier; but they are very unusual.

So if you don't want to collect color shades, you don't need to do so; but they are real and not just a figment of someone's imagination or an attempt to fleece unsuspecting collectors. They are just part of the history of stamp production.

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Posted 06/23/2022   09:52 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
In my opinion (and as I stated) there were indeed printing ink color/hue variations, that is not the issue.

The issue is that ink colors are ephemeral and subjective; this is a fact. As such, visual ID of the inks today is NOT something that a typical collector can determine. And one day we will have non-destructive analytical nuclear testing which will be the only definitive method for actually determining ink chemistries.

But enticing collectors to ID varieties without extensive color theory study, without a significant color reference collection, and without defined and controlled ambient lighting is dicey. Adding a technology layer on top of this makes it even more dicey.

Folks can decide for themselves if dealers and catalogs publishers financially benefit from encouraging 'color collecting'.
Don
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Posted 06/24/2022   09:36 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add KGVIStamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Luckily, we don't all have to accept the facts as they are presented by people who can't figure things out for themselves.
There are more factors involved than just color - paper, gum, perforations all come into focus.
So collect what you want and if color shades aren't your thing that is okay. But at least understand what you are talking about before trying to convince others that they are impossible to determine.
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Posted 06/24/2022   10:12 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add KGVIStamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Here is another example of why not just colors come into play when identifying the various catalog print listings - the King George VI Bermuda 12/6 values. The descriptions in the catalog suggest that it is just color that is used to evaluate them, but there are really more factors needed to do a proper determination. These include the paper and gum, the perforations, whether they have chalk or substitute (ordinary) paper coatings, and for the Lemon-Yellow shade (SG 120d) which is even listed in Scott(127b) - UV light.
Identifying these stamps properly starts with sorting them by perforation into the two choices, and then evaluating the paper and gum and finally the colors. Although color pigments can change over time, if you look at them in comparison to other stamps from the time period, you can still see relative differences. These variations were identified as the stamps were released in the late 1930's thru early 1950's and can still be seen today. Naturally you should always exclude stamps that have not been stored properly from this analysis.
Shown below is an ID chart that I put together to show how to identify these stamps. This image had to be compressed to fit this site. It is really double the size. I have this in the larger size and for all of the King George VI Bermuda high value issues. If you want some of these charts visit my website and send me an email. I will send them to you.
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Posted 06/24/2022   11:33 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Luckily, we don't all have to accept the facts as they are presented by people who can't figure things out for themselves.
There are more factors involved than just color - paper, gum, perforations all come into focus.
So collect what you want and if color shades aren't your thing that is okay. But at least understand what you are talking about before trying to convince others that they are impossible to determine.


KGVIStamps,
I have not accused you of being clueless or insulted you. If you continue down that path, you will find your account here locked and you can find some other forum to participate in.

I stated my opinion because this thread had people trying to ID subtle color by using images. This is not about whether or not someone collects color varieties, folks can collect whatever they desire and I have always supported that.

This is about education. Unlike all the other definitive identification variables you mention (i.e. perforations, paper etc.) colors are 100% subjective. People need to understand things like how humans see colors and how seeing color is a function of ambient light waves reflecting of the surface of a stamp. They need to understand that colors change over time. They need to understand what it actually takes to become proficient even coming close to being to ID subtle stamp colors. And they certainly need to understand the short comings of digital imaging.

For example, this community has a huge issue with people using imaging filters when generating stamp images. At best and probably with good intentions, users will manipulate an image to make it 'match' what they see on THEIR monitor without understanding that everyone else is seeing something else.
We are not talking about being able to tell the difference between two hues like 'blue' and 'ultramarine', we have endless threads where folks are posting very subtle color deltas. There are also endless numbers of used stamps being shown, often with very obvious paper toning on one stamp, and people are trying to ID very tiny color differences.

So please feel free to help with educating folks on; the complexities of subjective sensory perceptions, the importance of ambient lighting, the importance of developing a large reference collection, how to develop a good color eye, how to account for the aging of the paper and inks, and how to post all the digital imaging details needed to avoid misleading everyone with filtered and compressed images.
Don
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Posted 06/24/2022   7:14 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add KGVIStamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
For anyone who is interested in actually learning more about British Colony stamps please feel free to join the Facebook Group - British Colonies Stamp Collectors. We have over 2,400 members and experts in many areas who will help you understand these complicated topics with enhanced images that clearly show these stamps including scans of top collections from all over the world.
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Posted 06/24/2022   10:07 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
If there are color shades listed they are because they were found in later printings


How was it determined that the variation was from this or that printing?
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Posted 06/25/2022   11:37 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add KGVIStamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The Stanley Gibbons Catalog lists dates with the stamp listings which are actually first use dates for the stamps. However, it also indicates that there were multiple printings because if there was only one printing there would not be multiple dates of first use. (Convoluted logic - but hopefully it makes sense.)
Gibbons tends to list the stamps in order of appearance, while Scott tends to list them in order of lowest price first.
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Edited by KGVIStamps - 06/25/2022 11:40 am
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Posted 07/01/2022   07:27 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add StampGuy64 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I received an 1883 4d red-brown(definite) the other day...

Note how Victoria has been rendered mute, and unable to speak.
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Posted 07/01/2022   12:49 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add billsey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Are you sure she doesn't just have a cigar sticking out the left side of her mouth, pointing directly at us? :)
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Posted 07/01/2022   6:34 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add StampGuy64 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The seller of the one on the right, the silent one, had it listed as a #10(brown-orange), of 1872, and for only $2. I knew better, and recognised it immediately, as a #22. All I wanted out of that one was its brick-red colour.

Then, one will only occasionally see a CDS on a Jamaican issue of the 1870s, like this one, and a late usage...

1873, 1d blue, postmarked in Cave Valley, St. Ann parish, although in the 1880s...
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