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85B & 86 Posted Due To Relatively Clear Grill Illustrations To Compare Z & E Grills

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Posted 06/30/2022   12:17 am  Show Profile Check rlsny's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add rlsny to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I will take it down. But I would like some detail of what it is you are seeing. Thanks.
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Posted 06/30/2022   08:24 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Looking forward to Winston's comments.

Always amazed at the number of higher value classic stamps offered on eBay without certs.
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Posted 06/30/2022   10:16 am  Show Profile Check rlsny's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add rlsny to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If I certed every high value stamp in the Langs lots it would cost a fortune. But I am in the process of certing the more challenging items. I just got back a bunch of Scott 64s (pinks) and 70b stamps (steel blues) figuring no one will buy without one. But I'd like to understand this issue because I'm generally confident on grills. I'm wondering if the cancel is the clue.
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Posted 06/30/2022   10:38 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The shape of the points is funny, but I would have to see it in person to have an opinion on whether it is genuine or not. But the scan does send up red flags.
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Posted 06/30/2022   1:41 pm  Show Profile Check sinclair2010's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add sinclair2010 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Parcelpostguy, Yes, that is the one I was referring to.

I am willing to discuss and that is probably fair but the onus of proving genuineness rests on the seller. Rlsny, using what you know about the Z-grill, state your case for why this stamp is an 85b.
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Posted 06/30/2022   3:44 pm  Show Profile Check rlsny's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add rlsny to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
That's fair. And this grill isn't as clear as others partly due to the hinge remnant/glue. Here's what I can say. Often with the Z grill there are 12 columns of horizontal grill points and two columns on the ends that are sometimes described as "half" grill points with the ridges vertical. On this stamp the horizontal ridges appear to have been carboned but it is much harder to see the full grill shape. I do think I see a few grill points with the expected shapes. The two columns on the end do appear thin and that supports Z but I can't say that is definitive. The grill points are well lined up. But as I said this one is not as clear as others. If there is something suspicious you are seeing I'd like to understand what that is. One option would be for me to soak off the hinge glue and see if anything more is revealed. Also, I know you Sinclair and if you think it's fake that is a very strong message to me. If there is some doubt I'll just take it down and include it in my next PF submission. I was planning to submit some of these anyway.
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Posted 07/01/2022   11:49 am  Show Profile Check rlsny's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add rlsny to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I've been staring at this stamp for a couple days now and as indicated above I'm not as confident on this one as on most grills. Also, frankly, sinclair is usually right. So I figure better safe than sorry and I've removed from eBay. I'm still interested though in what made him say it was a fake grill. If he is sure, I won't bother to send it into the pf along with a bunch of others. As I mentioned I still have a several others marked as 85B besides the ones listed, so it's going to be an expensive PF run. But what can you do - no one has bought any of them and hopefully a cert will help.
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Posted 07/01/2022   7:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add essayk to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
rlsny said:

Quote:
so it's going to be an expensive PF run. But what can you do - no one has bought any of them and hopefully a cert will help.


Before you start putting money out there, let's take a close look at what you have going in this thread. I used to certify grills for PSE 30 years ago.

Here are the three stamps shown above belonging to (left to right) parcelpostguy, rlsny, and jleb1979.


All three appear to have horizontal grill ridges on the points in the main. Counting the points gives an interesting result however. Let's take a closer look just at the grill areas of these three (same order):




The grill on the right gives a nice clear view of the horizontal ridges for the main array of points, with vertical ridges in the column on the right. In counting points, the "half points" do not count, so we do not count the column on right. This leaves us with an array of fourteen columns of 17 points each, i.e. a 14x17 array. That nicely conforms to the catalog standard.

The grill on the left also shows an array of horizontal ridge points bounded on the right by a column of vertical ridge "half points." However, there also seems to be a column of vertical ridge "half points bounding the array on the left. It does sometimes happen that grills are bounded on two sides, but the points of the left column are not so clearly detailed as to be sure of what we are seeing in this case. That matters, because when we start at the right and count columns to the left applying the same rule for half points as before, we find that the array measures 13 across (plus the ambiguous 14th at the far left) by 18 rows high. That is within range for a Z-grill, and APEX thought so too and gave it a cert. I would probably want to give that left side a REALLY close look, but will assume they did and hence the cert.

But now we get to the stamp in the middle. I wish it had been held with the tongs positioned a bit lower. They interfere at a rather critical bit of real estate. On the other two stamps the rows and column were rather easy to distinguish, but on this one the rows of "points" are easy to distinguish, but the columns not so much. All the points appear to have horizontal ridges, and I do not see any good examples of vertical ridges at either the right or left border. There is no row in which the points are easily distinguished all the way across, but by avreaging the overall separation, there is a limit of 14. However, when counting columns there is a problem, and not just due to the gum residue after hinging. Starting at the bottom I can count five rows to the beginning of the gum, and another six rows above that clearly, with maybe one more row above that. But then the rows disappear even though the gum residue becomes more uniform. If all the gum were soaked off, as it should be, it does not appear to me that any more rows of points would be observed. At best this stamp appears to show 11 or 12 rows of points vertically in its present state. And the rows do not show the kind of column division we see in the other two examples, nor are the vertical ridges we saw in them visible with that clarity on this stamp.

With its gum still in place I would not certify this stamp as an 85B, and do not expect that to change when the hinging residue is removed. Apart from wishful thinking it just doesn't have enough of the right things going for it.


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Posted 07/01/2022   7:45 pm  Show Profile Check rlsny's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add rlsny to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I soaked off the glue and there does appear to be the right number of rows. But it is true that there is no sign of a vertical ridge on the edges. If you look at the grill point where the arrow is there is a just about perfect horizontal ridge there. That is you can see the typical grill shape clearly. Points on the right side also look like typical horizontal grill points. So 14 horizontal points, 18 rows.
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Posted 07/01/2022   8:34 pm  Show Profile Check sinclair2010's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add sinclair2010 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
rlsny,

Thank you for taking the time to soak the hinge remnants and re-imaging the stamp. There are some hints of what you might expect on a genuine grill that are showing up but not enough to completely change my mind. Certainly enough to breathe some life into the stamp though. Z-grill impressions are typically strong, and frankly, unmistakable when you know what to look for. Everyone looks for the horizontal dashes on Z-grills, therefore a fake grill that provides those horizontal dashes may be good enough to fool many people. Genuine grills, from A to Z, have several observable characteristics, so long as the impressions are strong enough. Your stamp, at least according to the image, only exhibits the one classic characteristic of horizontal ridges. While your stamp does appear to have the correct number of horizontal rows and maybe even vertical rows, that is also a very easy thing to fake.

It matters quite a bit how images of grills are collected. I will post some instructions and a request for yet another image of the stamp. Stay tuned.
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Posted 07/01/2022   8:56 pm  Show Profile Check sinclair2010's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add sinclair2010 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The best way to image grills is with a camera using ONLY oblique lighting. Don't shine the light coming in from the top or the side. My standard method is to shen the light from the NW to the SE, diagonally across the stamp. It removes the confusion of what is a point and what is a trough between points. Grills look just plain weird if not imaged properly. Here is a photo of an 85b that I just took with my crappy cell phone. This is what a Z-grill should look like. The others posted before are also good looking examples of Z-grills.

rlsny, could you please try to take a photo using the above desribed method?

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Edited by sinclair2010 - 07/01/2022 8:58 pm
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Posted 07/01/2022   10:41 pm  Show Profile Check rlsny's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add rlsny to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
That's not a lot different from my usual technique. But I tried a few angles and the NW to SE idea and this was the best one I was able to get.
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Posted 07/02/2022   10:09 am  Show Profile Check sinclair2010's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add sinclair2010 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The image still appears to be flooded with too much overhead light. The light should cross the stamp diagonally from a low angle. However, I am not as concerned about the genuineness of the grill as I was previously. The grill may be slightly pressed out and never really look like a perfect Z-grill impression...
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Posted 07/02/2022   12:02 pm  Show Profile Check rlsny's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add rlsny to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks. I didn't think about turning off the other lights in the room. Will do that next time. I'm going to be taking a very close look at all my potential Z grills after this. I still imagine I'll need to get certs but it is part of the territory. In other news, I'm finally moving beyond the Langs material and new inventory contains zero rarities. Frankly it's a bit of a relief.
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Posted 07/02/2022   12:20 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add essayk to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'm very glad you soaked off the gum, and shifted to corner oblique lighting. Now all the points are visible, and I can get a better sense for their separation. 14x18 without doubt, and all horizontal ridges. A column of vertical ridges at one side or the other is nice to see when you can, but it is not critical to the identification of a Z-grill. I have two certified 3c stamps which do not both show such a column. Your latest pic gives a much better view of the point separation into columns as well as rows. It is unfortunate that a better view of the points is not possible, inasmuch as they appear to be less pronounced one might wish, but as Winston suggested they may have been flattened prior to gumming (which was an intended part of the patented idea) or have become flattened by conditions over time. However, your red arrow points to one very clear example which looks pretty convincing.

Photos can only do so much, but at this point if you are still inclined to submit it to the PF I would encourage you to do so.
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