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Member postings for Paul stirling

Here is a list of all the postings Paul stirling has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Ultra violet radiation of multiple crown Wilding definitives.
17/04/2020 10:28:38

morning Fred and thanks for this latest addition to your list of fluorescent papers - assume these are more instances of the paper manufacturers using whitening additives to the paper - with the resulting effect as per your images - such colours bring to mind the colours/names of an equally colourful sweet I remember called 'Opal Fruits'

Sorry to disappoint, but this area not particularly my forte - had I not owned a u.v. torch for viewing my uranium glass I dare say I would have remained in ignorance of the fluorescent colours on stamp paper, but am surprised others here haven't joined in with this thread, though I think there was another contributor much earlier on.

My interests tend to be more traditional regarding stamps, and are inclined more toward older issues - line engraved - various Commonwealth countries, and things that might catch my eye such as overprints and precancels - plus I'm only newly returned to stamps, so finding my way around still. I hear tell there's a 1 c. magenta with clipped corners to watch out for - it fetches a bob or two so I'm told. and there are vastly more recent Falklands values showing the wrong ship that's a real earner.

Seriously though, I do appreciate your expert knowledge when it comes to such matters as fluorescence and the whitening of stamp papers - just a shame that others here appear not to want to join in with your technical discussions.

Keep up the good work, and stay safe

13/04/2020 15:12:24

your joy at this particular aspect of collecting Fred, shows the vast diversity of interest available to those who collect stamps - I assume from the gist of what you're saying that these lemon and lime colours are the result of fluorescence when viewed under u.v. light, and that in daylight spectrum all the stamps in your picture appear similar in colour/shade, or do the examples you're drawing attention to also appear colourful in daylight?

I'd imagine the former in view of the topic of this thread - but whatever, very fruity colours - especially the lemon.

I can remember when the exchange rate was c. L1550/£1.surprise


You mention 'kilo ware' - in view of my low key interest in the decimal period (c. post 1970), and a perceived view that purchasing such vast quantities provides too many identical stamps of low value and mega repeats of common commemoratives, I've so far fought shy of such purchases. Might it be that such buys are more suited to those seeking Machin varieties and examples of phosphor abberations??

Edited By Paul stirling on 13/04/2020 15:13:22

12/04/2020 11:41:34

morning Fred - regret I'm not particularly good at the techie matters. Obviously these pix exist on my own pc picture library, along with zillions of other images, so can only assume that they arrived on my stamp photo 'album' directly from my own pc - perhaps

Think I've now corrected this issue - please look on my album and tell my if you can now see the two pix in question - if not I'll have another go at putting the matter right.

11/04/2020 19:07:47

thanks Fred - and yes, your information always of help. Shame that the Wilding aberration is contamination only, and not some valuable variationsad - but always worth checking with you, of course.

Bye for now.


11/04/2020 16:15:13
wilding green 1s.3d with possible phosphor anomaly.jpgreverse of wilding 1s.3d with fluorescent anomaly.jpgthanks for the 'connoisseurcatalogue' link Fred - will investigate in due course. Having looked at some of the related information in the general SG Great Britain 'Concise' catalogue, I do know that many definitive issues experienced changes in the course of a decade or two, though your comment "that you must be well aware" - is perhaps too optimistic in my case - I've only returned to stamps in the past few months
Coming back to our discussion regarding what appears to be an unusually marked 1/3d. Wilding green - this is a value from another group that was the subject of changes in paper, watermark, and shade plus the introduction of graphite lines and phosphor bands - so not an easy group for the beginner.
Despite my thinking that lighter fluid would be the answer as to which particular watermark I was looking at - I've tried and failed - and can't be sure which crown I'm seeing etc., plus the fact that on a hot day inhaling fumes from such a solvent isn't to be recommended.
So have shelved that part of the exercise and will wait until I acquire a dedicated wmk. gadget - however, just to show keenness, have now attached pix of both face and reverse of the stamp in question, and hope you can see the upper area showing the almost fluorescent/pale appearance I mentioned earlier - but regret that for the time being unable to tell you which watermark relates to this example.                    This 'paleness' can be seen - from both sides of the stamp - on the front where is sits over the daffodil and the corresponding area on the reverse.
For this particular Wilding value, I've something like fifteen used, half a dozen unused, a block of four mint and a BAHRAIN 12 ANNAS overprint. Spotting which examples are phosphor is impossible without a u.v. light, and having stared for ages at all the above twenty odd examples - using the u.v. torch - have a feeling none is a phosphor stamp.
I seem to recall from my days long ago, that phosphor bands were visible with the naked eye - obviously memory failing - certainly the Wilding group of low value definitives are very difficult to assess without u.v. assistance. Fortunately, I do have blocks of four of each value, but even on these the bands are v. difficult to spot on the heavily coloured lower values - it's a bit easier on the pale values such as 5d, 6d and 7d.
Looking through several score of used Wilding values, I get the impression that phosphor bands are of infrequent occurrence.
Anyway, thanks for your comments/help, but will leave the matter for the time being and go back to looking at my more favourite area - Commonwealth issues - though if you wish to comment on the attached pix, feel free

Edited By Paul stirling on 11/04/2020 16:17:20

10/04/2020 18:47:39

decimal caernarfon castle ?1.50 with fluorescent building.jpgHi Fred - re the watermark on the 1s.3d., and whether phosphor band present or not - my response is being formulated for tomorrow

In the meantime - attached is a picture of the £1.50 CAERNARFON CASTLE illustrating the two forms of this value - the lower example showing the castle in a sort of bronze phosphorescence, and the upper stamp showing a plain castle without any colouring.             In the flesh both forms appear near identical - though it's true that the bronze castle stamp appears just a tad darker.

Edited By Paul stirling on 10/04/2020 18:49:55

10/04/2020 11:18:23

very interesting thread, though for beginners it takes repeated reading to get near to understanding some of Fred's academic input - hopefully practice will improve. This is a subject with very complex and technical depths, so as a beginner my remarks are intended to be only cursory and not academic, and if there are any glaring errors, then apologies.

I've had a u.v. torch (not a true blacklight) for many years, which was acquired for purposes of assessing uranium content in some green coloured pre-WWII glass - from memory I think the rating was something like 390 nm - which is supposed to be more suitable for u. content glass, but possibly too high a rating for stamps. Without a black coating on the glass, and especially in the dark, the torch creates a tad too much glare for decent photographic results, though it's ok of course for just naked eye searching through rows of stamps - I have a proper blacklight tube somewhere, so will try and dig that out.

Using an inexpensive u.v. torch can give surprising results, and I'd recommend this exercise even if only at a novelty level ...……...

The four Wilding portrait higher value castles which commenced 1955, in daylight, show almost no difference in paper colour (cream versus white), but fluorescent reaction under u.v. is striking - the 10/- ultramarine on white paper looks beautiful under u.v., but this same light seems to kill the rose red and turn it brown on the non-white papers. Running the torch across lines of all four denominations shows up the difference in paper types instantly, despite their apparent similarity in daylight. I've not attempted to differentiate between Wat. and D. l. R in this exercise.

I have an example of the green 1s/3d. Wilding where the entire upper two fifths of the stamp appear to fluoresce with phosphor - most odd - I'll try to do a photograph later.

Compared to the 1950s castles, the four Royalty designed decimal high value castles from late 1980s - again appearing virtually identical in daylight - show an even greater difference under u.v. for those examples where, presumably, an optical brightening agent has been used on the paper - a real advert for 'Daz'. However, for me the real surprise in this set looks to be the £1.50 CAERNARFON value where, despite all stamps appear identical in daylight, when these are subjected to u.v. some of the castles (and the value marks) fluoresce strongly in a bronze colour - yet others show no sign of this at all. These are all used stamps - might it be the case that in the course of washing, this 'bronze' washes off? It's certainly a striking effect especial in the dark.

Another very striking phosphor appearance - under u.v. - that leapt off the page during scanning, was the blue regional Scottish Flag S.G. S 94. Quite why this particular value should fluoresce the phosphor so heavily I don't know.

Finally, Fred has spoken of Regional pre-decimal values where treated papers give strong fluorescence - scanning with the torch shows I.o.M values 4d. and 5d. glowing equally as well as the Scottish 4d. Welsh values 3d. through to 5d. are also very bright white under the u.v. torch.

Sorry this is long winded - not easy to precis when so much info. and subject of a technical nature - but just a light hearted look based on some of Fred's suggestions and an interesting way to spend Easter when confined to the house.

Thread: Christmas 1970
06/04/2020 18:48:16

many thanks Fred for the quick reply, with answer. So, fugitive to light as they say - it certainly makes the phosphor band very conspicuous - though have to say the fading is nothing of my doing - they came from a charity shop some month or two back and were like this when I bought them, so presumably someone else left them in the sunshine.

thanks again for the help.

06/04/2020 14:21:05

my first post, so hello everyone and apologies in advance for any gaffs

Hoping someone can help please regarding the 4d. value from the 1970 Christmas set, which should have a fairly bright vermilion background, of which I have several unused - but also have two or three in a very pale shade of pink as in the right hand example in the attached picture.

Both examples showing are phosphor band stamps, but I'm puzzled as to the difference in colour - is there any chance the vermilion is missing?

Another quick question please whilst the pen is hot - what is a lying watermark?

thanks in advance for any 1970.jpg

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