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Seeing a watermark - Pro tips?

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Carmen12/01/2019 14:48:32
650 forum posts
61 photos

Hi folks! So I have a 4c Australia green koala stamp. But using my watermark fluid and tray, I STILL can't see the watermark properly to see if it's inverted or not (which of course would affect value)

Any pro tips out there on other things I can do to see that $%^&* watermark? angry

Thanks! laugh

Trevor Bishop 115/01/2019 11:17:33
188 forum posts
58 photos

Hi Carmen ,

I’m wondering have also tried a watermark detector that works on pressure ?

Sometimes I try both ways & the detector sees wmks that the fluid doesn’t , I don’t know why .

Good luck


Carmen17/01/2019 11:33:25
650 forum posts
61 photos

Hey Trev... do you mean one of those electronic contraptions?

Alistair Garner08/05/2019 19:46:04
30 forum posts
35 photos

Hi Carmen, I can see it's been a while since you posted, but my two pence worth.....a friend loaned me a "Safe Signscope T1" watermark detector, only £210 with FREE delivery.

I was using it solely on GB Wildings and Machins. You either saw the watermark immediately or not at all, more often the latter. It works so much better if there is a piece of margin attached to the stamp, looking through the margin.

Out of about 200 stamps, I could confidently identify 22 watermarks, not a great success rate, I certainly won't be buying one for myself. Also, the device can only reasonably accept one stamp at a time, maybe a pair at a push, so if you have a block, forget it!

I have both Prinz Supersafe fluid and Clipper Lighter Fluid (Not sure if that's available in Canada), I find the lighter fluid works better, and certainly better than the electric Wmk detector!



Carmen09/05/2019 12:32:36
650 forum posts
61 photos

Okay thanks Alistair! Yeah I think I'll skip the electronic solution.

I was also listening to a good podcast called Stamp Show Here Today (I highly commend it - a great bunch of knowledgeable collectors and dealers with a silly sense of humour!) - their main recommendation as a watermark fluid is specifically Ronsonol lighter fuel (in the yellow bottles specifically), subject to the warnings about flammability and using an aerated workspace.

And for removing self-adhesives, they recommend Pure Citrus.

Trevor Bishop 109/05/2019 20:43:14
188 forum posts
58 photos

Hi Gillian ,

I do agree , that lighter fluid (available in most pound shops ) is much quicker & identifies more watermarks especially if the stamps are not completely flat ie with hinge remains . I rarely use the electronic detector - luckily I didn’t pay full price for it .

Someone also recommended that if a stamp is on cover or old postcard , holding the cover at an angle to a light source (like you would if you were looking for phosphor strips) can show the watermark especially if you know which wmk it is likely to be . Useful when looking for inv & s/w wmks . It saves soaking the stamp off .

Havent tried pure citrus , I might just for interest sake .

I still cant believe that someone hasnt worked out an App on a smart phone to do it !

One thing I would find useful is a colour identifier for early QV , EDVII & especially GV stamps .

I thought I’d found a Cyprus green 1/2d stamp but without paying £++ to find out from RPS I’ll never know .

The post about error today was excellent, well done !




Edited By Trevor Bishop 1 on 09/05/2019 20:44:29

Carmen10/05/2019 12:21:29
650 forum posts
61 photos

Sorry Trevor... what post about "error"? I don;t think that was me? (Course I'm Carmen and not Gillian!) laugh

Trevor Bishop 110/05/2019 15:57:55
188 forum posts
58 photos

Oh dear Carmen I am sorry about that - I’m not sure where Gillian came from, I expect I’d been reading another “post” from Gillian and the name fixed in my brain . My memory isn’t as good as it was .

The error quote was from a reference to a post next to yours on the 9th re “should I feel guilty” and unfairly assumed you may have read it .




M C STRATHDEE12/05/2019 15:14:58
14 forum posts
2 photos    offers solution ... 



Edited By M C STRATHDEE on 12/05/2019 15:16:16

Paul Davey 112/05/2019 16:03:23
450 forum posts
26 photos

I am no expert but retroreveal has never been very revealing on watermarks. Postmarks on stamps - excellent though.

Ultrasound imaging is very good for watermarks albeit numbingly expensive to buy the kit!

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