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Ultra violet radiation of multiple crown Wilding definitives.

Cream and whiter papers.

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Fred Sellars17/02/2020 12:39:25
568 forum posts
238 photos

On reflection, and after further investigation/observations made, it is becoming more obvious that these " FIB'S " (fluorescent fibres) was in fact a contamination brought about by the use of rag supplied being high in optical brightening agents due to detergents in a small % of the rags used .

This being the reason for the production of fluorescent papers in order to counteract the appearance of the fluorescent fibres (the contaminants) by using a camouflage or masking technique so as to hide the offending contaminants (fluorescent fibres) .

I believe also that attempts were made to remove the fluorescent fibres by chemical means with the process of oxidisation due to the fact that some papers appear to be the same colour as the original cream papers under long wave ultraviolet light but more translucent, as with all the the other papers produced after 1962, giving rise to the fact that there was 4 variations of papers used excluding the chalk surfaced ones since 1962 of the multiple crown watermark .

The variations are as follows .........

1) Papers whiter than the original cream papers due to water filtration .

2) FIB'S due to the contaminants found in some of the rag supplied .

3) Fluorescent papers, in order to conceal the fibres with additional optical brightening agents .

4) Cream type papers, due to the removal of the fluorescent fibres by chemical means .

All of which can be defined with the use of a long wave ultraviolet lamp .

Fred Sellars17/03/2020 12:21:50
568 forum posts
238 photos

Whilst still on the theme of regionals, a recent find regarding the 3d Scotland left and right band with violet phosphor was made with the use of a long wave ultraviolet light .

The scan below shows 2 distinct papers used in their printing, the top ones appear to be on a fluorescent paper with the lower ones being on a normal white(r) paper showing traces of fluorescent fibres in them .

These variations are not listed or mentioned in any catalogues as far as I am aware !img_20200317_112906.jpg

Fred Sellars07/04/2020 11:38:27
568 forum posts
238 photos

I have found that without the use of long and short wave ultraviolet lamps you will not be able to discover the different types of fluorescence in papers along with their tagging that can include both phosphorescent and fluorescent qualities, and this does not just apply to the stamps of the UK, but to stamps of the whole world 🌍

The ultraviolet lamp is an invaluable tool that all serious modern day philatelists should endeavour to acquire, in order for them to discover things that otherwise would be invisible to the naked eye.

There is so much more to discover that has not yet been found with their use !

Paul stirling10/04/2020 11:18:23
9 forum posts
4 photos

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.

Fred Sellars10/04/2020 13:25:49
568 forum posts
238 photos

Good afternoon Paul,

Due to the price differences between the cream and whiter papers especially with unmounted mint, here is a little tip relating to the multiple crown high values that you mentioned.

The Bradbury Wilkinson stamps were issued from 14/11/63 and are all printed on a whiter paper, however, the DLR printings were mainly on a cream paper from 22/7/59 up to 30/04/62 with the odd print between then and 14/11/63. So if you spot a cream paper version then it will be a DLR printing.

You also mention of finding a 1/3d but give no indication as to watermark, phosphor bands or if used or not, may I also point out that there is a difference between fluorescence and phosphorescence that you should be aware of.

I await your response on that one ! Fred.

Fred Sellars10/04/2020 14:28:10
568 forum posts
238 photos

N B:I should further mention Paul that a lot of the other regionals that you mentioned are NOT on watermarked paper that appear to have highly fluorescent qualities under longwave UV.

It takes quite a few years to get a good understanding on all these variations.

But you're getting there ! 😉

Paul stirling10/04/2020 18:47:39
9 forum posts
4 photos

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

Fred Sellars10/04/2020 20:18:03
568 forum posts
238 photos

Good evening Paul,

As of yet I have done very little study in detail of the gold head castles, you must be well aware that from 1992 up until 1997 these values had several modifications made to them, not only the printers but different papers and inks was also used. Starting with the Harrison prints in 1992 and finalising with the Enschede printings in 1997.

Should you wish to study these particular issues I suggest that you download from your browser a site known as the " " by James Skinner then go to the index and download chapter 8A, this should give you all the information that you require on the subject.

Hoping that this helps you resolve what you are looking for !

I look forward to seeing this 1/3d Wilding you mentioned.

Regards, Fred.


Paul stirling11/04/2020 16:15:13
9 forum posts
4 photos
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

Fred Sellars11/04/2020 17:15:55
568 forum posts
238 photos

Good evening Paul,

Let's start with the used 1/3d Wilding, it would appear to have been contaminated possibly during the soaking off process, it certainly was not issued in that condition. Sorry Paul 😪 but nothing special.

Secondly for your enlightenment phosphor bands are best detected on the Wilding stamps by letting normal light reflect off the surface of the stamps as with the attached scan below irrespective of its colour .

Hoping that this information has been of use to you, Fred.img_20190911_005751.jpg

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