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Ultra violet radiation of multiple crown Wilding definitives.

Cream and whiter papers.

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Fred Sellars02/05/2020 11:01:02
568 forum posts
238 photos

Still on the theme of stamp collectors and their contributions towards the hobby in the past, I have this to say.

In all my years of stamp collecting (60+) I have never known British stamp papers to have been so contaminated before (or since), normally unseen by the naked eye but very prominent under the relevant ultraviolet light, similar to phosphor band tagging and their variations.

The fact that the FIB's discovered are so different beggars belief as to why there has never been any previous write-ups in any magazines or other philatelic publications in the past, does nobody do any research or study on Wilding stamps anymore ? Or do they just follow the herd ! Added to the fact that these stamps have been in the hands of collectors now for over 50 years.

Much has been written on the subject of Machins to the point of exhaustion (which is commendable), but their predecessors have been treated as a Cinderella.

How can stamps with such an identifiable difference be ignored !img_20200404_133649.jpg

Fred Sellars02/06/2020 10:02:46
568 forum posts
238 photos

Although there is a slight duplication on some of my scans between in this thread and the CREAM Vs WHITE one recently updated, I feel that this posting should join its partner to be read in conjunction on the subject of stamp papers that appears to have been neglected for so many years, thank you, Fred.

Fred Sellars27/06/2020 14:26:11
568 forum posts
238 photos

To discover a stamp that is not listed in a specialised catalogue can be quite a thrill and this seems to be the case with several of my findings over the last few months, and all due to a longwave ultraviolet light used. This next find also gives credence to that fact.

The majority of experienced philatelists will already be aware that the non-watermarked papers of the late 60s and early 70s registered a high fluorescence when subjected to a long wave ultraviolet light due to the type of paper used, classified as being coated by catalogues, but it would also appear that some of the watermarked stamps of the late 60s period have similar attributes but have been side-stepped (for want of a better word) by catalogues.

This next discovery involves the 3d plain originally issued for Wales on the 18th of August 1958 originally printed on a cream paper, later being changed to a whiter one in 1962 attributed to the filtration of the water used to make the paper, followed by the centre violet phosphor band using a similar paper issued on the 16th of May 1967 concluding with the no watermarked coated paper on the 6th of December of the same year.

This find involves the 3d Welsh regional stamp (plain) printed on a highly fluorescent paper that reacts in a similar way to the no watermarked papers and could be easily mistaken for one of them, this is clearly not the case as this paper has a watermark embodied into its structure as can be seen in the scan below, followed by a scan of the same stamp as seen under longwave ultraviolet light alongside a cream paper to the left .

Very few specialists will have obtained this stamp in their collection, so keep an eye open when visiting stamp fairs or stamp shops that you frequent for this little gem !


Edited By Fred Sellars on 27/06/2020 14:29:30

Fred Sellars17/08/2020 20:12:35
568 forum posts
238 photos

Still on the theme of regionals one of my latest finds has been the 1/3d Northern Ireland stamps none of which ever had phosphor bands applied throughout their lifespan. By using the long wave ultraviolet lamp I have been able to discover three variations of paper used to print them, the specialised catalogue lists only two varieties, cream and whiter papers only, but it would appear that I have discovered a third variety being on fluorescent paper as with the 3d Welsh one previously shown in my last scan.


As to why this type of paper was produced is fairly obvious (to mask or camouflage the offending contaminants) by deliberately adding additional optical brightening agents during the pulp stage to do so, but this was never disclosed by the GPO and has consequently never been listed by the specialised catalogue.

Of the quantities sold that is stated in the specialised catalogue of both cream and white papers up to the 31st of march 1968 is 14,060,520, but how many fluorescent stamps was included in this total ?

Do you have any of this particular variety in your collection ? I doubt that this is the case but worth checking out ! Fred.

Fred Sellars18/10/2020 12:00:57
568 forum posts
238 photos

It would seem that with the use of long wave ultraviolet I can now disclose to you of finding 4 different types of paper that was used to produce the 3d (plain) regional for Wales, initially, I thought that there was only 3 but on further examination I discovered that this was not the case

In my first attachment taken from the printed side you will notice that stamps 3 and 4 appear to be identical in emitting luminescence (fluorescence) on being radiated due to additional optical brightening agent being added.


But my second attachment view from the reverse (gummed side) using the same stamps, show that there is a marked difference, culminating into the fact that there are four distinct papers that can be identified in the production of this particular stamp.


Therefore, previous findings of this particular stamp need to be amended accordingly. Fred.

Fred Sellars12/12/2020 19:30:25
568 forum posts
238 photos

A question often asked is what kind of black lamp should I use in order to identify phosphor stamps, or or how do I identify fluorescence in/on papers.

It's possible that you may not know that the electromagnetic spectrum for ultraviolet light ranges from 200nm to 400nm, and that the span is divided into 3 main segments as can be seen in the following attachment.


There are many ultraviolet lamps available that cover variations of ultraviolet light and many of them are quite cheap that use multiple LED bulbs, but these are usually for various minerals that can phosphoresce or fluoresce dependent on their contents, but are not suitable for stamp identification.

An interesting article on this subject can be found on ........

Hoping you get the drift, Fred.

Fred Sellars15/01/2021 19:18:38
568 forum posts
238 photos

It would appear that from the mid 1990s optical brightening agents (OBA'S) was no longer employed in the production of paper used to print stamps, and that any contaminants of a fluorescent nature was nullified (oxidized) during the pulp stage, possibly due to environmental restraints, improved technology and the fact that the fluorescent additives was fugitive when immersed in water.

Here are 2 stamps of around that period when a different paper was introduced.


With the same stamps as seen under long wave ultraviolet light.


Therefore, the possibility of contaminated papers would now be a thing of the past. Fred.

Edited By Fred Sellars on 15/01/2021 19:20:15

Fred Sellars21/01/2021 08:46:41
568 forum posts
238 photos

With this new (oxidised) type of paper being produced since the mid 1990s, and because the fluorescent contaminants had now been removed with this method, there was no need to add fluorescent additives (OBA'S) for camouflage/masking purposes to the stamp papers embodiment.




Fred Sellars23/01/2021 15:14:30
568 forum posts
238 photos

It was around that time (1993) that the first elliptical perforation was introduced as an additional security measure (a coincidence ?).

Could it be that some of the earlier definitives printed with elliptical perforations was produced on a fluorescent paper instead of the intended oxidized type of paper, I wonder ?

Possibly worth checking if you have a longwave ultraviolet lamp ! Fred.

Julian28/01/2021 13:11:19
771 forum posts
363 photos

You can see different shapes in the perf these days, the diamond is a new one I've seen recently. It was interesting when they came out, the story of Liberia is a classic with Diana 1997/8 miniature sheet, when they released a stamp sheet of four, it was so huge in fakes by gangs of crooks, that they introduced the oval security perf which is very hard to copy by Printers and I think RM should take up, as their security adhesives when peeling off the backing can sometimes leave one or both the little pieces on the backing sheet, although I have been told they are better now?

I can't remember which value I had to purchase years ago as I misjudged the weight on a letter, but they were a joke.

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