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Variations discovered

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Fred Sellars24/09/2021 10:07:14
718 forum posts
346 photos

The 17p Dark Blue Machin with centre band.


The use of the long wave ultraviolet lamp has many advantages in detecting fluorescence in papers, but whilst soaking some stamps off paper I noticed a very peculiar reaction in that when the stamps were wet and laid out to dry on a tissue paper, a definite difference was noticed between two different types of paper that they had been printed on, and with a little experimentation in combination with a UV light I soaked off some 17p dark blue Machins with centre band and compared the differences found in combination with the use of long wave ultraviolet light, I was quite amazed with the outcome as the damp translucent type stamps showed a high degree of fluorescence whereby the damp more opaque ones gave a very weak reaction giving rise to the fact that two different stamp papers had been used to print these stamps, this reminded me of the cream and white versions of the earlier multiple crown Wilding definitives listed in the SG part 3 specialised catalogue.

Below you will find three examples of this particular stamp as seen under different exposures of light.

Item 1. As seen under artificial light (fluorescent light)


Item 2. The same stamps but using a light combination.


Item 3. The same stamps but under long wave UV only.


Note: Once the stamp paper had dried no difference was noticeable in the visible spectrum between the two variations discovered, but the difference could still be observed using a long wave UV lamp.

This experiment is only recommended for used stamps, but it does show a significant difference using the damp paper method, try it for yourself on this and other values and see what you can discover !


The magic is in the water !!!!!


Edited By Fred Sellars on 24/09/2021 10:09:21

Fred Sellars25/09/2021 08:49:55
718 forum posts
346 photos

The 1990 17p Christmas stamp


Another discovery with similar characteristics has also been found with the 1990 17p Christmas stamp issue after soaking them off paper and laying them flat to dry, I discovered that some of which had been printed on a paper that was quite translucent when damp and was highly fluorescent under long wave ultraviolet as against the damp opaque paper ones that showed little or no fluorescence at all.

Once again my findings indicate that at least two types of base paper has been produced and used in the printing of these stamps, I am sure that you will be in agreement after viewing the next two attachments >



If all the different coatings have been listed such as OCP, FCP, PPP, PCP l & 2, ACP, etc.

Then shouldn't the different types of base paper being used also be included in the catalogue listings irrespective of their surface coating ?


Fred Sellars27/09/2021 11:27:37
718 forum posts
346 photos

A problem which I thought had previously been rectified with the additional use of optical brightening agents or oxidation seems to have appeared once again in the form of a contaminated paper that contains fluorescent fibres, this contaminated paper has been used to print the 1990 15p 150th anniversary of the first adhesive postage stamps, I am sure that once you have seen them personally you will be in agreement that they are reminiscent of some of the multiple crown Wilding stamp papers exhibited in another posting I recently made. >



Fred Sellars29/09/2021 09:34:31
718 forum posts
346 photos

Another issue I discovered being on different papers whilst using the damp paper method was the single profile 15p "Harrison" centre band stamps, after soaking them off paper I placed 3 of each of the two types of paper discovered (opaque and translucent) on a separate piece of tissue (still damp) and took images of them, one under fluorescent light the other under L/W ultraviolet, as you can see there was a major difference in their response to the ultraviolet, the reaction is not because of a coating but of the actual base paper itself manufactured and used in the printing of these stamps. <see images >




Fred Sellars01/10/2021 08:46:31
718 forum posts
346 photos

Using the damp paper method once again, I decided to have a look at the 1990/1992 NVI 1st class Orange stamps, the majority of which I have to hand are mainly from booklets with either imperf top or imperf bottom, but I did find a few from sheets with perforations all round, on inspection I discovered that by using the damp paper method in combination with an ultraviolet light three specific papers could be identified.

A} a non-fluorescent paper (opaque when damp) produced for booklets.

B} a medium fluorescent paper (translucent whilst damp) produced for booklets.

C} a highly fluorescent paper (opaque when damp) produced for booklets.

D} a highly fluorescent paper (opaque when damp) printed in sheet format.

Papers C+D appear to be identical.

<See attachments>



Papers A and B used for photogravure printings "Harrison" whereas papers C and D used for stamps printed by lithography (Walsall and Questa).

Fred Sellars03/10/2021 12:55:19
718 forum posts
346 photos

Curly wurly, spring or pigtail stamp papers


Over the years due to changes in postal technology the need for different types of paper has been sought and experimented with in which to accomplish various tasks and requirements needed, one type of paper springs to mind (excuse the pun), as this particular one has a tendency to curl up like a spring once submerged in water and can be awkward for the collector after soaking off paper, especially during the drying procedure. The worst offending examples being around 1980/3 period and to a lesser degree 1984 stamp papers, here are a couple of examples >


Why this type of paper was introduced originally is open to conjecture, but thankfully it was eventually rectified. Fred.

Fred Sellars08/10/2021 13:00:44
718 forum posts
346 photos

On using the damp paper method to distinguish variations in the types of paper used to print Machin stamps, I found that the 22p flame red stamp first seen on the 4th September 1990 had been printed using two different base papers, one being of a translucent nature whilst damp reacting fluorescent under long wave UV and a non reactive paper which was opaque when damp, these differences should not be confused with the various coatings normally applied to the surface of the printed side.

These differences can be seen in the next two attachments >



A further version of the booklet stamps has now been discovered since the original attachments of the 22p stamps was produced, they can also be seen in the following two attachments. >



I am sure that a lot of variations relating to other issues and values have yet to be discovered on many of these Machin stamps using this damp paper method I have devised. Fred.

Fred Sellars09/10/2021 09:32:56
718 forum posts
346 photos

Here is another one for your scrapbook, being the 20p turquoise stamp also known as the sea green shade that first appeared in public on the 23rd of August 1988 printed on a coated paper that has been classified as ACP (advanced coated paper), the trouble is someone has forgot to mention that two basic papers have been used prior to the paper being coated to print this stamp, by using the damp paper procedure I was able to discriminate between the two varieties that exist, one being on a paper that is opaque when damp and not fluorescent and another that is translucent when damp but fluorescent under longwave UV.

<See the two attachments in question>



There are many more values with variations of paper yet to be discovered using this damp paper method, try it out for yourself ! Fred.

Fred Sellars14/10/2021 11:56:47
718 forum posts
346 photos

The 2p Deep green T2 (narrow value)


Since reporting contaminated papers being found on the 1990 15p commemorating 150 years of the first adhesive stamps, another value has been discovered being that of the 2p value type 2 Deep green shade, first seen on the 23rd of February 1988 having similar characteristics with the finding of fluorescent particles being impregnated into the paper and also found within two different types of paper, one being of a fluorescent nature with the other being on a much darker paper as can be seen under long wave UV

The first attachment being under normal long wave UV. >


The second attachment was taken under UV then filtered into mono in which to enhance the contamination found. >


It's emerging that many values have now been printed on a similar type of contaminated paper during this period of time.

★See what you can find★ Fred.

Fred Sellars18/10/2021 12:48:05
718 forum posts
346 photos

You can now tick off the 50p non-phosphor Machin stamp that was first seen on the 21st of May 1980 printed by Harrison and sons as being on a contaminated paper, so much so, that it looks like a picture of the universe as seen through the Hubble Space Telescopes astronomical observatory.



As seen under long wave ultraviolet >


A filtered version of the same stamp in mono >


With many other paper variations yet to be found.


Edited By Fred Sellars on 18/10/2021 12:48:51

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