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Author:  Wilding Mad [ Mon Jun 28, 2021 11:11 pm ]


As a follow-on from my previous posting appertaining to the 1/3d Northern Ireland stamp found to have been printed on a highly fluorescent paper, I have now discovered several other regionals that when exposed to long wave ultraviolet light also have a high reaction of fluorescent luminescence.
One particular example of note being that of the 3d plain stamp for Wales listed in the specialised catalogue as being printed on 2 different types of paper, the original cream paper version which was initially issued on the 18th of August 1958 and later being replaced by a whiter paper version on the 30th of April 1962.

The difference isn't always that easy to discern when viewed from the front, having a cylinder block is one of the easiest ways to detect the difference as only cream papers were printed from cylinder 1 and only whiter papers from cylinder 3, both papers can be found to have been printed from cylinder 2, here are both cream and whiter papers along with the unlisted variety, the fluorescent paper whereby additional optical brightening agents have been deliberately added to the mixture whilst the paper was still in the pulp stage of its production !

Another way of telling the difference between cream and whiter papers can usually be found in the opaqueness or translucent difference as seen from the gummed side of the stamp, cream papers have a tendency to be more opaque whereas whiter ones are more translucent, there are exceptions, but very few.

On inspecting some of these 3d plain stamps from several hundred smaller blocks and singles I noticed that one or two of them reacted quite differently when introduced to long wave ultraviolet light, being neither cream nor whiter but of a highly fluorescent nature, originally, I thought I had made an error and that I had mixed some non-watermarked versions that had been printed on chalky paper with the plain stamps, but on inspection I found they had a watermark and was without phosphor bands.
Here is a specimen regarding this type of stamp.backlit in order to show the watermark in the paper.

With a further attachment of the same stamp, as seen under long wave ultraviolet light.

How can a stamp that is so different from the other two be treated as a whiter paper and not be described and listed in the specialised catalogue as being printed on a fluorescent paper.

This is the difference between a cream paper and a fluorescent one.
You can't mistake them, as they are so distinct !

Once again I must reiterate that the quantities sold and printed of these particular stamps on fluorescent paper will be quite low in comparison to the other two that are currently listed, the SG specialised quotes a cumulative total sold of 902,289,240 which includes both papers, just how many stamps were printed on the fluorescent paper as against the other two ?

Taking specialisation to a further degree on this particular stamp, I can report an additional finding of the fluorescent paper with added optical brightening agents as being of two variations that emitted a medium and a high luminescence when radiated, see attachment below ↓

Have you got one of them in your collection ? Worth finding !

Further coverage on other variations of paper on different values is to be followed up on separate threads concentrating on the unlisted ones.

Should there be anyone with something constructive to report on this subject then please give details, or is silence still absolute ?
Thank you WM.

Author:  Wilding Mad [ Thu Mar 17, 2022 10:58 pm ]

It's always nice to know that some people respond to requests relating to specific philatelic finds, as after seeing this particular topic relating to the 3d Wales plain found to have been printed on fluorescent watermarked paper Mr David Allen, a member of the Welsh postal history society contacted me via Ian Harvey to say that he had also found the 3d plain for Wales on this type of fluorescent paper but in cylinder blocks comprising of cylinder 2 dot and cylinder 2 no dot.
Since then he has sent me two attachments, each showing the relevant cylinders comparing them to the alternative papers that are listed in the specialised catalogues.
The first attachment is of cylinder 2 no dot on fluorescent paper as against cylinder 2 no dot on a cream paper >
(2.8 MiB)

The second attachment is of cylinder 2 dot printed on fluorescent paper as against cylinder 3 dot printed on a whiter paper >
(3.02 MiB)

Even the printing ink seems to be of a different colour or shade when comparing with the other two cream and whiter papers under L/W UV.

Over the last couple of years I have discovered many variations of paper used to print stamps that are currently not listed in specialised catalogues and for anyone finding similar variances I would be grateful for their cooperation in helping to validate my findings.
Once again thanks for your response David and Ian.

Since then I have contacted David to see if he had discovered the 6d Wales printed on the same type of paper (fluorescent).

On checking his collection he replied that unlike the 3d value, he did not have this particular unlisted variety in his possession.

A question often asked is what kind of black lamp should I use in order to identify phosphor stamps, or how do I identify fluorescence in/on stamp 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 basically divided into 3 main segments as can be seen in the following table. >


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 looking at various minerals that can phosphoresce or fluoresce dependent on their contents, but are not always suitable for stamp identification, I personally use a mains note checker as it does not diminish in power and can save on costly replacement batteries.

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

Hoping you get the drift. WM

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