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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 17:16:28 pm 
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How do I tell the difference between ordinary and chalk surfaced paper?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 20:32:04 pm 
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If you rub a silver coin (an old one with high content of actual silver) on a stamp with chalk-surfaced paper, it will leave a black mark.

There may be other ways of testing that will not mark the paper (which you wouldn't want to do on a mint stamp); hopefully other members will be able to provide further details :arrow:


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 20:44:15 pm 
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Finely powdered chalk is rolled onto plain paper, to make "chalk faced" paper.

Like printing on gloss rather than newsprint. Superb for fine engraved detail.

Costlier, and tones FAST!

A good example in this 1938 "ordinary" and "chalk" paper - easy to spot at a glance.

Image


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 01:21:36 am 
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I would very strongly suggest people do not employ the "silver test" as it will leave marks on mint or used stamps!

After a while you get used to handling stamps and can usually tell fairly accurately just by holding between thumb and forefinger. Chalk copies are thicker and generally a lot smoother paper (look out for hinge remnants making false impression of thickness!).

Speaking solely for GB issues , you can also usually tell under 10x magnification on a white section of the stamp there is usually tiny "craters" on the chalk paper copies, also surface rubbing is much more common on chalk paper copies where surface colours have "smudged".

Not sure about other countries issues but many of the GB Edward VII issues were printed on different types of chalk papers of varying thicknesses and some of these tests do not always apply to the OCP (The thinner Original Chalk Paper)

Another good test is under the long wave UV lamp where the chalk papers look a lot whiter (the plain unprinted areas) in comparison with an ordinary surface copy (if indeed the issue was produced on different paper types). The OCP copies incidentally fall in-between the other two in terms of brightness and thickness.

All in all then , enough ways to tell without damaging your stamp!

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 03:35:24 am 
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In addition to the silver test possibly damaging a stamp, I have heard that the silver test can be unreliable for stamps issued on green paper. De La Rue printings do not react to the test as well as Harrison printings. Again, look at the stamp and the chalk surfaced paper should have a much sharper image.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 07:35:31 am 
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As a general guide, where a stamp is printed on both plain paper and chalk surfaced paper, the chalk surfaced is thicker and immediately obvious when compared against a plain paper version (as with Glen's examples of the thick and thin paper stamps above)

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 17:55:36 pm 
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This question has been on my "want to know about' list for a long time and other than the silver test, it looks like there are other ways to do it. I have problems with the British Malaya Administration stamps which come in both chalk and plain paper varieties and the maddening thing is the catalogue values between them are really miles apart. Still struggling to distinguish between them.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 06:27:22 am 
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Hi All,

initiated by this thread I took my microscope up from the cellar into my study.
Under 100x magnification I could easily distinguish both papervarieties.
Ordinary paper shows the fibres of the paper very clear and the inking has irregular edges.
Chalky paper shows a very smooth surface with little craters every now and then and the inking is very sharp and detailed.
I went through my stamps of GB and British Colonies from the period of KG7 and came additional to the beforementioned points to this conclusion:
Often the chalky paper is thicker than ordinary paper - but not always!!!
Often the printing is darker and clearer on chalky paper - but not always!!!

Maybe a magnification of 10x might be okay too, but since I've got my microscope already, I prefer 100x.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 21:37:00 pm 
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Lars,

Thanks for that observation. Now I must go scout for a microscope.
Seems like the surest and safest way to distinguish chalk from ordinary paper.

Cheers

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 22:31:10 pm 
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Personally , I use the blackboard test.
If the nails grate on the nerves, and the teeth tingle, the earth moves, and the neuron system registers a "10", it is the chalk version :roll: :roll: :roll:


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 22:45:41 pm 
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Philly,

It may not be caused by the chalk but the scratching of the stamp.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 01:57:43 am 
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>Andrew,
If you look at the copies from Straits/BMA 5c & 12c they are only available in chalky paper (so says the ISC catalogue) the outer frame line should look solid whether they are mint or used.
If you look at the 50c - $5 purple&orange (all ordinary paper) the lines will look mouldy with tiny white specs all over, mint or used.

Sorry for the poor scan but here it is.
Image


Image
2nd right is chalky paper

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 22:04:09 pm 
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Setemmy,

Thanks for the tip. Really good way to tell.
Thank goodness I don't have to invest in a microscope.
When I mentioned I wanted one for looking at stamps my wife thought I must either be going blind or going nuts... :lol: but was quite sweet about it and said "go ahead and get one if you really need it". :wink:

Cheers

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 23:41:20 pm 
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Hahaha. You're welcomed.
Get a high resolution scanner instead and just tell your missus its for 'work'.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 04:51:28 am 
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I was taught back in the 60s to test for a chalk-surfaced paper by the Late Keith Buckingham in the UK a little trick that seems to work for me. It is difficult to explain here, but I will have a try.
Hold the stamp/s in tweezers gently and offer the printed surface to a dry lip (I find the upper one a little more sensitive) and stroke it over your lip-edge. OP vibrates, but K does not. In time and with experience one can tell the difference. That was, until I grew a mustache, now I use the lower. Non-destructive testing! But, make sure a mint stamp is the right way round.
Warning, it is not fool-proof. Regards, Ray :)

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 22:26:08 pm 
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Hi Ray,

that sounds very interesting and shows a simple non-technical solution to this problem - if it works. I think, I'll try it sometime soon.

Regards, Lars

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 22:31:35 pm 
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Ray states
Quote:
Hold the stamp/s in tweezers gently and offer the printed surfaceto a drty lip


I hope you have added a T in drty as opposed to missing an I :lol: :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:24:20 am 
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Tried scanning the stamps and then looking at them close up but even with 1,000 dpi I am not sure. Perhaps that microscope is still something to get.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 06:57:53 am 
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Highlander wrote:
Ray states
Quote:
Hold the stamp/s in tweezers gently and offer the printed surfaceto a drty lip


I hope you have added a T in drty as opposed to missing an I :lol: :lol: :lol:


:oops: OK! Highlander, sorry about that little slip, but well spotted and good fun, well taken. Where are you lucky enough to live, in the Highlands, I adore the area and its people. Most years I tow my touring caravan to the Islands and Highlands and I have a splendid time there. I spent 7 weeks on the Outer Hebrides and Skye in 2008 video-ing the fauna and flora of the west side. Mid-2007 we toured the East Coast and camped by Dunnet Bay. We are retired too, but this year I was very unwell so we missed out. Roll on next years visit.

I used to collect GB from the penny black onwards including postal history, but early Aussies also bit me and that is what led me to the Stampboards. That is why I will probably break down my GB and sell it off this winter as I find it consumes so much time. I don't know how I had any time to go to work!!!

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 20:03:53 pm 
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Hi Ray, glad you took it in the way it was intended to be taken not everyone on these boards shares my sense of humour :lol: :lol: :lol:

Without giving to much away publicly , I live in the Aviemore area currently looking out over a fairly snowy outlook but a bit warmer than last nights -10!

You are always welcome to contact me privately if heading North next year or indeed if looking to sell your GB collection, especially any Edward VII material I would love to see and make an offer on please.

Certainly correct about the time consumption element of the hobby. Must go now to look for the next typo :D :D :D

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 23:40:30 pm 
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The Silver test is what the (mainly) Anglo Saxons philatelists use for testing the special stamp papers their Post Office introduced to prevent a re-use of postage stamps after washing off the cancellations.

In the coating applied on the surface of the stamp, the chalk reacts to a silver object, a coin or so...


Image

Several stamps of the UK and the Commonwealth exist both on "normal" paper as on "chalky" paper with the Chalky version often getting a much higher price...



Image

Image

Of the 3 stamps only the utmost right stamp had a coating!


Image

But what had happened to the back of the stamps????


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 02:50:38 am 
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Global Administrator wrote:
Finely powdered chalk is rolled onto plain paper, to make "chalk faced" paper.

Like printing on gloss rather than newsprint. Superb for fine engraved detail.

Costlier, and tones FAST!

A good example in this 1938 "ordinary" and "chalk" paper - easy to spot at a glance.

Image


Informative thread :) But which is which in these two examples please ?

Thanks !


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 04:26:40 am 
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The chalk-surfaced is the top stamp.

Clive


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 05:18:26 am 
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Thanks Clive :D


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 07:01:50 am 
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Hello.

I am a collector of BMA Malaya stamps so the question of chalky and ordinary paper is of considerable interest.

I find it can be very annoying to look closely at chalky BMA stamps and find the tell tale black mark! To my mind it reduces its value considerably.

I am a follower of the observation test. I use a Ruper pocket lens. The one I have is a 10x and 20x. Looking on the web it seems to be their 5124 model, and not particularly cheap, but is readily portable to take to stamp fairs etc. such that you can often buy chalky at ordinary paper stamp prices and not purchase "chalky" stamps just on the say so of the vendor.

Using the 20x magnification you have to hold the stamp very close to the lens for it to be in focus. By looking closely at the white areas to the left and right at the bottom of the vignette you can clearly see the paper surface.

Look at the 5c brown as a guide. It is only printed on chalky paper which is smooth with blow holes which gives rise to "the surface of the moon". On ordinary or substitute paper you can clearly see the strands in the paper, sometimes with the "odd blow hole". After a little practice I feel sure you will be 90% sure one way or the other.

Note that cheap 20x, and more, magnification loupes do not produce this clear view of the paper. It seems to be the magnification and very short focal length which works for the Ruper.

I have yet to carry out a satisfactory silver test on the green 50c stamp. The surface of the moon impression is particularly strong on some of these stamps. I find about 50/50 which makes Gibbons valuation difficult to believe.

Some catalogues suggest that the thin striated paper stamps are "chalky" but in view of their price I would not want to silver test them. Hold them at an angle to the light looking from the side and the "lines" should be fairly readily visible or hold them up to a strong light or put them face down on a matt black surface where you can often clearly see the watermarks in the thin paper. They also have off white gums.

While mentioning the BMA Malaya stamps it is well worth examining your 10, 25 and 50c stamps under a UV detector.

In the 10c stamps, if I remember correctly, being away from home at the moment, you will find some where the head changes colour and some where the whole stamp changes colour. This I think tends to correspond with those used ones which when soaked off show purple on the back of the head area only or the whole stamp. On the 25c on one variety the head changes colour. On the 50c stamps look at the red BMA overprint, on many the red will stand out. This occurs on both surface of the moon and ordinary paper stamps.

The best reference source I know of for BMA Malaya stamps is a Gibbons Stamp Monthly article by the Rev. W. G. Cameron dating back to 1950. It is not infallible but better than anything in a catalogue that I know of. It makes a lot of sense on the varieties in colour of the 10c, where Gibbons does not seem to acknowledge the "reddish purple" stamps, and many other areas.

It used to be free on Gibbons website but believe you now need to subscribe to Gibbons on line to access it.

Happy collecting.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 18:49:21 pm 
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Hello
I have recently begun to gather Yugoslavian stamps. Is there anyone who can tell me what the difference is and how to tell the difference between chalk paper and plain paper.
skumbago :D


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 Post subject: Re: Chalk paper
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 18:52:23 pm 
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Hi skumbago, best bet is to type the subject into the google search box at top of page and there has been plenty written about it on here already to help you.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 19:51:02 pm 
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Hi skumbago, welcome to stampboards!

Your question is probably re small defins depisting cities, right? If so, and if you are collecting them mint then difference is obviouse, chalky paper has a shiny surface due to deposited layer of chalk, and on used and washed stamps it is experience and comparing stamps among themselves :-)


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 21:10:08 pm 
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Ignore any suggestions about a 'silver test'. This has been discredited in recent years - and it marks the stamps irreversibly.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 23:03:18 pm 
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Actually there is no need for specific tests, mint stamps are obvious and used (where chalk has been dissolved by water) can be recognized by comparing them to other stamps.

Most of this stamps (and only stamps from Yugoslavia that come to my mind are mentioned defins where this problem exists) are widely available, there are also differences in perforations and some flaws so it makes nice and cheep area for mini specialized collection specially if you want some usages since this stamps were in wide use.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 18:28:31 pm 
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Thanks for your reply I will try to use them.
skumbago :D


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 18:40:50 pm 
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skumbago - can you add a photo of what stamps you are having problems with?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 19:47:42 pm 
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I've found with used stamps that a chalky will feel 'cooler' when rested against your top lip. Just make sure your lip is dry !!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 07:36:37 am 
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norvic wrote:
Ignore any suggestions about a 'silver test'. This has been discredited in recent years - and it marks the stamps irreversibly.

I found the reference that I had forgotten, an extract from:

Murray Payne - KG VI papers; chalky and ordinary - Dickon Pollard & Iain Murphy - Murray Payne Ltd

Quote:
The first indications I had that all was not well with the 'silver test' method came at the end of the 1980s, when I first came across the observation that there were sheets of Bermuda keytypes in existence which reacted to the silver test on one side of the sheet, but not on the other; and a Japanese customer observed that he never employed the silver test, but used pitted surfaces to distinguish chalky paper from ordinary paper.

Recently, Myles Glazer has published articles which state that the silver test reaction is nothing whatsoever to do with chalk in the surfacing of the paper. John Hereford published a response to this in Geosix, holding that the mark left by the silver test is actually caused by tarnish, and that the chalk which is reacting with the tarnish is in the form of chalk powder residue on the surface of the stamp rather than chalk present in the coating. These excellent contributions to the debate approach the problem from a scientific viewpoint; we need to consider where this leaves the collector, dealer and catalogue-editor!
----8<------
So, the silver test is unreliable and should be discouraged.

It is important to read the full article.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 07:51:39 am 
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60022Mallard wrote:
Hello.

I am a collector of BMA Malaya stamps so the question of chalky and ordinary paper is of considerable interest.

I find it can be very annoying to look closely at chalky BMA stamps and find the tell tale black mark! To my mind it reduces its value considerably.
--------

Using the 20x magnification you have to hold the stamp very close to the lens for it to be in focus. By looking closely at the white areas to the left and right at the bottom of the vignette you can clearly see the paper surface.

Look at the 5c brown as a guide. It is only printed on chalky paper which is smooth with blow holes which gives rise to "the surface of the moon". On ordinary or substitute paper you can clearly see the strands in the paper, sometimes with the "odd blow hole". After a little practice I feel sure you will be 90% sure one way or the other.
-----

Happy collecting.


viewtopic.php?f=13&t=22290

Rein wrote:
Stamps of the Federated Malay States issued in 1907 had been printed in typography on coated paper - chalky paper as the English used to say - that shows exactly the same type of pockmarks as the Argentine stamps on coated Zárate paper in the period 1966-1967:


Image
Image
Image



Welcome to the Moon!

groetjes, Rein


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 19:51:03 pm 
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Congratulations Rein.

Your second picture probably adds more to helping identify "chalky" paper visually by looking at the plain paper areas than many words can.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 19:51:11 pm 
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Apologies for duplication. Impatient finger syndrome.

Perhaps a moderator can remove.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 20:57:51 pm 
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bathurst stamper wrote:
I've found with used stamps that a chalky will feel 'cooler' when rested against your top lip. Just make sure your lip is dry !!

That's the method I use too - taught to me by a reputable GB dealer.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 01:12:56 am 
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Has anyone used a digital USB microscope in this regard?


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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 08:07:13 am 
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Yes I just did in fact as I was going through some GVI. I remembered this thread so thought I would report back.

So, two GVI Leeward Islands definitives 1938 shown here - both 3d orange. The chalk surfaced one is on the left, the ordinary paper is on the right. I can see the slight difference with the naked eye, chalk surfaced is just a better quality.

So blown up this becomes more apparent. The chalks have better surface coverage, cleaner lines and little in the way of fibre or weak spots. In the lower image it can be clearly seen that the dots in the design are better defined on the chalk (left) and again the edges are sharper.

I think the ordinary paper soaks up the ink more which accounts for the blotchy-ness if that's a word.

As well, if you look closely at the top image and the perforations (especially the middle perf on the left stamp), you can make out the coating, which is not apparent on the ordinary paper perfs.

This is just a basic usb microscope for PCs I picked up on eBay a while back, does the trick :)

Image

Image


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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 19:05:46 pm 
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As a point of interest on non GB issues, do any others have an early issue on thin chalk papers ( Original Coated/Chalk Paper), first introduced in 1905 on GB issues by De La Rue before being replaced by thicker coated paper fairly soon afterwards.

The OCP's fail some of the standard chalk testes and are well worth recognising as an increasingly collected issue in their own right now and will no doubt continue to be so.

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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 23:44:25 pm 
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I did an article about this if the experts want to take a critical look please do, I hope I have got the right idea here :

http://www.thestampbook.co.uk/2013/05/2 ... ry-papers/


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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 02:58:29 am 
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Hi again. It's been pointed out to me that I might have (read probably) misidentified a couple of stamps on my blog. I was thinking I had figured it out !

So, can anyone help point me in the right direction. It's these two stamps :

Image

Image


In the close up, the left stamp remains on the left.

Anyone see enough to be able to tell what paper these are please ?

Cheers :)


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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 03:34:47 am 
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Rog

Have a read of this. Maybe this will clarify things for you as it has a direct reference to the same stamps.

http://www.murraypayne.com/vPages.asp?vpagesid=Papers

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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 03:59:38 am 
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Nice, thanks, I will have a read of that :D


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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 04:16:45 am 
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http://www.murraypayne.com/vPages.asp?vpagesid=Papers

Quote:
Recently, Myles Glazer has published articles which state that the silver test reaction is nothing whatsoever to do with chalk in the surfacing of the paper. John Hereford published a response to this in Geosix, holding that the mark left by the silver test is actually caused by tarnish, and that the chalk which is reacting with the tarnish is in the form of chalk powder residue on the surface of the stamp rather than chalk present in the coating. These excellent contributions to the debate approach the problem from a scientific viewpoint; we need to consider where this leaves the collector, dealer and catalogue-editor!

To reiterate, the traditional view is that reaction to the silver test equates with chalk-surfaced paper; a lack of reaction with ordinary (or 'substitute') paper. There have been calls for the term 'chalky' to be removed from the Gibbons and Commonwealth catalogues, on the grounds that the test is unreliable and destructive. What I propose is that we continue to use the terms, partly to save the countless hours which could be sacrificed by collectors in re-writing descriptions, but also because the terms are (by now) pretty much part of the philatelic furniture. I suggest that the catalogues incorporate in their introductions new definitions of paper-surfacing and suggest methods of distinguishing between them. A phrase such as 'the paper-surfacing traditionally known as chalky….' will, I hope, go some way towards mollifying the radicals!

So, the silver test is unreliable and should be discouraged. Let us then consider alternative methods of distinguishing paper. Our late Japanese friend pointed out that pitting is a characteristic of chalky paper. This is true; take a look at an early printing (prior to 1943) of the KG VI Bermuda 12/6d with a good magnifying glass. There are masses of small holes in the surface, which are caused by the escape of air trapped under the surfacing. This does not occur with ordinary paper. This is very useful in identification, but be aware that with some issues the holes are almost invisible (as with some of the Malayan States).


The unreliability of the silver test was pointed out by me in my posting of 06.04.2010 [!] and the pitted surface I had in my posting of 19.03.2013!

Image
Image

Image

groetjes, Rein


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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 09:36:57 am 
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setemmy wrote:
>Andrew,
If you look at the copies from Straits/BMA 5c & 12c they are only available in chalky paper (so says the ISC catalogue) the outer frame line should look solid whether they are mint or used.
If you look at the 50c - $5 purple&orange (all ordinary paper) the lines will look mouldy with tiny white specs all over, mint or used.

Sorry for the poor scan but here it is.
Image


Image
2nd right is chalky paper


Seeing your scan my first reaction is: all are on coated paper!!! I.e all are chalky!

I haven't looked at my Malayan stamps for a long time, and using the 25th edition of the ISC catalogue, the information about chalky paper is mentioned rather haphazardly it seems to me....

Just a quick look - not studying yet all I have - and I got the impression that most stamps in typography in the 1935-1957 period are on coated paper! Most of them have plenty of the tiny holes I have shown here before!

The 1941 issued 3c green or 8c scarlet are among the exceptions - uncoated paper! Although not all of them!

I have NO problems at all telling uncoated from coated - just be looking at them! The shine is enough and the uncoated paper often has a "hairy" surface! Among the uncoated stamps - in particular when mint - we see a very fade shine due to calendering. Individual fibers at the front of stamp often are a bit shiny where their background does not .....

Judging from my quick experience with the Malayan stamps I reckon to have no problems with other Commonwealth stamps either!

groetjes, Rein


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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 10:26:14 am 
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Rein wrote:

Seeing your scan my first reaction is: all are on coated paper!!! I.e all are chalky!



But are they?

I've used the 'virtual magnifer' set at x3 to look at these.

Taking just one area as an example:

Looking at the frame lines and lettering around the word LEEWARD, the stamp on the left has better definition, whereas the printing in the same area on the right hand stamp seems to 'bleed' and has an almost soft focus look to it.

Assuming firstly, that this was issued on both ordinary and chalky papers (I have no idea), and secondly; the description given by others as to how to distinguish one from the other is correct, then the left stamp should be 'chalky'.

However, the magnification of the two images is not high enough to show any surface pitting which may prove one way or the other.

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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 18:18:32 pm 
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Clive,

just concentrate on the aspects of "shiny", 'hairy" and "pitted"! And if you see small shiny "hairs" on a dull, matt background then you have calendered, uncoated paper!

groetjes, Rein


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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 20:05:18 pm 
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A few examples, although the scans do not yet grab the "hairs" I wanted to!

And do pay attention to the double plates shift! Two plates were used for green!

Image

The 2c is coated with plenty of pits!

Image

Image

The 3c is UNcoated! Like many other 1941 2c orange, 3c green and 8c scarlet...

Image

Image

groetjes, Rein


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