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- Posts: 125
- Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:14 pm
- Location: Rural Sussex, England
Don't let the buggers get you down.
Just because stamps are issued does not mean you have to collect them all. Pick an subject, or an issue, or a time frame, or some other grouping and start a collection of that.
I for instance got very interested in the early PRC definitives primarily because the catalogues and authorities said no varieties. Yet I was looking at color shades if nothing else. Also, because definitive are usually printed multiple times because they are used over a wife time frame, I figured there were bound to be some varieties. I picked the R8 set and proceeded to collect them in quantity (I might add here these stamps are rather inexpensive.) and study them.
There are at least four distinct paper types: Opaque when wet, translucent when wet, and an intermediate paper. There seems to be an additional fourth paper that appears coated, which turns yellowish over time. I also established that the paper was machine made, which to be honest somewhat surprised me. I had assumed from what I thought I knew that most such was hand made.
With my interest quite real now, I decided to take my study a bit further and spent three trips to the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum. Using their sophisticated equipment I was able to document two color varieties on the 1/2 fen, 1 fen, 2 fen, and 8 fen. X-Ray fluorescence using their Bruker Tracer device showed different chemical compositions in the inks of these four issues. Reflectance data from their VSC 6000 showed different reflectance values for those same stamp issues.
That study was published in the Proceedings of the Second International Symposium on Analytical Methods in Philately published by the Institute for Analytical Philately, Inc.
Now, I fully understand everyone might not take it this far, but you can have a lot of fun looking at stamp colors and shades and analyzing them in Photoshop or other such computer software, some of it free (Color Mania).
Philately has given you enjoyment, so adapt and try some different approaches. I hope you find what makes you happy.