What we collect!

 

Stamporama Discussion Board Logo
For People Who Love To Talk About Stamps
Stamporama Discussion Board Logo
For People Who Love To Talk About Stamps
Stamporama Discussion Board Logo
For People Who Love To Talk About Stamps



What we collect!
49 visitors online
What we collect!
49 visitors online


United States/Stamps : Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

 

Author
Postings
lemaven
Members Picture


03 Oct 2016
01:49:29pm
I'm finding color confirmations to be very tricky in U.S. especially older. Toning can make everything look darker and exposure to sun can make things look lighter. As a result, comparing to either newer or older stamps isn't always apples-to-pommes. Especially as some stamps with just one color such as ultramarine may appear bright on one stamp and light on another.

Here are two examples, both available in blue and ultramarine, with substantial CV differences depending on how they are categorized. They look substantially the same to me. Anyone willing to take a stab at identifying which color is most likely? I'll see if I can find some other stamps with the same resolution and cropping to put up as comparisons.

Many thanks! Dave.

Image Not Found

Like
Login to Like
this post
lemaven
Members Picture


03 Oct 2016
02:01:33pm
re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

Here's what I could find as benchmarks:

{Sorry - forgot to add the scan originally until I saw Dani20's comment. Then changed the directions after Michael's comment - tough day!!!}

"Ultramarine" on LEFT - "Blue" on RIGHT.

Image Not Found

Is this helpful?

Dave.

Like
Login to Like
this post
dani20
Members Picture


03 Oct 2016
02:18:33pm
re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

How do you distinguish Blue/light blue/ultramarine? I've aimed for the examples as identified in the catalog for a particular issue which doesn't have the varieties/ and gone from there. Not very foolproof, but perhaps a usable tactic?
Dan C

Like
Login to Like
this post
Ningpo
Members Picture


03 Oct 2016
02:35:14pm
re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

Dave, to my eyes these are the same; blue.

I know this is a contentious issue and we have probably covered similar ground before but I have always considered ultramarine to be a lighter tint of blue. This image may just illustrate what I mean. This was posted on another forum by someone going through the same process as you:

Image Not Found

Like
Login to Like
this post
michael78651
Members Picture


Moderator, MT Member

03 Oct 2016
02:49:19pm
re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

Dave, looks like I'm not the only one with reversing things today.

The Zachary Taylor stamp on the right only comes in blue.

The 4 cent Columbian stamp on the left was issued as ultramarine. It was printed in blue, but that is a rare error.

Like
Login to Like
this post

"Author: Seasons of Fantasies and Dreams, The Whitechapel Fog"

www.hipstamp.com/store/the-online-stamp-shop
lemaven
Members Picture


03 Oct 2016
02:54:06pm
re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

Not sure if it's a "guy" thing - or a "me" thing - but this is as painful as when my wife brings home six 3" x 2" color patches from the paint store and asks me which one I like best for the dining room.

I can't for the life of me translate a small sample to a larger surface so I usually just say they're all nice and hope she doesn't ask if I'd prefer a "cobalt" or a "lapis". I once made the mistake of saying "I'm not fond of red"...

And now, even worse, Michael's dyslexia has rubbed off on me (I will also edit my comment).







Like
Login to Like
this post
Winedrinker
Members Picture


03 Oct 2016
03:18:50pm
re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

Blue
Image Not Found
Ultramarine
Image Not Found

Ultramarine, which means "beyond the sea," was originally made with lapis lazuli, among other ingredients. It was a pigment so expensive that it was reserved for the most holy of subjects, such as the raiment of the Virgin Mary, etc. Vermeer almost drove his family into financial ruin because he refused to compromise on ultramarine blue.

It used to be said that it was warmer than blue, but that has been disputed of late. And it appears cooler to me. It is a "deep" blue. Technically, it has a touch of violet in it. Much like vermouth in a martini.

Color swatches are from Pantone.

Cheers!
Eric

PS...I vote with Ningpo on both stamps being blue.

Like
Login to Like
this post
lemaven
Members Picture


03 Oct 2016
04:33:48pm
re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

Based on the information herein I'm going to list them in my US Divestiture Program as "Blue" with the following caveat:

"Shade of blue color expertized by Ningpo (Clive) and Winedrinker (Eric) neither of which will receive a commission on the sale. However, if unhappy they will cheerfully refund your money ... in the dollar equivalent of empty gin/vodka bottles as per your State/Province refund mechanism".

Thanks Party

Like 
1 Member
likes this post.
Login to Like.
keesindy
Members Picture


04 Oct 2016
08:02:21pm
re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

My 2 cents.......

Ultramarine contains a hint of red that the blue doesn't display.

Like
Login to Like
this post

"I no longer collect, but will never abandon the hobby"
phos45
Members Picture


04 Oct 2016
08:09:33pm
re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

color analysis online ...

http://www.stampsmarter.com/colorextract/index.php


(Modified by Moderator on 2016-10-04 22:13:18)

Like
Login to Like
this post

https://machinstudygroup.blogspot.ca
Winedrinker
Members Picture


04 Oct 2016
09:15:43pm
re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

"Ultramarine contains a hint of red that the blue doesn't display."



Agreed, and that would be satisfied by violet, which is red + blue. Not that I am pushing violet that much, but came across a couple of sites that were adamant about it being a component of ultramarine blue, and at this point it becomes counting how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. I say 12.

And nice site phos45! I have it bookmarked now. You can actually take the numbers you come up with there and go to color analysis sites online to get the color groups etc.

https://html-color.codes/hex/786060

Eric




(Modified by Moderator on 2016-10-04 22:14:13)
Like
Login to Like
this post
okstamps
Members Picture


04 Oct 2016
09:27:48pm
re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

Winedrinker,

Your comment about Vermeer and his use of ultramarine blue brought back a memory from my visits to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The first time that I went I was looking forward to the Rembrandt paintings, especially the Night Watch. However, the paintings that I most enjoyed were those by Vermeer. Vermeer's paintings shined because of the extraordinary blue pigment that was used. That color was so vibrant that it made his paintings stand out among all others. By contrast, the Night Watch, although huge by comparison and itself impressive, took a definite "back seat" in my eyes because Rembrandt's paints by comparison were drab. Even after all of these years I can see why Vermeer insisted on using that particular pigment.

Like 
2 Members
like this post.
Login to Like.
Winedrinker
Members Picture


05 Oct 2016
03:17:07pm
re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

Image Not Found

okstamps you are a lucky dog to have seen some Vermeers up close. I'm going to go look at some of those paintings online as soon as I finish this post.


And to belabor the point on ultramarine versus blue. I found some information that backs up Keesindy and Winedrinker as to having some red (violet) in it.

Using the site that phos45 provided earlier, and going to a menu item there that lists "names of colors" then clicking, and employing the RGB analysis:

BLUE = 0, 0, 255
ULTRAMARINE BLUE = 65, 102, 245

So some green in there as well, interestingly enough. The bottom line is that ultramarine is far more complex and mysterious than blue. Like a beautiful woman with a shady past.

Cheers,
Eric


Like
Login to Like
this post
ccndd
Members Picture


18 Nov 2016
11:47:56am
re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

Here are examples that may help.Image Not Found
On the left is dull blue. Middle is ultramarine and the right is blue. Hope this helps a tad.

Like 
1 Member
likes this post.
Login to Like.
larsdog
Members Picture


APS #220693 ATA#57179

18 Nov 2016
08:15:05pm
re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

"employing the RGB analysis:

BLUE = 0, 0, 255
ULTRAMARINE BLUE = 65, 102, 245"



You have to be careful about that. RGB (red/green/blue) colors are additive colors using light and primarily used in electronic displays (TV screens and computer monitors). They are called additive because you start with a black screen and keep adding color to get white light. That's why RGB 0,0,0 is black and RGB 255,255,255 is white. (255 is the base 10 equivalent of FF in base 16, which is a multiple of what computers use).

CMYK colors (cyan/magenta/yellow/black) are subtractive (start with a white canvas that reflects all light and add ink that absorbs instead of relecting light) and are primarily used in printing, including many multicolor postage stamps where one color is laid down at a time. 100% each of CMY is close to black, but K (black) is added since black is used so often and provides a crisper black image and better grey-scale results. It also saves a LOT of ink when printing darker colors!

Ultramarine RGB 65,102,245 = CMYK 73.5%/58.4%/0/3.9%

Blue RGB 0,0,255 = CMYK 100%/100%/0/0

So blue has equal parts cyan and magenta ink at full intensity. Ultramarine has a little less magenta, but adds a little black.

Heavily inked items will appear darker and lightly inked items lighter, so there is often a great deal of variability in older issues.

Just look at the insanity that is the US 3c perforated pre-Civil War stamp:

Scott 25 can be rose, rose red, dull red, brownish carmine or claret. That just shows how much variation there was in 19th Century inks and red is the least stable color when subjected to light. (That's why red is the first color to fade in sunlight and special UV coating is used on stop signs).

Sorry to go on so long.

Lars


Like 
3 Members
like this post.
Login to Like.

"Expanding your knowledge faster than your collection can save you a few bucks."

www.larsdog.com/stamps
Winedrinker
Members Picture


18 Nov 2016
08:52:54pm
re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

Very good Lars.
Now, how is Tyrian purple different from purple? And what animal was sacrificed by the tens of thousand to obtain it?


Eric

Like
Login to Like
this post
philb
Members Picture


18 Nov 2016
09:09:23pm

Auctions
re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

I have been collecting Guatemala almost 20 years..you would think i would know the difference easily between #31 litho "dull blue" and engraved #43 "blue" but they used the plates so many times and i am certain different inks ! Scott says the impression of the engraved stamps is sharper than that of the litho. Yeah well !Image Not Found

Like
Login to Like
this post

"And every hair is measured like every grain of sand"
seanpashby
Members Picture


18 Nov 2016
09:10:18pm
re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

The original purple dye came from sea snails. A priest I know once told me that the cloth dyed in it smelled horrible, but only royalty were allowed to wear it.

Like 
1 Member
likes this post.
Login to Like.
philb
Members Picture


18 Nov 2016
09:27:13pm

Auctions
re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

Ok Stamps, Rembrandt refused to change his style of painting and became less popular. We went to Boston a year or two ago the museum had a exhibit "The Golden Age of Dutch artists"..wow, what a feast ! Since my wife is from Holland i get to see a lot of Van Gogh and Rembrandt exhibits..Philadelphia ,Sarasota,Williamstown Ma.,Boston etc. I saw the Night Watch...what a shock to see it slashed the way it was.

Like
Login to Like
this post

"And every hair is measured like every grain of sand"
musicman
Members Picture


APS #213005

18 Nov 2016
09:31:45pm
re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

slightly off-topic;


the eyes in that painting are AMAZING.







Randy

Like 
1 Member
likes this post.
Login to Like.
philb
Members Picture


18 Nov 2016
10:20:40pm

Auctions
re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

i am pretty sure that was the highlight picture at the Boston museum show.

Like
Login to Like
this post

"And every hair is measured like every grain of sand"
biggeorge
Members Picture


18 Nov 2016
11:23:18pm
re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

Here is what I found when looking through the collection for examples of blue vs. ultramarine. The outer portion of the stamp is listed as ultramarine while the inner vignette is blue.

George (aka biggeorge)

Image Not Found

Like 
2 Members
like this post.
Login to Like.
        

 

Author/Postings
Members Picture
lemaven

03 Oct 2016
01:49:29pm

I'm finding color confirmations to be very tricky in U.S. especially older. Toning can make everything look darker and exposure to sun can make things look lighter. As a result, comparing to either newer or older stamps isn't always apples-to-pommes. Especially as some stamps with just one color such as ultramarine may appear bright on one stamp and light on another.

Here are two examples, both available in blue and ultramarine, with substantial CV differences depending on how they are categorized. They look substantially the same to me. Anyone willing to take a stab at identifying which color is most likely? I'll see if I can find some other stamps with the same resolution and cropping to put up as comparisons.

Many thanks! Dave.

Image Not Found

Like
Login to Like
this post
Members Picture
lemaven

03 Oct 2016
02:01:33pm

re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

Here's what I could find as benchmarks:

{Sorry - forgot to add the scan originally until I saw Dani20's comment. Then changed the directions after Michael's comment - tough day!!!}

"Ultramarine" on LEFT - "Blue" on RIGHT.

Image Not Found

Is this helpful?

Dave.

Like
Login to Like
this post
Members Picture
dani20

03 Oct 2016
02:18:33pm

re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

How do you distinguish Blue/light blue/ultramarine? I've aimed for the examples as identified in the catalog for a particular issue which doesn't have the varieties/ and gone from there. Not very foolproof, but perhaps a usable tactic?
Dan C

Like
Login to Like
this post
Members Picture
Ningpo

03 Oct 2016
02:35:14pm

re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

Dave, to my eyes these are the same; blue.

I know this is a contentious issue and we have probably covered similar ground before but I have always considered ultramarine to be a lighter tint of blue. This image may just illustrate what I mean. This was posted on another forum by someone going through the same process as you:

Image Not Found

Like
Login to Like
this post
Members Picture
michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
03 Oct 2016
02:49:19pm

re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

Dave, looks like I'm not the only one with reversing things today.

The Zachary Taylor stamp on the right only comes in blue.

The 4 cent Columbian stamp on the left was issued as ultramarine. It was printed in blue, but that is a rare error.

Like
Login to Like
this post

"Author: Seasons of Fantasies and Dreams, The Whitechapel Fog"

www.hipstamp.com/sto ...
Members Picture
lemaven

03 Oct 2016
02:54:06pm

re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

Not sure if it's a "guy" thing - or a "me" thing - but this is as painful as when my wife brings home six 3" x 2" color patches from the paint store and asks me which one I like best for the dining room.

I can't for the life of me translate a small sample to a larger surface so I usually just say they're all nice and hope she doesn't ask if I'd prefer a "cobalt" or a "lapis". I once made the mistake of saying "I'm not fond of red"...

And now, even worse, Michael's dyslexia has rubbed off on me (I will also edit my comment).







Like
Login to Like
this post
Members Picture
Winedrinker

03 Oct 2016
03:18:50pm

re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

Blue
Image Not Found
Ultramarine
Image Not Found

Ultramarine, which means "beyond the sea," was originally made with lapis lazuli, among other ingredients. It was a pigment so expensive that it was reserved for the most holy of subjects, such as the raiment of the Virgin Mary, etc. Vermeer almost drove his family into financial ruin because he refused to compromise on ultramarine blue.

It used to be said that it was warmer than blue, but that has been disputed of late. And it appears cooler to me. It is a "deep" blue. Technically, it has a touch of violet in it. Much like vermouth in a martini.

Color swatches are from Pantone.

Cheers!
Eric

PS...I vote with Ningpo on both stamps being blue.

Like
Login to Like
this post
Members Picture
lemaven

03 Oct 2016
04:33:48pm

re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

Based on the information herein I'm going to list them in my US Divestiture Program as "Blue" with the following caveat:

"Shade of blue color expertized by Ningpo (Clive) and Winedrinker (Eric) neither of which will receive a commission on the sale. However, if unhappy they will cheerfully refund your money ... in the dollar equivalent of empty gin/vodka bottles as per your State/Province refund mechanism".

Thanks Party

Like 
1 Member
likes this post.
Login to Like.
Members Picture
keesindy

04 Oct 2016
08:02:21pm

re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

My 2 cents.......

Ultramarine contains a hint of red that the blue doesn't display.

Like
Login to Like
this post

"I no longer collect, but will never abandon the hobby"
Members Picture
phos45

04 Oct 2016
08:09:33pm

re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

color analysis online ...

http://www.stampsmarter.com/colorextract/index.php


(Modified by Moderator on 2016-10-04 22:13:18)

Like
Login to Like
this post

https://machinstudyg ...
Members Picture
Winedrinker

04 Oct 2016
09:15:43pm

re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

"Ultramarine contains a hint of red that the blue doesn't display."



Agreed, and that would be satisfied by violet, which is red + blue. Not that I am pushing violet that much, but came across a couple of sites that were adamant about it being a component of ultramarine blue, and at this point it becomes counting how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. I say 12.

And nice site phos45! I have it bookmarked now. You can actually take the numbers you come up with there and go to color analysis sites online to get the color groups etc.

https://html-color.codes/hex/786060

Eric




(Modified by Moderator on 2016-10-04 22:14:13)
Like
Login to Like
this post
Members Picture
okstamps

04 Oct 2016
09:27:48pm

re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

Winedrinker,

Your comment about Vermeer and his use of ultramarine blue brought back a memory from my visits to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The first time that I went I was looking forward to the Rembrandt paintings, especially the Night Watch. However, the paintings that I most enjoyed were those by Vermeer. Vermeer's paintings shined because of the extraordinary blue pigment that was used. That color was so vibrant that it made his paintings stand out among all others. By contrast, the Night Watch, although huge by comparison and itself impressive, took a definite "back seat" in my eyes because Rembrandt's paints by comparison were drab. Even after all of these years I can see why Vermeer insisted on using that particular pigment.

Like 
2 Members
like this post.
Login to Like.
Members Picture
Winedrinker

05 Oct 2016
03:17:07pm

re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

Image Not Found

okstamps you are a lucky dog to have seen some Vermeers up close. I'm going to go look at some of those paintings online as soon as I finish this post.


And to belabor the point on ultramarine versus blue. I found some information that backs up Keesindy and Winedrinker as to having some red (violet) in it.

Using the site that phos45 provided earlier, and going to a menu item there that lists "names of colors" then clicking, and employing the RGB analysis:

BLUE = 0, 0, 255
ULTRAMARINE BLUE = 65, 102, 245

So some green in there as well, interestingly enough. The bottom line is that ultramarine is far more complex and mysterious than blue. Like a beautiful woman with a shady past.

Cheers,
Eric


Like
Login to Like
this post
Members Picture
ccndd

18 Nov 2016
11:47:56am

re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

Here are examples that may help.Image Not Found
On the left is dull blue. Middle is ultramarine and the right is blue. Hope this helps a tad.

Like 
1 Member
likes this post.
Login to Like.
Members Picture
larsdog

APS #220693 ATA#57179
18 Nov 2016
08:15:05pm

re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

"employing the RGB analysis:

BLUE = 0, 0, 255
ULTRAMARINE BLUE = 65, 102, 245"



You have to be careful about that. RGB (red/green/blue) colors are additive colors using light and primarily used in electronic displays (TV screens and computer monitors). They are called additive because you start with a black screen and keep adding color to get white light. That's why RGB 0,0,0 is black and RGB 255,255,255 is white. (255 is the base 10 equivalent of FF in base 16, which is a multiple of what computers use).

CMYK colors (cyan/magenta/yellow/black) are subtractive (start with a white canvas that reflects all light and add ink that absorbs instead of relecting light) and are primarily used in printing, including many multicolor postage stamps where one color is laid down at a time. 100% each of CMY is close to black, but K (black) is added since black is used so often and provides a crisper black image and better grey-scale results. It also saves a LOT of ink when printing darker colors!

Ultramarine RGB 65,102,245 = CMYK 73.5%/58.4%/0/3.9%

Blue RGB 0,0,255 = CMYK 100%/100%/0/0

So blue has equal parts cyan and magenta ink at full intensity. Ultramarine has a little less magenta, but adds a little black.

Heavily inked items will appear darker and lightly inked items lighter, so there is often a great deal of variability in older issues.

Just look at the insanity that is the US 3c perforated pre-Civil War stamp:

Scott 25 can be rose, rose red, dull red, brownish carmine or claret. That just shows how much variation there was in 19th Century inks and red is the least stable color when subjected to light. (That's why red is the first color to fade in sunlight and special UV coating is used on stop signs).

Sorry to go on so long.

Lars


Like 
3 Members
like this post.
Login to Like.

"Expanding your knowledge faster than your collection can save you a few bucks."

www.larsdog.com/stam ...
Members Picture
Winedrinker

18 Nov 2016
08:52:54pm

re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

Very good Lars.
Now, how is Tyrian purple different from purple? And what animal was sacrificed by the tens of thousand to obtain it?


Eric

Like
Login to Like
this post
Members Picture
philb

18 Nov 2016
09:09:23pm

Auctions

re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

I have been collecting Guatemala almost 20 years..you would think i would know the difference easily between #31 litho "dull blue" and engraved #43 "blue" but they used the plates so many times and i am certain different inks ! Scott says the impression of the engraved stamps is sharper than that of the litho. Yeah well !Image Not Found

Like
Login to Like
this post

"And every hair is measured like every grain of sand"
Members Picture
seanpashby

18 Nov 2016
09:10:18pm

re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

The original purple dye came from sea snails. A priest I know once told me that the cloth dyed in it smelled horrible, but only royalty were allowed to wear it.

Like 
1 Member
likes this post.
Login to Like.
Members Picture
philb

18 Nov 2016
09:27:13pm

Auctions

re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

Ok Stamps, Rembrandt refused to change his style of painting and became less popular. We went to Boston a year or two ago the museum had a exhibit "The Golden Age of Dutch artists"..wow, what a feast ! Since my wife is from Holland i get to see a lot of Van Gogh and Rembrandt exhibits..Philadelphia ,Sarasota,Williamstown Ma.,Boston etc. I saw the Night Watch...what a shock to see it slashed the way it was.

Like
Login to Like
this post

"And every hair is measured like every grain of sand"
Members Picture
musicman

APS #213005
18 Nov 2016
09:31:45pm

re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

slightly off-topic;


the eyes in that painting are AMAZING.







Randy

Like 
1 Member
likes this post.
Login to Like.
Members Picture
philb

18 Nov 2016
10:20:40pm

Auctions

re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

i am pretty sure that was the highlight picture at the Boston museum show.

Like
Login to Like
this post

"And every hair is measured like every grain of sand"
Members Picture
biggeorge

18 Nov 2016
11:23:18pm

re: Blue vs Ultramarine ? How can you tell ?

Here is what I found when looking through the collection for examples of blue vs. ultramarine. The outer portion of the stamp is listed as ultramarine while the inner vignette is blue.

George (aka biggeorge)

Image Not Found

Like 
2 Members
like this post.
Login to Like.
        

Contact Webmaster | Visitors Online | Unsubscribe Emails


User Agreement

Copyright © 2022 Stamporama.com