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United States/Stamps : NBN CBN ABN paper types

 

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179

23 Dec 2020
06:46:39pm
I am reluctantly diving headfirst down the rabbit hole of National Bank Note, Continental Bank Note, and American Bank Note papers. I am, of course, looking at the banknotes, periodical stamps, and official stamps. I accept that anything (without a contrary postmark or other dating) printed on soft porous paper is, by definition, ABN. No worries there. What I am looking for is a description of HOW to look at these stamps to determine paper type. With the secret marks added to CBN regular issues, and NBN not printing any periodical or official stamps, I mostly just need to differentiate between CBN and ABN, or soft porous paper and anything else, essentially.

There are no secret marks on the 24c, 30c, and 90c banknotes, but I doubt I have a 164 so only the 30c and 90c MIGHT come into play if they AREN'T ABN. That's most likely with the 90c stamp with NBN/CBN/ABN used prices of $350/$275/$325. If it isn't ABN, do I need to send it off for a cert to determine what it is?

Anyway, back to the question. I have ordered a light pad (a small light table) to lay out some stamps that I KNOW must be ABN and CBN so I can compare to my target stamps. What am I looking for? Am I using the wrong tool? Any advice?

Thanks!

Lars
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ccndd
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24 Dec 2020
01:47:00am
re: NBN CBN ABN paper types

Hi! here is my best advice. Find a stamp that you know is #147 and another that you know is #158. If you hold the stamps together up to a light you will notice that the light translusces through them mostly equally. Try again with a #147 and a suspected #184. If it is a $184 the translucent pass through of the light will be milkier in appearance, actually quite different. To be sure, compare a #207 , which is always soft porous yellowish paper, to a #147. The difference should be quite apparent. When you are used to it, this can be used for all the other denominations as well. There are differences of course between stamps of different color but, I still maintain, you will find this method quite useful. Perhaps 97% certainty is achievable and in many cases 100%. That was my 2 cents worth. Chris of ccndd

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51Studebaker
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Dialysis, damned if you do...dead if you don't

24 Dec 2020
04:09:56am
re: NBN CBN ABN paper types


Assigning a manufactured of soft, hard, intermediate papers can be tricky business. IDing a paper type is a bit easier. Two articles that might help on paper types (one has a backlite image that might help with your light table);

https://www.stampsmarter.org/learning/Manuf_BankNotePaperTypes.html

https://www.stampsmarter.org/learning/Manuf_PaperUsedForUSStamps.html

Just to throw a monkey wrench into your discovery and as you might already know... The National Bank Note merged/evolved with the Continental Bank Note company; IP, dies, paper inventory, resources were merged. And then the ABNC purchased the merged NBNC and CBNC company. Dating these mergers helps a bit with sorting out the paper situation but I am not sure that anyone can definitively delineate paper types based upon sheet imprints. I assume that this is because for all anyone knows there could have been older paper stock sitting around for a year or two. During the manufacturing process did they care about paper type or did they just use what was most efficient at the moment?


Don


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pigdoc

24 Dec 2020
11:08:10am
re: NBN CBN ABN paper types

Don's comments reinforce a feeling that is growing in me. That is, Scott catalog numbers that are used to distinguish paper types, grills, and maybe even perf differences don't really represent unique stamps the same way that different designs do. At that level, these variations are just part of the processes of normal production, like just about any other manufactured good... The retrospective imposition of order on those processes is just a way to tease out relative frequency of those individual variations. I wonder if, at the time (mid-19th century), printers had any thought that the variations they were creating would become such important determinants of value. I seriously doubt it. Thus, I presume that the relative values are just an artifact of the obsessiveness of stamp collectors.

Nah, we're not obsessive....are we?

With the Banknotes, a quick test for paper type I use to distinguish soft paper from hard paper is to hold the stamp near the top or the bottom, and then deflect the opposite edge and let it spring back straight. The hard paper stamps will smartly snap back straight, often making a sound.

-Paul

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179

25 Dec 2020
01:59:46am
re: NBN CBN ABN paper types

Thanks, Chris, but am I on the right track with a light table? I tried holding the stamps up to a window, using a small flashlight, and finally decided a light table is worth a try so I can compare better.

Thanks, Don. I looked at the first article before I posted, but the second gives some good additional info. I understand what you are saying about NBN -> CBN -> ABN, but the secret marks help a lot from NBN -> CBN. There are two that will be tricky.

Paul, I tried the flick test, but I ran several tests and I was not very consistent at always finding the same result. I totally agree that early type differences were contrived and some progressions of grills, paper, watermark, and perforation are not terribly significant. I would be interested in your feedback on this:

http://www.larsdog.com/stamps/philosophy.htm

I have been working on this for many years, and the dollar figures are still from 2008 Scott. (The Z grills are much more expensive now, for example). But overall, the analysis still holds: It actually IS possible to accumulate a reasonably comprehensive US collection over a lifetime!

Thanks for everyone's inputs, and any other tips are appreciated. Based on the links Don provided, it seems the stamps should be placed face down?

If someone said "check for a watermark", I would know how to perform that task, but viewing a stamp with backlight could mean so many different things I'm lost. I do appreciate your patience.

Lars

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pigdoc

25 Dec 2020
09:23:39am
re: NBN CBN ABN paper types

Thanks Lars,

I just scanned your 'treatise', and think it's great! I will go through it in more detail, soon.

I like the list of "800 pound gorillas". I might add a couple more of the Banknote Officials, specifically, O94, the 1c Agriculture on soft paper (ties directly into this topic!) and O103, the 24c Interior, also on soft paper. These have been extremely elusive for me, much more so than #2 and #39. Has as much to do with how frequently you find them for sale as the sale price itself. And, that apparently, they were printed but never used.

I've also been chasing the early (1867) grill varieties. The more valuable ones beg for expertization, particularly when only a partial grill is detectible. I know I've looked at a few faked grills on these and the high-denomination NBN Banknotes. Particularly on the high-denomination Banknotes, I have a bit more confidence that the grill is not faked if the cancellation is "checkerboarded" by the indentations of the grill, indicating at least that the cancellation was applied to the stamp after the grill was. (Of course, faked cancellations are always a threat, but the margin on turning a high-denomination mint stamp into a used stamp would be somewhat deterring for all but the most expert fakers.)

Personally, I don't pay much attention to absolute catalog values. However, the catalog value of a stamp RELATIVE to its look-alikes is very important to me when contemplating an investment.

-Paul



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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179

25 Dec 2020
09:58:37pm
re: NBN CBN ABN paper types

Paul,

I exclude those as being NECESSARY to my collection based on the Philosophy referred to, so those aren't a problem as 800 pound gorillas for me. The reason I am trying to determine paper types is because I want to do my best to IDENTIFY what I have.

Using your example, I don't CARE if I have an O94 or an O1. I have one of them, and I assume it's an O1, but I would like to learn how to identify it without sending it off for a cert. Even though I don't collect such differentiations, it IS fun to learn how to identify them!

My plan for that spot in my album is to have O1 and O94 both listed as options with a checkmark next to what I determine it is (likely O1).

I have done the same for perforations and watermarks throughout my collection.

Just because I don't collect the differences doesn't mean I don't want to learn how to identify the differences.

Cheers!

Lars

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larsdog

APS #220693 ATA#57179
23 Dec 2020
06:46:39pm

I am reluctantly diving headfirst down the rabbit hole of National Bank Note, Continental Bank Note, and American Bank Note papers. I am, of course, looking at the banknotes, periodical stamps, and official stamps. I accept that anything (without a contrary postmark or other dating) printed on soft porous paper is, by definition, ABN. No worries there. What I am looking for is a description of HOW to look at these stamps to determine paper type. With the secret marks added to CBN regular issues, and NBN not printing any periodical or official stamps, I mostly just need to differentiate between CBN and ABN, or soft porous paper and anything else, essentially.

There are no secret marks on the 24c, 30c, and 90c banknotes, but I doubt I have a 164 so only the 30c and 90c MIGHT come into play if they AREN'T ABN. That's most likely with the 90c stamp with NBN/CBN/ABN used prices of $350/$275/$325. If it isn't ABN, do I need to send it off for a cert to determine what it is?

Anyway, back to the question. I have ordered a light pad (a small light table) to lay out some stamps that I KNOW must be ABN and CBN so I can compare to my target stamps. What am I looking for? Am I using the wrong tool? Any advice?

Thanks!

Lars

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

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Members Picture
ccndd

24 Dec 2020
01:47:00am

re: NBN CBN ABN paper types

Hi! here is my best advice. Find a stamp that you know is #147 and another that you know is #158. If you hold the stamps together up to a light you will notice that the light translusces through them mostly equally. Try again with a #147 and a suspected #184. If it is a $184 the translucent pass through of the light will be milkier in appearance, actually quite different. To be sure, compare a #207 , which is always soft porous yellowish paper, to a #147. The difference should be quite apparent. When you are used to it, this can be used for all the other denominations as well. There are differences of course between stamps of different color but, I still maintain, you will find this method quite useful. Perhaps 97% certainty is achievable and in many cases 100%. That was my 2 cents worth. Chris of ccndd

Like
Login to Like
this post
Members Picture
51Studebaker

Dialysis, damned if you do...dead if you don't
24 Dec 2020
04:09:56am

re: NBN CBN ABN paper types


Assigning a manufactured of soft, hard, intermediate papers can be tricky business. IDing a paper type is a bit easier. Two articles that might help on paper types (one has a backlite image that might help with your light table);

https://www.stampsmarter.org/learning/Manuf_BankNotePaperTypes.html

https://www.stampsmarter.org/learning/Manuf_PaperUsedForUSStamps.html

Just to throw a monkey wrench into your discovery and as you might already know... The National Bank Note merged/evolved with the Continental Bank Note company; IP, dies, paper inventory, resources were merged. And then the ABNC purchased the merged NBNC and CBNC company. Dating these mergers helps a bit with sorting out the paper situation but I am not sure that anyone can definitively delineate paper types based upon sheet imprints. I assume that this is because for all anyone knows there could have been older paper stock sitting around for a year or two. During the manufacturing process did they care about paper type or did they just use what was most efficient at the moment?


Don


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pigdoc

24 Dec 2020
11:08:10am

re: NBN CBN ABN paper types

Don's comments reinforce a feeling that is growing in me. That is, Scott catalog numbers that are used to distinguish paper types, grills, and maybe even perf differences don't really represent unique stamps the same way that different designs do. At that level, these variations are just part of the processes of normal production, like just about any other manufactured good... The retrospective imposition of order on those processes is just a way to tease out relative frequency of those individual variations. I wonder if, at the time (mid-19th century), printers had any thought that the variations they were creating would become such important determinants of value. I seriously doubt it. Thus, I presume that the relative values are just an artifact of the obsessiveness of stamp collectors.

Nah, we're not obsessive....are we?

With the Banknotes, a quick test for paper type I use to distinguish soft paper from hard paper is to hold the stamp near the top or the bottom, and then deflect the opposite edge and let it spring back straight. The hard paper stamps will smartly snap back straight, often making a sound.

-Paul

Like
Login to Like
this post
Members Picture
larsdog

APS #220693 ATA#57179
25 Dec 2020
01:59:46am

re: NBN CBN ABN paper types

Thanks, Chris, but am I on the right track with a light table? I tried holding the stamps up to a window, using a small flashlight, and finally decided a light table is worth a try so I can compare better.

Thanks, Don. I looked at the first article before I posted, but the second gives some good additional info. I understand what you are saying about NBN -> CBN -> ABN, but the secret marks help a lot from NBN -> CBN. There are two that will be tricky.

Paul, I tried the flick test, but I ran several tests and I was not very consistent at always finding the same result. I totally agree that early type differences were contrived and some progressions of grills, paper, watermark, and perforation are not terribly significant. I would be interested in your feedback on this:

http://www.larsdog.com/stamps/philosophy.htm

I have been working on this for many years, and the dollar figures are still from 2008 Scott. (The Z grills are much more expensive now, for example). But overall, the analysis still holds: It actually IS possible to accumulate a reasonably comprehensive US collection over a lifetime!

Thanks for everyone's inputs, and any other tips are appreciated. Based on the links Don provided, it seems the stamps should be placed face down?

If someone said "check for a watermark", I would know how to perform that task, but viewing a stamp with backlight could mean so many different things I'm lost. I do appreciate your patience.

Lars

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

www.larsdog.com/stam ...
pigdoc

25 Dec 2020
09:23:39am

re: NBN CBN ABN paper types

Thanks Lars,

I just scanned your 'treatise', and think it's great! I will go through it in more detail, soon.

I like the list of "800 pound gorillas". I might add a couple more of the Banknote Officials, specifically, O94, the 1c Agriculture on soft paper (ties directly into this topic!) and O103, the 24c Interior, also on soft paper. These have been extremely elusive for me, much more so than #2 and #39. Has as much to do with how frequently you find them for sale as the sale price itself. And, that apparently, they were printed but never used.

I've also been chasing the early (1867) grill varieties. The more valuable ones beg for expertization, particularly when only a partial grill is detectible. I know I've looked at a few faked grills on these and the high-denomination NBN Banknotes. Particularly on the high-denomination Banknotes, I have a bit more confidence that the grill is not faked if the cancellation is "checkerboarded" by the indentations of the grill, indicating at least that the cancellation was applied to the stamp after the grill was. (Of course, faked cancellations are always a threat, but the margin on turning a high-denomination mint stamp into a used stamp would be somewhat deterring for all but the most expert fakers.)

Personally, I don't pay much attention to absolute catalog values. However, the catalog value of a stamp RELATIVE to its look-alikes is very important to me when contemplating an investment.

-Paul



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larsdog

APS #220693 ATA#57179
25 Dec 2020
09:58:37pm

re: NBN CBN ABN paper types

Paul,

I exclude those as being NECESSARY to my collection based on the Philosophy referred to, so those aren't a problem as 800 pound gorillas for me. The reason I am trying to determine paper types is because I want to do my best to IDENTIFY what I have.

Using your example, I don't CARE if I have an O94 or an O1. I have one of them, and I assume it's an O1, but I would like to learn how to identify it without sending it off for a cert. Even though I don't collect such differentiations, it IS fun to learn how to identify them!

My plan for that spot in my album is to have O1 and O94 both listed as options with a checkmark next to what I determine it is (likely O1).

I have done the same for perforations and watermarks throughout my collection.

Just because I don't collect the differences doesn't mean I don't want to learn how to identify the differences.

Cheers!

Lars

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

www.larsdog.com/stam ...
        

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