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United States/Stamps : Identifying 2 cent Washington Scott 248, 249, 250, 265 type I colors

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Sacmo52
20 Feb 2013
07:57:17am
Greetings all. I am looking for a good reference for the above stamp colors of carmine, carmine-lake and pink (which I think I have identified correctly)What I have read in Scott Specialized US is that there can be variations of these colors adding to the problem of separating them by color. When the book value ranges from 9.00-3.00 it is good to be able to correctly identify these variations. I have seen a Scott book specifically for color @ $55. and up. The Stanley Gibbons color fan is not recommended for U.S. stamp colors. Is there another reference worthy of this color identification? I have thought maybe selecting stamp issues that were only printed in each of the three colors and making a comparison from these. As a printmaker myself I know each ink batch could even then be slightly different.
Appreciate any leads.
Steven
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BobbyBarnhart
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20 Feb 2013
08:54:28am
re: Identifying 2 cent Washington Scott 248, 249, 250, 265 type I colors

This is such an excellent question! Long ago I realized that there are nuances to this hobby I'll never master, and figuring out colors of stamps is right there at the top. I have purchased color guides galore to no avail. When Scott began to print in color, I thought my worries were at an end, but not so as the colors in the catalog are not true. I cannot tell the difference between carmine and red and their various shades. And blue, light blue, and ultramarine? Forget it!

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lisagrant87
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20 Feb 2013
09:06:14am
re: Identifying 2 cent Washington Scott 248, 249, 250, 265 type I colors

Steven,
I own the Stanley gibbons color fan as well as a Scott guide. The color fan isn't recommended for US stamps but it is super useful for identifying colors of all stamps, US included. It simply doesn't have all of the Scott colors. The Scott guide is far from comprehensive and was a huge disappointment. It's also harder to use because all you can really do is place the stamp on top of the color chip and try to ignore the non-colored part of the stamp. With the color fan, each color has a hole in it so you can place the stamp behind the color and move it to help you identify the most "filled in" portion of the stamp.

The bottom line is that color is subjective. Has the stamp faded? Has your color guide faded? Do you see carmine the same way I do? Or the same way that Bobby does? The answer to the last two questions are no. We all see it differently. My best advice, get stamps that were only printed in those colors and use them as guides. If you want to purchase something, I would go with the color fan.

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michael78651
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20 Feb 2013
09:50:21am
re: Identifying 2 cent Washington Scott 248, 249, 250, 265 type I colors

If you are going to use stamps for comparison of colors, you have to get stamps that were printed around the same time. The reason is that colors were mixed differently at different times. This is due to the chemical make up of the pigments, and the method of mixing them.

Other issues relating to matching colors from different eras is that different printing methods and paper types can make colors look differently. Then, there is the inconsistencies in the catalogs naming stamps through the years the same color, but when you put the stamps side-by-side, you wonder how they ever called them the same!

You also want your reference stamps to be unused, with clean, white paper. Toned paper and colored paper will make the colors look differently.

The light under which you look at stamps can make the colors look differently too. You want to use a natural light.

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drmicro68
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20 Feb 2013
08:51:46pm
re: Identifying 2 cent Washington Scott 248, 249, 250, 265 type I colors

If you are a member of the American Philatelic Society (APS) you can borrow materials from the American Philatelic Research Library (APRL). A quick search of the catalog came up with "4 Color guides for 19th century U.S. definitives / Four Color guides for 19th century U.S. definitives" by Richard M Morris, which specifically covers these stamps. I don't own a copy but if I was interested in determining which stamps I own, this is the publication I'd go for. OTH, if you want to buy, check out eBay (unless you despise & hate it) under Publications. I currently have a "Universal Color guide" on my watch list. It's a bit old, but covers your question. Go for it if you want.

Roger

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Stampaholic
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21 Feb 2013
11:18:30am

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re: Identifying 2 cent Washington Scott 248, 249, 250, 265 type I colors

I've found the SG color gide to be excellent, unfortunately all my copies were burnt.
my wife bought a Wonder color guide a couple of Xmas's ago but it's worthless. of course, it didn't burn.As to US colors I found the SG to be pretty good, myself.

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Les
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22 Feb 2013
10:04:00am
re: Identifying 2 cent Washington Scott 248, 249, 250, 265 type I colors

The Institute for Analytical Philately www.AnalyticalPhilately.org has done a study on Colorimetric Analysis Methodology for Philatelic Studies. Their web site currently has a copy of the study.

Given the ubiquity of scanners and computers it may eventually be possible to develop mathematical measurements of stamp colors. In the meantime, I find that the Wonder Color Gauge that you can find at some stamp dealers seems to help. Color matching is too subjective to be a reliable method of classifying stamps. Certification remains the most viable means of identification. For stamps that are not valuable enough, just make the best guess.

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Logistical1
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22 Feb 2013
11:45:22am
re: Identifying 2 cent Washington Scott 248, 249, 250, 265 type I colors

Les thanks for the link. This is an excellent site and I am definitely going to put it on my browsers favorites list.

The article on Colorimetric Analysis was fascinating and proves the human eye isn’t very good at distinguishing color shade variations. Which leads me to wonder why there is so much fuss about the color shade of a stamp in philately anyway? It seems to be very subjective.

For those who display stamps, there is information on this site concerning the environmental effects of light on ink and stamps along with lots of other research.

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Sacmo52
23 Feb 2013
11:06:39am
re: Identifying 2 cent Washington Scott 248, 249, 250, 265 type I colors

Greetings all. With further research I have also read how important the lighting is to color identification. I am using natural North light from our large floor to ceiling windows. Unfortunately it is in our great room on the dining table. (Wife is tolerant!)
Or I use an Ott Light which is color balanced. Still a difficult task. I like the idea of comparing said stamps with issues that only came in that color, for reference. I am doing that with some. But mindful of the variations of those too. Good to have a couple to compare with I suppose.
Thanks for all the input on this topic!

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