Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Phosphor - or non-phosphor error?

We know that all defintive stamps for decades have carried two phosphor bands, except for 2nd class which have one, usually at the centre.  There haven't been any missing phosphor errors for many years as far as I can recall. 

Many people still use the traditional 'hold-to-light' method for checking short or shifted bands, especially in the summer when the real darkness necessary for a UV-lamp is in short supply.  Years ago this method was also used as a first check to find out whether the stamp had phosphor missing altogether - we could even do that in the post office and I remember looking at my first 1980 £3 Wedgwood PSB and saying to myself - "oh, they've changed the phosphor bands again" as I found the bands on the se-tenant pane shifted.   I soon shifted that on my next trip to Stampex! 

So what do we make of this:


It's a mix of stamps, the 1p and 11½p definitely se-tenant and the 14p and 11½p maybe not.  Certainly the 11½p have left bands and if the 14p is - or was - joined as a pair, then that will have 2 bands - which are not visible by this method.

Fortunately the bands are visible to the Uvitec lamp, confirming that there is nothing amiss, aside from a lack of postmark on these!   It also makes it much easier to see that the stamps are joined, at least in  pair even if it is not a block of 4.



So remember, a UV lamp is a very worthwhile investment. What good finds have you made, with or without a UV lamp?

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