Non-destructive testing of philatelic papers and inks
By: Dr. Gene Hall

Jun 1 , 2004

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Prof. Gene Hall, our presenter for June, gave a marvelous talk on the topic: “Non-Destructive Elemental and Chemical Analysis of Postage Stamps.” He first gave a brief overview of important dates in history that dealt with different aspects of paper and ink. He then went into great detail regarding the chemistry of ink and paper. Prof. Hall discussed the questions asked in any analysis of a stamp, such: Is the ink consistent with the time period?; Are the fillers in the paper appropriate for the time period?; etc. He then discussed several different non-destructive methods of analyzing ink and paper, including Micro X-ray fluorescence and Micro Raman. Prof. Hall also discussed his work on the Grinnells. At the end of his talk, he encouraged our members to submit stamps to him for further analysis. A portion of Prof. Hall’s presentation can be seen below.