Watermark Detectors

Multiple Crown CA watermarkDiscover the hidden gems in your stamp collection

Checking watermarks is a vital part of cataloguing your stamps to ensure you know exactly which stamp you have and therefore the full value of your collection. The main issue is that watermarks are often hard to detect without specialist equipment. Watermarks are impressed on the stamp during manufacturing process and are detectable due to the variation in thickness of the paper. Watermark visibility range from very clear to practibly invisible to the naked ey – place the stamp on a plain sheet of dark paper for your best chance of seeing the watermark if that doesn’t work you’ll need specialist equipment. A watermark detector is a good investment to make the job of detecting watermarks easier and find any hidden gems in your collection or simply find out the exact stamp you have. Familiarise yourself with the Bermuda stamp watermark you are looking for before you start looking. Click the image to enlarge.

Stanley Gibbons Detectamark SpectrumNEW! Stanley Gibbons Detectamark Spectrum

The NEW Stanley Gibbons Detectamark Spectrum makes it even easier to discover the hidden rarities in your collection.

It is simplicity itself to use and the mulitiple colour settings and adjustable light source, unique to the Detectamark Spectrum, provide additional help when identying more difficult watermarks.

It even shows up watermarks on modern stamps printed on thick, chalk-surfaced papers with full gum – the ones that other detectors fail to identify. It is clean safe and very effective, without the use of chemicals and solvents and also helps to detect minor damage, such as thins, tears or repairs.

The Stanley Gibbons Detectamark Spectrum has multiple colour settings for the LED light source, which can be adjusted in brightness to assist with watermark identification using the two switches on the side.

  • Will detect all Bermuda watermarks
  • Provides clean, safe and effective watermark detection
  • Suitable for loose stamps only
  • Viewing area of 50 x 45mm.
  • Reinforced black plastic body
  • Approx size: 93 x 110 x 130mm (w x h x d)
  • Powered by 4 x AA batteries

Stanley Gibbons DetectamarkStanley Gibbons Detectamark

Discover the hidden rarities in your collection with this bestselling handheld tool.

The Stanley Gibbons Detectamark provides clean, safe and effective watermark detection without the use of chemicals and also helps detect minor damage such as thins, tears and repairs.

It is constructed from a strong metal alloy and can be used with batteries or the supplied power adaptor.

  • Light and pressure type
  • Provides clean, safe and effective watermark detection
  • Can detect minor damage such as thins, tears and repairs
  • Viewing area 50 x 50mm
  • Metal body
  • Powered by 2 x AA batteries or mains adaptor

Neil says: “I use Detectamark when checking for watermarks and it’s easy to use. The only minor drawback would be if you are checking large batches – the glass holder can be a bit fiddly. Otherwise very good!”

SAFE Signoscope T1SAFE Signoscope T1

SAFE Signoscope Opto-Electric Watermark and Quality Tester. T1 Signoscope Professional Model. Watermark or not, repaired or mint! Quick and easy to use – simply place your stamp under the optical block in the pull out slide, tighten the slide in its recess and turn on the light. Repairs, thin areas and watermark variations will be quickly and easily identified.

  • Light and pressure type
  • Provides clean, safe and effective watermark detection
  • Can detect minor damage such as thins, tears and repairs
  • Powered by 5 x AA batteries or mains adaptor
  • Dimensions 200 x 90 x 140mm

SAFE Signoscope T2SAFE Signoscope T2

Safe Signoscope Opto-Electric Watermark and Quality Tester. T2 Signoscope Portable Model. Watermark or not, repaired or mint! Quick and easy to use – simply place your stamp under the optical block in the pull out slide, tighten the slide in its recess and turn on the light. Repairs, thin areas and Watermark variations will be quickly and easily identified.

  • Light and pressure type
  • Provides clean, safe and effective watermark detection
  • Can detect minor damage such as thins, tears and repairs
  • Powered by 2 x AA batteries or mains adaptor
  • Dimensions 130 x 70 x 185mm

Morley-Bright INST-A-TECTORMorley-Bright INST-A-TECTOR watermark detector

Morley-Bright watermark detectors work are a good choice if budget is an issue. They work by squeezing an ink sachet over the stamp and revealing the watermark. The INSTA-TECTOR is the easiest to use. Just place the stamp between the ink sachet and the glass in the hand held unit. The watermark is revealed when thumb pressure is applied to the edges of the unit. The watermark image disappears when the pressure is released.

If you are buying secondhand make sure the ink satchet is dark otherwise you’ll need to buy a replacement sachet which are not expensive. A light ink colour means its an old satchet and will not be very effective.

  • Ink pad impression type
  • Cheap alternative to powered versions
  • Easy to handle
  • No batteries required

Morley-Bright ROLL-A-TECTORMorley-Bright ROLL-A-TECTOR watermark detector

The INST-A-TECTOR is a better choice if you want a longer lasting watermark reveal of the watermark. A roller is used to apply pressure. instead of your thumbs. The watermark will be visible until another stamp is inserted into the unit.

Again, if you are buying secondhand make sure the ink satchet is dark as explained in the INST-A-TECTOR listing.

  • Ink pad impression type
  • Cheap alternative to powered versions
  • Easy to handle
  • Watermark remains longer
  • No batteries required

Watermark Detection FluidsWatermark Detection Fluids

Fluid is a traditional method of revealing watermarks on stamps. Pour the watermark detection fluid in a watermark dectector tray to reveal the watermark on your stamp. Suitable watermark detecting fluids include water (not for mint!), lighter fluid (Ronsonol) or specialist watermark detecting fluids such as Clarity or Prinz Super Safe Watermark Fluid. Using a good watermark detecting fluid and good technique will not damage the gum on a mint stamp.

Suitable fluids

  • Water (not for mint)
  • Rosonol
  • Prinz Super Safe
  • Clarity

safe-watermark-trayWatermark Detector Trays

Watermark detector trays are a traditional piece of kit for holding watermark detection fluid whilst detecting watermarks. Options include the Safe Watermark Detector Tray which is made of heavy, plastic material. Divided tray with a handy draining board’ on one side for drying off stamps when finished. The Lighthouse Watermark Detector Tray is another option from a popular brand but does not feature a draining board.

Instructions for the Safe Watermark Detector Tray are as follows: Place the stamp with the picture face down into the tray. Pour a few drops of lighter fluid, or preferably a special watermark fluid free of carbon tetrachloride, on the back of the stamp. If there is watermark, it will now become visible. Remove the stamp and place it on the special serrated draining surface surface for drying.

  • Safe Watermark Detector Tray size: 2¾” x 4½”
  • No batteries required!

Bermuda Stamps

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