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The Green & Lilac Issue

1883-84

Great Britain was concerned about counterfeiting and attempts to re-use stamps from the very onset.  The change from the Penny Black to the Penny Red,  the use of the crown watermark and the change from two to four check letters was all done to foil counterfeiting and re-use of the
stamps.  In addition to these cautionary measures the government also wanted to issue stamps in doubly fugitive ink.  Unfortunately, De La
Rue could provide only to colors of doubly fugitive ink: green and lilac.   The use of doubly fugitive ink has resulted in a vast supply of grossly
inferior copies of these stamps.  The stamps have been soaked off paper by collectors and in most cases the ink has been badly damaged rendering the stamps valueless.  Considering the cost of purchasing these stamps one should take great caution in making sure that they are
buying copies without ink that has been damaged by soaking.  Looking closely at the design, it is not to  difficult to note whether the design has
been effected by the ink defusing or bleeding.  The copies shown below are pretty close to the proper shade of unaffected green and lilac.
These stamps proved to be very unpopular with both the postal employees and the public.  Postal employees had trouble distinguishing
the values due to the similar colors and designs.  The public simply thought the stamps were ugly.
 
 

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