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Tuesday 15 November 2016

Tweezers, Magnifier, Perforation Gauge, Watermark detector, natural daylight ... but most important of all....

...a large computer screen. Mine is currently 60 x 30 cm and since I have upgraded several times since I became computer-literate circa the year 2000, I realise that I am taking for granted now very big advances in my ability to study material easily. Most times, I do not even bother with the magnifier - I simply scan an item, crop the scan, and then display on screen an enlargement big enough and bright enough  for most normal purposes - and that's an understatement. Most of the time, the screen is showing information way beyond the level  I need.

I only use mobile devices for text messages and phone calls so I don't know how good they are for serious work but I very much doubt they can achieve what a 60 x 30 full screen can offer.

I also make quite a lot of use of natural daylight as well as a desk lamp for spotting defects and identifying repairs, faked elements and so on.

I have several times had the experience of buying at stamp shows in halls with poor light, items which fail one or other test the moment I look at them again in good natural daylight. Surprising perhaps but true. And, for example, in many stamp exhibitions the light would not allow you to distinguish typographed from lithographed by looking at the back of the stamp - you need natural daylight or an equivalent.

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