Shade Varieties On the 5c Wilding Stamp of 1954-1962
As I have written in previous posts, this value was printed from no fewer than 19 plates, although plate 14 cannot be positively identified because the inscriptions were trimmed off all sheets. This variety of printings has produced no fewer than 22 identifiable shade varieties of blue or ultramarine. Some of these are very subtle, but some are not at all, as shown in the picture below:
How anyone can think that the two blocks on the left are the same colour is beyond me. These differences are every bit as significant as what we are used to seeing on the popular Admiral series of 1911-1928. There may even be more shades than I have identified, since I have only examined a relatively small number of plate blocks. The shades seem to extend across multiple plate numbers, and trying to tabulate which plates exist with which shades would be a very challenging and worthwhile research project indeed.
The shades that I have found so far, are:
Predominantly on plates 15-19:
Deep bright ultramarine
Light bright ultramarine
Predominantly on plates 1-13:
Light bright blue
Deep bright blue - the most common shade by far
Deep greenish blue
Pale dull ultramarine
Dull greenish blue
Some of these shades would appear to be relatively uncommon, based on their infrequent occurrence among the blocks that I examined.