The KGV 1d Red
The Colour Map
The KGV 1d Red

Shades of the KGV 1d Red.


The shades of the KGV 1d Red provide the specialist collector with endless possibilities of discovery, but they can present the novice in this field with more than a few difficulties. This brief monograph is intended to give the collector a solid foundation for shade assessment, and to alert him or her to some of the traps to be encountered.

The traditional basis for classification is still the Orlo-Smith system, despite various efforts over the years to supercede it. The first thing that must be understood is that, while Orlo-Smith uses a nomenclature similar to that of the Stanley Gibbons colour charts, the O-S colours do not always correspond exactly (or even closely) with the Gibbons colours. In fact, O-S often describes shades in relative terms, rather than as absolute colours; e.g, the O-S "Brownish Red" means a shade somewhat redder than Carmine, and is nothing like the S.G. Brown Red.

To compound the problem the ACSC has in recent years added a bewildering variety of supplemental shade descriptions (many deriving apparently from Colenso Blogg's detailed classification, which can be found in Colin Beech's book on the KGV 1d Red, "The Redhead"*). Since these shades are relative sub-shades of relative shades, they give the impression that almost any given stamp can belong to almost any shade group. To overcome this problem the tables at the end of this article give the nearest S.G. shades for the various O-S shade groups (although the depth of colour may be different).

The tables also give the reaction of the different shades to ultra-violet (UV) light. You will see that there is in fact not too much overlap amongst the traditional shade groups if you classify them carefully enough, and that where confusion does arise, it can almost always be resolved with the aid of a UV lamp.

However, there are still plenty of problem areas for the beginner, and not just with the rarer shades. I discuss these below, in chronological order.

Colin Beech, "The Redhead", The British Society of Australian Philately, 1998,

The Scarlet and Red shades of 1914-17.

The first set of problems concerns the separation of the various red and scarlet shades of 1914-17.

To begin at the beginning, even the basic 1914 shades can be easily confused. Thus G10 "Carmine Red" comes in two major sub-shades, one of which is noticeably redder and  brighter than the other. In the tables below I have denoted this brighter sub-shade as G10A, "Bright Carmine Red".

In fact, the brightest versions of G10A are very similar to G11 "Bright Red", at least in daylight, and these are  listed below as G10.5 "Bright Red". They can be distinguished from the true G11 by the fact that (like the G10A's) they do not react significantly to UV light, whereas G11 reacts orange/brown.

Deep versions of the G10A shade I call "Deep Bright Red'', and list them separately, in order to distinguish them from the very similar G17.5A's of 1916-17  I denote this shade by G13A (since the ACSC includes it in G13). Again, G13A reacts differently to G17.5A under UV (see tables below for details).

However, this is just the beginning of our problems - we are still faced with the fact that several of the various bright red and scarlet shades of 1914-17 are essentially indistinguishable in daylight. Fortunately, the UV lamp again comes to our aid.

To fully understand the use the UV lamp it is necessary to understand the role played by aniline dyes and eosin in the formulation of the various inks used for the 1d Red printings.

The first 1d Red's of 1914, such as G1 and the earliest G10's, lack any significant fluorescent agents, and hence appear virtually black under a UV lamp. However, around November 1914 pigments derived from various members of the aniline family of chemical dyes were incorporated into most of the ink formulas, often with varying amounts of eosin added as a brightening agent. This resulted in a range of characteristic reactions (fluorescence) to UV light, depending on the mix of dyes used.

Two main classes of dyes were employed, one of which (let us call it Type I) produces a deep blueish-purple reaction, and the other (Type II) a clear pale to bright red reaction. Often mixed or intermediate dye classes were used, giving red-purple to purple-red reactions. (Type I plus a very small amount of Type II gives a brownish purple reaction).

Also, the brightening agent eosin (which is chemically related to the aniline dyes) was also added in some formulas. Eosin produces a bright orange reaction to UV, so that when it is added to Type I formulas, the result is a lilac-brown to bright orange reaction. With Type II formulas, eosin results in brownish-red to red-orange reactions.

Armed with this knowledge we can now return to the problem of separating out the various scarlet and red shades.

Before October 1915 only Type I formulas were used for the main carmine red and red shade groups, so that G1, G2, G10, G10A and G16 appear (at most) deep to dull purple under UV. On the other hand, the very similar G17 Scarlet Reds (and the deeper G17.5 shades), printed mainly after October 1915, mostly used Type II formulas, and so react purple-red (to varying degrees) under UV, thus allowing them to be distinguished from the earlier shades.

In November 1916 the G17 formula was significantly changed for most printings, resulting in a generally brighter reaction to UV. These formulas often included significant amounts of free aniline die, and eosin was also usually added, although in relatively small amounts. This resulted in the G18/19 Scarlet Aniline shades - these have a brighter reaction to UV than G17's, often with a distinct orange component. (The eosin formulas were also used for most printings of the rough paper types G60 & G61).

This all means that with the aid of a UV lamp the various scarlet/red shade groups can be separated fairly readily. Even so, a few problems still remain.

Firstly, many of the paler (or mint) G18's don't appear obviously aniline, and hence can only safely be identified by their brighter UV reaction. Also, the level of aniline and eosin in the later scarlet shades varies considerably, so that there is no clear dividing line between the brighter G17/17.5 shades and the G18's. In effect, this means that the G17 and G17.5 scarlet shades extend into 1917, overlapping with G18 (also, they are sometimes found on thin paper). Note also that some the later G18's have a blueish (Carmine) appearance which can easily be confused with late 1917 shades like G23.

It should also be realised that with G17/17.5 (and other shades as well) there is often no really clear demarcation between the normal and deeper versions of the shade, which really form a continuous group, and probably should be collected as such. For this reason I now (Sept. '09) note G17.5 as Deep(er) Scarlet Red, and so on.

The early 1915 shades can also be confusing. In particular, there are late (non-eosin) Salmon Reds which look like G12's in daylight, but are dull under UV. These clearly form a transition group between G12 and the 1915 Scarlet/Reds, and hence can reasonably be assigned to a separate shade group. They are best described (in Orlo Smith terms) as "Salmon Red (Non Eosin)", and I denominate them below as G14.5.

Similarly, G15/15.5's are transition shades between G11 and G16/17, being duller than G11 but brighter than the later shades in daylight, and with intermediate UV reactions. (Note that some of the G15.5's (and the early G17's) can be confused with the G10A's since they have dull purplish brown UV reactions similar to those of the earlier shades, although not as deep).

The 1914 Rose Reds and Lilac Roses.

G13.5 "Rose Red" (now Bright Rose in the ACSC) and G14 Lilac Rose together form a variable group of pale late 1914 - early 1915 shades, with the deeper and darker G13.5's being similar to the paler 1917 Rose Reds, while the G14's are very similar to the paler 1918 Pinks.

Few shades have caused more controversy, but it is commonly agreed today that they are "changelings", i.e, leached or faded examples of the aniline shades G11 and (more commonly) G12, because of the generally faded appearance of the used copies, and the apparent absence of any corresponding mint examples.

The dividing line between G11/12 and G13.5/14 is largely a matter of taste; I use G13.5 to mean the paler shades which react pale red or brownish red under UV, since these form a fairly distinct subgroup of shades. G14 is reserved for the palest and bluest (and clearly faded) members of this subgroup.

Note that, contrary to what is often stated, the G13.5's can usually be easily distinguished from the 1917 Rose Reds, as they lack the Carmine tinge of the 1917 shades and hence are clearly brighter in daylight, and they are also generally browner (more orange) under UV.

The 1917 Rose Red and "Rose Carmine" shades.

The 1917 shades present a second group of problems, and many collectors have difficulties separating the G21 Rose Reds ("Rose" in today's ACSC) from the G22 Rose Carmines. The reason for this is the broad range of shades found in the common issues of mid 1917.

There are basically two groups of shades from this period. Firstly, there are shades that can best be described (in S.G. terms) as a Dullish Rose Red (or Rose Carmine Red under lower light levels). These range from relatively pale to deep, and from rosy (blueish) to somewhat redder and darker shades, and they all exhibit a generally dullish reaction to UV, These make up the common G21 Rose and Rose Red group. (This is a broad group of shades, and the deeper and darker examples are often sold as Rose Carmine).

Secondly, there are those shades that can fairly be described as "Rose Carmine", notably the S.G. Bright Carmine Rosine (normally aniline) shades which have a much brighter reaction to UV than the G21 types, and these are the shades listed below under G22. (To complicate matters, there are some distinctly brighter versions of the ordinary Rose Red shades, but still with the dullish UV reactions of the standard G21's - I would include these in the G21 group).

This all seems reasonably straightforward, but it still leaves the mysterious G20 shade. Originally this apparently meant the shade described by Blogg as "Deep Scarlet Aniline" (Blogg Z99), but no-one could agree what was meant by this shade (the thin paper shade G19A described here as Deep Bright Red seems the best candidate), and so this doubtful shade was dropped and for many years G20 was listed as Rose, meaning presumably the lighter and bluer versions of G21 Rose Red. Today G20 and G21 have been merged as G21 Rose, and the still doubtful Deep Scarlet Aniline has been moved into G19.

Note that I also list a separate group (G22.5 "Dullish Rose Carmine") for some late 1917 S.G. Rosine Carmine shades which are distinctly bluer than the G21's and generally darker than the G22's, and which show dull UV reactions, (In "The Redhead" and the ACSC these shades seem to be included in G22).

A related problem occurs in the rough paper printings of 1917. Here there are nominally two shades, G62 "Carmine" and G63 "Rose Red". However, as the UV reactions show, the G63's don't correspond to the smooth paper G21 Rose Reds, but rather to the brighter G22 Rose Carmines, while the G62 "Carmines" are basically just slightly redder versions of G63, closer to the (somewhat later) G24 "Brownish Reds. In fact G62 and G63 really form a single shade group, with G62 at the redder, and G63 at the bluer (and more obviously aniline) end of the shade range.

The late 1917 shades - Salmons and Bricks.

From October 1917 a wide variety of emergency formulas were used. The principal shade groups for this period are listed in the tables below, including some distinct shades not separately listed by the ACSC.

The principal shade group from this period is the Salmons. On the whole the ordinary (i.e, non-eosin) G26 Salmons are quite close to the Rose Reds, but they are a little yellower, and usually lighter in tone. The better copies are brightened by the aniline dye they contain, which also gives them a diffuse look with a pinkish tinge*. (Given the closeness of the Salmons to the Rose Reds, and to distinguish them from the other duller and browner issues of the period, I personally like to denote them as Rose Salmon).

As well as the standard Salmons there are some bright late 1917 (non-eosin) shades which are now generally referred to as Scarlet Salmon or Salmon Scarlet, but which might be better described as Bright Reddish Salmon. These are bright pinkish scarlet or rosine shades which react at most pale red under UV, and they are listed here as G26A.

We now come to the shade-formerly-known-as-Brick, now designated in the ACSC as "Terracotta". This shade has always been a problem - Orlo-Smith described this shade variously as a "hard-looking" yellowish scarlet with a touch of grey, or a pale Indian Red, although exactly what he meant by all this is not at all clear, and so in the table below I list three different shades under G25.

Firstly, we have the clear (non-aniline) darkish shade described here as Indian Red (this not very common shade reappears sporadically in 1918-19, possibly as late issues, and was possibly Orlo-Smith's original Brick).

Secondly we have the dull reddish-grey shade now described as Terracotta. In the ACSC this term is limited to the paler end of the Brick range (often Perf. OS), but it also occurs as medium shades. These "Terracotta's" are genuine shades (they are known mint), but in practice many stamps offered today as "Brick" or "Terracotta" today are just washed out examples of the deeper Reddish Salmon shades described below, rather than genuine Terracottas in the ACSC sense.

Finally I list a group of distinctive deep reddish Salmon shades as Brick. The shades here are clearly deeper and redder than Salmon proper (and much deeper than Terracotta) and can quite reasonably be described as brownish Brick, although in "The Redhead" they are probably among the shades included in G24 Brownish Red that react dull under UV (G24A here). As just stated washed out versions of this shade are often offered as Terracotta.

Another shade sometimes sold as Brick (particularly mint) is the "Pale Carmine Red" listed below with the Brownish Reds. This is a paleish, faded looking shade, and may be just that (although the fact that it is often found Perf. OS suggests that it is a real shade). So pick your own Bricks (but don't spend too much on them).

* Note that many of the late 1917 formulas incorporated raw aniline dye. In the case of the Salmons this gave them a bright, pinkish tinge, but used copies of these shades have often been over-soaked in water, leaching out the dye and giving them a dull brownish look.

The new "Salmon Eosins" and the bluer 1917 issues.

In recent years two new shade groups from late 1917 have emerged which have caused some confusion. Firstly we have the Salmon shades grouped under G27A (= ACSC 71SA) which look much like the ordinary G26 Salmons in daylight, but which react strongly to UV light, like the much brighter (in daylight) G27 Bright Salmon (Eosin). In the ACSC there are two main sub-shades of these G27A's, a somewhat dull reddish rose called Pink Salmon (Eosin), and a (slightly) bluer shade called Rose Salmon (Eosin).

So far so good, but there also seems to be a another distinctive group of eosin issues from late 1917 which are clearly brighter and significantly bluer than the bulk of the G27A shades, and which seem in fact to be closer to the early Pink shades of 1918 than to any of the Salmons. These types deserve (in my opinion) a separate listing, and so in the tables below I have separated them out as G27B Salmon Rose (Eosin). Note that these types are often offered as Deep Pink (or Deep Rose) Salmon Eosins, which creates a problem, as deep versions of the standard but rather different G27A Pink Salmon shade are not uncommon.

Brownish Reds and Orange Reds.

The G24 Brownish Reds are similar to the deeper 1914 scarlet shades, but are somewhat darker and redder, and react red to bright red under UV. They are also an aniline shade (and tend to wash out to a dull carmine red if oversoaked).

G24.5 Orange Red is a difficult shade group, and is commonly used (along with Brick) as a grab bag for all the shades between Brownish Red and Salmon. To my mind the only 1917 shades which really justify the "Orange Red" description are the brightish shades described below as S.G. Reddish Scarlet and Reddish Rosine. These are clearly yellower than the various G24 Brownish Reds, although they might better described as Bright Red than Orange Red. Some G24.5's are quite similar to G23.5, but lack the dark brownish tinge of the latter. (Note also the similar shades included below in the various G32 group issues of 1918 and 1919).

Note that the slogan postmark "HELP TO WIN THE WAR etc." first appears in the last quarter of 1917. This can be useful in differentiating the issues of this period from similar earlier shades.

The 1918 Rosine, Carmine Rose and Carmine shades.

As in 1917, the main shade groups of 1918 form an overlapping whole, both in shade and time. They are all generally similar shades, ranging from the somewhat blueish Carmine Roses (the G30's) to the redder and generally darker Carmines (the G31's). Dullish shades intermediate between G30 and G31 can be described as Reddish Rose if you like, although these are included in the G30 group below. (These last shades should not be confused with the brighter and deeper G30.5 Deep Reddish Rosine, which is the smooth paper version of the bright rough paper shade now listed in the ACSC as G70).

The dividing line between the early G29 Rosines and the G30 Carmine Rose group is also hard to define. Basically, the Rosines are bluer, brighter and generally deeper than the Carmine Roses, and are also generally brighter under UV. I follow White & Balzer in restricting G29 to those shades which react bright red under UV, while similar brightish shades which only react red or pale red under UV are assigned to G30 - if you like you can call the latter G30A "Bright Carmine Rose", but I don't go that far here. To complicate matters there are also shades which are bright in daylight but dull under UV - these are can be grouped with G30A as well.

Note that in the tables below I take Carmine Pink to be essentially a paler version of G29 Rosine (sometimes with eosin, as with the rough paper shade), and hence it is rather bluer than the G28 Pinks. Note also that some of the brighter 1918 shades (particularly the brighter Pinks and the Rosines) are not restricted to early 1918, but continue to be issued sporadically until September (although they were likely printed earlier in the year).

The 1918 Brownish Reds.

Many novice collectors have trouble with the (smooth paper) 1918 "Brownish Red" shades. This is basically because they expect them to be dramatically different from the Carmines and Carmine Roses, when in fact the commonest brownish red shade (G32 proper) is only a little duller and redder than the Carmines in daylight. However, under UV the G32's are strikingly different, with mostly red to very bright red reactions, which clearly distinguish them from the Carmine shades.

Apart from the rather dull looking Brownish Reds, there are in fact a number of quite distinctive (but scarce) reddish shades from mid 1918 (and also 1919). These are mostly bright shades (Bright Red, Orange Red, Scarlet etc.), and they are grouped with the Brownish Reds in the tables below. The Orange Reds are similar to the 1917 shades, but are generally somewhat duller and/or darker than the latter (note that, contrary to "The Redhead", these show only a weak UV response - are they perhaps late issues of 1917 shades?). As well, the odd "Dark Red (Dry Ink)" shade is also included here - it is possible that this deep shade, rather than the Bright Carmine shade listed below as G31A, may be the ACSC's Carmine "Dry Ink". (Note that the shade names for this group are my own, and the shades don't necessarily correspond to similarly named shades in the ACSC).

It should also be realised that the 1918 Brownish Reds generally date from middle of the year, when rough paper was mainly used, and hence smooth paper "Brownish Reds" are much scarcer than rough.

Maroons, Crimsons and Plums.

The key to understanding the G32.5 "Maroon" group is to realise that while the Brownish Reds are distinct shades, the commoner Maroons are mostly just deeper, more intense versions of the basic 1918 issues.

Orlo-Smith originally defined Maroon to mean a very deep red "with no trace of blue", i.e, a deep (O-S) Carmine Red, the shade of G13 - in S.G. terms, a deep Carmine Scarlet. Adding blue to this produces successively (in O-S terms) Deep Carmine, Deep Carmine Rose (Crimson) and Plum (deep Rosine). Today however Maroon means a rather bluer shade, so I take it to include principally the deeper S.G. Carmines (including the Reddish Carmines), with Crimson reserved for the deepest and most intense (and rarest) shades.

As well there are also a number of not very common deep blueish shades - "Rose Crimson" is a deep  Rose Carmine shade similar to but distinct from the deeper G33's; "Deep Rosine" is a deep Carmine Rose similar to a deep G29 Rosine, but somewhat darker in appearance. Note that Colenso Blogg describes many of the rosier G32.5 shades as Plum, Reddish Plum, or similar, but I restrict Plum to the Deep Rosine shade described above.

(It should be clear that the definitions used here are quite different from Gibbons, where Maroon is a very deep Purple Brown and Plum a deep dark Purple).

Note also that some of these deep shades show up, like the Orange Red and Brownish Red shades, with late 1919, or even mid 1920, postmarks.

The 1918 Rough Paper Shades.

Some general points need to be made about the 1918 rough paper printings. Firstly, the rough paper shades generally look darker and somewhat redder in daylight than the corresponding smooth paper shades, possibly because their inks often contain blueish aniline dye, which tends to soak into the paper. Secondly, the printings on the two types of paper only partially overlap, which further reduces the correspondence between rough and smooth paper shades with the same name.

Turning now to the specific shades, the novice collector seems to be faced with an alarming confusion of similar and overlapping shade groups, particularly those ranging from G72 to G78. However, with a little perseverance (and the help of a UV lamp) they can be sorted out.

The various brownish shades, G72, 75 & 76 (Red Brown), are related to G32 and show distinctive red to bright red reactions to UV. The G73 Carmine Reds (which correspond to the G31 Carmines) are bluer and mostly darker than the brownish reds, with mostly duller purple red UV reactions. G73 can be treated as a single group, but here it is divided into subshades, with G73B being somewhat bluer (and often aniline), and G73C somewhat darker, than the basic G73 Carmine Red. (Note that the bright carmine shade G73B is rare on smooth paper, as printings in this shade were confined to mid 1918, when mainly rough papers were used; G73C is similar to the scarce G31.5 Dull Crimsons, but not as deep).

The G74's are even bluer than the G73B's, with (mostly) a purple brown UV reaction, and are discussed further below. 

The various brownish red groups essentially form a continuum from the paler and duller G72's to the deeper and usually brighter G75 and 76's. The dividing line between the groups is largely a matter of taste - I basically group G72 and G75 together, reserving G76 for the distinctive deep matt reddish carmine shades.

Note that not so long ago there were no less than four brownish red groups in the ACSC (G72, 75, 76 and 78 "Chocolate Red"), so it is no wonder that the ACSC has quietly dropped G76 from the catalog, and appropriated G78 for its new "Orange Brown" shade (see below). In the Tables below I retain G76, and include both the old and new G78's.

(The reason that there are now so many brownish red shades can be deduced from old dealer's catalogs, where G72 is sometimes called "Reddish Rose". It would therefore appear that G72 originally may have meant the "Reddish Rose" shade listed below as G70A (or possibly the brighter G70 "Reddish Rosine" - see next section for these shades). Today however, G72 is used for the paler and duller brownish red shades which would have originally been included in G75 "Brownish Red", and which are obviously out of place between G71 and G73. This is of course why it is difficult to clearly separate G72 from G75 - they really form just one group.

Carmine Roses and Reddish Rosines.

G74 "Carmine Rose" is also a bit of a problem for collectors, mainly because there don't appear to be many rough paper equivalents of the G30's. This is because in the rough papers the brighter shades (reacting red under UV) are not particularly common and in any case tend be merged in practice with the very similar Rosines. As a result the only G30 shades with a common rough paper counterpart are the duller blueish Rose Carmines (shades which mostly react purple to purple-brown under UV)*.

On the other hand, there is the bright shade now listed in the ACSC as G70 Deep (Reddish) Rosine. This is a bright S.G. rosine carmine shade which reacts red to bright red under UV and which is described by White & Balzer in Stamp News, Jan. 1993 as "red to deep red rosine [with] barely a trace of the bluish appearance of G68 and G69". This distinctive shade recalls some of the brighter G30's, but is clearly deeper and redder and hence is a separate shade. (This shade should not be confused with shades that are now offered as G68 Reddish Rosine - these latter seem to be slightly reddish versions of G68, but they are nowhere near as red as G70, the real Reddish Rosine). Note that there are in fact smooth paper equivalents of G70 which are listed here as G30.5, but they are a lot scarcer than the rough paper shades.

There is also a reasonably common shade similar to G70, but without the bright UV reaction - this is listed below as G70A "Reddish Rose". This is a distinctive pinkish matt shade, belonging, like G72 and G73/73B, to the period from April to July 1918 when smooth paper printings were scarce, although there are some similar smooth paper shades in the G30 group. It is usually sold, not unreasonably, as G72 or (better) G74, (or, incorrectly, as G70). As noted in the previous section, this shade (and the brighter Reddish Rosine) may originally have been the shade listed in old catalogs as G72 "Reddish Rose", before that number was usurped by the "Dull Reds".

* Thus later dated "Rosines" are generally actually brighter G74's.

Rosines, Damsons and Plums.

There is often confusion between the rough paper Rosines, Damsons and Plums. In the original Orlo-Smith system, Plum is not specifically defined but in the colour map it seems to be simply a deep Rosine, while Damson ("Bright Pink Crimson") is apparently a brighter and redder version of Plum*. These days however Damson and Plum are generally taken to be members of a group of distinctive but varied shades at the bluest end of the 1d Red range, some with a cerise tinge. Thus Damson here (now) means a non-fluorescent shade between S.G. carmine and cerise, while Plum means shades somewhat brighter and redder than Plum, with generally brighter UV reactions. (For some rarer and distinct shades which do actually seem to match Orlo-Smith's description of Damson as "a bright and vivid pink crimson" see G32.5A and G77AB).

Note that the ACSC has rather equivocal about Damson; at one stage it seems to have been listed as G70 (now used for the quite different Deep Rosine**), but at other times it was omitted from the catalog altogether, or grouped with the Plums in G71. Today most dealers offer "Damsons" as G70.5, and it is denoted as such here.

Another problem concerns G69 Rosine (Perf. OS). This is usually dismissed today as a "marketing ploy" by Orlo-Smith (which may well have been the case), but my guess is G69 was in fact the distinctive S.G. blueish carmine shade which is now generally included in the shades sold as G70.5 Damson. (As just noted, in older editions the ACSC includes G69 but no G70 or "Damson", suggesting that at that stage they took G69 and G70 to be one and the same shade).

*  An odd usage of "damson", given that the damson plum is in fact the darkest and bluest variety of the fruit. Logically the deeper and bluer shades should be called Damson, and the brighter and redder shades should be Plum, and this is in fact the convention adopted in the ACSC and here.

** Note that G70 Deep Rosine shades (meaning here the reddish S.G. Rosine, not the blueish O.S. G68 Rosine) are much redder than most of the 1918 Pinks and Rosines, and in terms of shade are somewhat out of place in the catalog - they really belong more with the G72 Brownish Red shades. They are also clearly redder than the Deep Pink shade (G67A here) now often offered as "Reddish Rosine".

Maroons, Crimsons and Chocolate Reds.

In line with the smooth paper shades I take Maroon to mean the deep Carmines and deep bright aniline Carmines, and I use Crimson for the duller deep dark Carmines. Note that Bright Plum in the G77 group means deep aniline versions of the G73B Bright Carmines, which are often offered (incorrectly in my opinion) as G70.5 Damson or G71 Plum. Note also that as a whole the deep rough paper shades are somewhat redder than the deep smooth paper shades.

Some other extreme (if rare) shades are also worth looking for, such as the distinctive Chocolate Red. This is a very dense deep Carmine Red which shows little reaction to UV, unlike the other deep red brown shades. Chocolate Red used to be listed as G78, but this number is now used for the ACSC's new "Orange Brown" (Perf. OS), which is possibly the equivalent of the smooth paper G32B, which is in turn similar to, although not as bright as, G24.5 Orange Red. Note that, like the new Orange Browns, the Chocolate Reds are found Perf. OS, and the two shades have similar UV reactions, but the Orange Browns are basically medium shades, as opposed to the deeper and somewhat bluer Chocolate Reds.

(Aside: Restoring the Catalog.

Readers will have gathered from what has been said above that the rough paper shades have become rather corrupted over the years, with several shades now clearly out of position. To fix up this whole mess we would have to: (1) move the G72 Dull Reds back to G75, with G76 reserved for the deeper and richer Brownish Red shades; (2) move G70 Deep Reddish Rosine and G70A Reddish Rose back to G72; (3) restore Damson to G70; (4) restore G78 Chocolate Red (which is separate from the Brownish Reds); and finally, (5) add G79 for the new "Orange Red".

This is what should happen, but of course it won't.)

1d Red Single Watermark Issues in 1919.

The standard postal rate was changed to 1 1/2d in November 1918, after which the need for the 1d Red dropped drastically. The ACSC does not list any specific issues of the 1d Red on single watermark paper in 1919, and the existing stocks may have lasted for some time. Presumably, single watermark printings in 1919 would have mostly been in the ordinary Carmine or Carmine Rose shades, but some of the scarcer shades listed under G32 and G32.5 are found only or partly with 1919 postmarks, and hence seem to date from this period (although they may have been printed some time earlier). Worth looking for are the Orange Reds, Scarlet Reds and distinctive late Carmine/Indian Reds.

Note that issues of this period often show the post-war slogan post-mark "HELP REPATRIATION/ BUY WAR SAVINGS/ C E R T I F I C A T E S", which is useful for finding rare shades when sorting through stock books under poor lighting at stamp fairs or in dealers shops.

The 1920 Carmine Anilines.

Lastly, the G30/31 and G33 groups are quite similar in shade. However G33 stamps are generally brighter, deeper and somewhat bluer than the G31's. The paler G33's are very similar to the G30's, but with a brighter and pinker pastel look. Generally, the G33's have a smoother and "richer" look than the G30/31's, as they were mostly printed on better surfaced paper. Some of the bluer 1918 deep blueish shades (G32.5C/D) are very similar to the Carmine Anilines, but they lack the smooth finish of the "Aniline" shades (and in fact they closely match the deeper shades of the Harrison printings on large multiple watermark paper).

Note that in the case of G33 the term "aniline" derives from the original S.G. listing and refers more to the particular pigment used than to the presence of any free aniline dye, which is in fact generally absent or minimal in this shade (see also next section).

Aniline and Eosin formulas.

Some final words of explanation and warning about aniline and eosin in the formulas.

The basic aniline dyes are actually soluble in water, but are normally converted into an insoluble compound for use as pigments in inks. However, in some cases the dyes themselves were also incorporated in the inks, with the result that the colour tends to spread to some extent after printing, resulting in somewhat smoother and softer impressions than those from non-aniline inks.

Although the term "aniline" can properly be applied to both the soluble and insoluble forms of the dyes, in the case of the 1d Reds it is usual to use "aniline" mainly for those formulas which include the soluble dye, as only they show a marked difference in appearance to "non-aniline" formulas. This terminology is used in the tables below (except for G33, as explained above).

Naturally the "aniline" effect is enhanced in used stamps when they soaked in water, but it is also clearly evident in mint stamps when the sheets were gummed after printing (as happened in the rough paper printings). Used "aniline" stamps should therefore be cleaned by floating the stamps on the surface of water, rather than completely immersing them, and then only for the minimum possible time.

Obviously, over-soaking used "aniline" stamps leaches out the free dye, and also some of the eosin, so that some (used) G28's, for example, show little or no UV reaction. This is possibly also the explanation of shades like G14 and the non-eosin version of G27, for which mint copies don't seem to exist.

Heavily oversoaked stamps, in which all the aniline and eosin have been leached out, appear dull purple to grey lilac under UV.

The Tables.

In the shade tables which follow I attempt to give more exact descriptions of the Orlo Smith shades in terms of their true Gibbons colours (as defined in the Gibbons Colour Key, Item No. 2530 or the Colour Guide, Item No. 3333), noting particularly differences between similar shades where confusion may arise. For those using the Colour Key, note that Carmine Vermilion as used here is a shade between Carmine Red and Vermilion. Certain other sub-shades not found in the Key or Guide are very important when sorting out the 1918 shades, and are briefly summarised here: - Rose Carmine is between Carmine and (Bright) Rose, and is here a distinctly brighter shade than that in the Colour Key, Carmine Rose is similar but bluer, and Carmine Rosine and Rosine Carmine are bright shades between Carmine and Rosine, generally brighter and somewhat redder than Carmine Rose and Rose Carmine. 

The shade descriptions below are designed for natural light. Shades should be assessed in reasonably bright (but not overbright) mainly natural light - preferably diffused sunlight, augmented if necessary with a local halogen lamp (or a light blue incandescent lamp). It is important to realise that, when compared with Gibbons, stamps will usually appear bluer in natural light than they do in artificial light (possibly because the Gibbons pigments usually contain little or no fluorescent material). Conversely, in ordinary artificial (incandescent) light most stamps will seem somewhat redder as against Gibbons, so that G11 (e.g.) will appear Vermilion rather than Scarlet, G31 will appear Reddish Carmine rather than Carmine, and so on.

Another important point is that even in natural light, the lower the light level the bluer the stamps will appear (as against Gibbons). Thus the Rose Reds for example take on a carmine tinge under even moderately reduced lighting, while Carmine Rosine/Rosine Carmines look like Camine Rose/Rose Carmine - this is sometimes, but not always, noted in the tables below using braces {wriggly brackets like these}, and should be kept in mind when dealing with closely related shades, like those of the various 1918 rough paper issues.

In the tables I also give more specific dates of issue (or rather, the main postmark dates) for the various shade groups than are found in the ACSC.

The UV reactions are also given in the tables, in square brackets. (These reactions were obtained using a 5 watt bank signature verification lamp with a 365 nm wavelength). Two words of warning - the reactions can vary considerably in strength and shade within a given shade group, and usually the reaction has a blueish undertone, deriving from whitening agents in the paper. Thus even reactions listed as "red" or "deep red" (as opposed to "purplish red") usually still have some blueish background. This effect is particularly apparent in weaker reactions - "lilac brown" reactions for example are really "pale brown" ink reaction plus the blueish paper glow. "Pink" means a pale pastel red reaction - basically a weak bright red disappearing into the paper glow. ("Brown" reactions incidentally are in fact just very weak dull red reactions, so that "purple brown" is just a dull purple reaction with a minimum of added red - with more red it becomes dull purple red, then purplish red, and so on).

Note also that mint stamps are often distinctly bluer under UV than used copies of the same shade, possibly because of whitening agents in the paper which tend to leach out in water.

(Experienced collectors will realise that much of what is discussed in this monograph has been developed from the work of White and Balzer, whose articles on the 1d Reds (mainly concerning the UV reactions) appeared in Stamp News, Oct. 1992 - Feb. 1993. However, all the shade descriptions and UV reactions in the tables below are based on my own observations, unless otherwise stated).

The Orlo-Smith Colour Map.

On "The Colour Map" page you will find my version of the famous Orlo-Smith colour diagram, which displays the various 1d Red shades in a map which runs from the bluest shades on the left to the reddest on the right, and from the palest on the top to the deepest on the bottom. In my version, each cell of the table gives the Gibbons description of the shade, and then lists the various issues in that shade with their traditional G numbers and O-S shades.

On the same page I also give a "Colour Triangle", which arranges the shades in a two dimensional scheme more in line with standard colour theory, and which in some ways gives a better idea of how the various shades relate to each other than does the O-S map. And here's a tip - build a set of dated examples of the basic smooth paper shades and then assemble them as a colour triangle (on a Hagner sheet for example) - this will give you a convenient quick reference guide for the various shades. The shades should include if possible G23.5, G24 and a bright orange G24.5, and also examples of the Carmine Scarlet, Scarlet and Scarlet Vermilion shades from 1914-16, which can be difficult to separate unless they are seen as a group.

I hope all this will be of assistance to the 1d Red enthusiast, particularly those new to the field.

Happy collecting,

James Chapman.

May 2000-September 2004.

(Note: I have made a general revision of the shade descriptions in August 2003-March 2004, which shifts some of the descriptions somewhat towards the blue. This is designed to reflect more accurately their appearance under natural, rather than artificial, light. Thus "Scarlet Vermilion" is now usually replaced by Scarlet, and so on)

The Shade Tables.

(NB; Where appropriate the ACSC V numbers are noted, and in some cases Colenso Blogg's Z numbers are included).

O-S No.

O-S Colour

S-G Colour


Possible Confusions
 [UV Reactions]

P/Mark Dates








Carmine Red

Carmine Scarlet*/ Scarlet


Mainly somewhat brighter & yellower than G10. [Deep/Dark Purple Brown]



Deep Red

(Bright) Scarlet



7-8/14 (& late '14?)


Carmine Red

Carmine Scarlet*

Paleish to medium shades

Similar to but darker than most G17's, and dark under UV.  [Dp Purple Br'n/Dp Dull Purple]


G10A (prev. G10.5)

Brt Carmine Red

Brt Carmine Scarlet*/ Scarlet

Brightish shades; no eosin

Very similar to G17 in daylight; but dark under UV.  [Dp Purp. Br'n/ Dp Dull Purp.]



Bright Red**

Brt Scarlet/ Scarlet Vermilion

Bright shades; no eosin

Bright shades, similar to G11, but dark under UV. [Dp Purp. Br'n/ Dp Dull Purp.]

Odd printings


Bright Red^ (Aniline)

Brt Scarlet/ Scarlet Vermilion

Aniline & Eosin^^

Bright reddish shades, generally lighter & brighter than other bright reds. [Br'nish Or'ge/ Or'ge/Or'ge Br'n/Br'n]



Brt Scarlet (Aniline)

Brt Brownish Scarlet

Aniline & Eosin^^

Distinctly darker & mostly deeper than ordinary G11's.  [Br'nish Red/Reddish Br'n]



Salmon Red
(Pale Red)

Brt Rose Red/Paleish Rosine

Aniline & Eosin^^. Pale to medium pastel shades.

Brighter than G21-22 (& G26). Brighter & bluer than G16. Cf. also G14.5.  [Dull Br'nish Red/Or'ge Br'n/Br'nish Or'ge/Br'n]



Dark Red

Dp (Dark) Carmine Scarlet*


Basically deep shades of the darker G10's. Darker than the other early deep red shades. [Dp Purp. Br'n/Dp Dull Purp.]


G13A$ (Prev. G10A)

Deep Red

Deep Scarlet/Dp Brt Scarlet

No eosin

Deeper shades of the G10A/10.5's. Brighter & redder than G13; similar to G17.5A but no reaction to UV. [Dp Pp. Br'n/Dp Dull Pp./some Dull Pp. Br'n]



Rose Red

Pale Brt Rose Red

Variable shades

Similar to G21, but clearly brighter, redder than G22. Probably just leached G11/12's. [P. Red/ Br'nish Red]



Lilac Rose

V. Pale Rose


Similar to the paler G28's, but duller under UV. Probably just leached and faded G11/12's. [Grey Lilac]


* "Carmine Scarlet' here is a shade between Carmine Red (not Carmine) and Scarlet, somewhat darker and bluer than Scarlet - essentially the Carmine Vermilion of the Colour Key. 

** The G10.5 Bright Reds were probably originally included in G11.

^ Bright Red (Aniline?) has been reported with single-line perforation.

^^ Should be bright aniline shades - with leaching and/or fading they shade progressively into G13.5/14. (The dividing line between G11/12 and G13.5/14 is mostly a matter of personal judgment).

$ The ACSC's G13 was originally "Dark Red" - but now G13 includes both the Dark Reds and the Deep Bright Carmine Reds. (Note that G13A was previously listed here as G10A).









Salmon Red (Non eosin)

Rose Red

No eosin; mostly no aniline

Transitional shades to G17; similar to G12, but no eosin. [Dull Purp./Purp.]



Rose Red^

Pale(ish) Bright Rose Red

Non aniline

Scarce but genuine shade. Similar to G12 but red under UV. Brighter than G21-22 (& G26). Paler than G22, & not as dark, & non aniline. [Clear Red]

1st Qtr '15


Dull Reddish Pink

Pale Scarlet

Some eosin; mostly semi-surfaced

An eosin shade, but often leached. [Br'nish Or'ge/ Br'n/ Pp. Br'n/Lilac Br'n]



Scarlet Red (Dp Reddish Pink)^^

Scarlet(Paleish to deeper shades)

Some eosin; mostly semi- surfaced. Non aniline.

Lighter in tone than G10/11. Deeper shades of G15, shading into G17 (but somewhat brighter & clearer). [Or'ge/ Br'nish Or'ge/ Br'n/Dk Br'n/ Lilac Br'n]



Brt Reddish Pink (Aniline)

Brt Scarlet

Semi-surfaced & aniline

Bright clear aniline shades, somewhat bluer than G15.5.  [Reddish Purp./Br'nish Red]

Odd printings 8-12/15



Dullish to Brt Reddish Scarlet

Semi-surfaced paper from 6/15

Mostly dull to deep shades, but often brighter. Generally duller & somewhat redder than G10A & G17. [Reddish Purp.*/Dull Purp.]



Scarlet Red


Some shades more or less aniline

Similar to G10, but not as dark & with a brighter UV reaction. [Dull/Dark/Dp (purplish) Red/ some Dull Purp./some Br'n Purp./Dp. Br'n#]



Bright Red

Brt Scarlet


Brighter than G16 & G17. Smoother & mostly deeper than G11 & G15.5, & darker under UV. Smoother than G10A, and brighter under UV.  [Dull-Dp Pp. Red]



Deep(er) Scarlet Red

Dp Scarlet

More or less aniline

Odd printings during 1915-17. Somewhat brighter than G13, with more reaction to UV.  [Dp-Dk Pp. Red$/some Dp Reddish Purp./Br'n Pp.#]



Deep(er) Brt Red

Dp Brt Scarlet

Early issues aniline

Brighter than G17.5 & G13A; Similar to a deep G15.5 but darker under UV. [Dp Reddish Purp./Dk Pp. Red$]


* "Reddish Purple" means a medium matt purple reaction with a pinkish tinge.

^ The description of this shade is based solely on a mint strip in my possession inscribed "Procured Mar. 1st 1915" on the selvedge. It is in very nice condition and shows no signs of alteration of any sort, so I am assuming that it is a distinct shade, possibly an extreme late version of G12.

^^ This shade is often grouped with G17, but really belongs with G15.

# The early G17's & G17.5's in particular often react Purple Brown under UV, and are somewhat duller (browner) in daylight than the later Scarlets (and the earlier 1914 shades). They are somewhat similar in colour to G23.5 but clearly deeper and brighter. There is also a late (11-12/16) issue of G17.5 with this reaction.

$ The UV reaction of some G17.5's can be quite weak, but alongside the 1914 shades they are still somewhat brighter under UV.









Scarlet Aniline*


Pale to deep shades, often aniline, usually with (some) eosin

Similar to earlier Scarlets in daylight but mostly deeper, & brighter under UV. [Brt Red/Red/Dull-Dp Br'nish Red/Reddish Br'n]

11/16- 3/17


Sc. Aniline (thin paper^)


Mostly aniline and (some) eosin

Basically G18 on yellowish, semi-transparent paper.  [As G18]

11/16- 3/17


Dp Brt Red (thin paper^)

Brt Scarlet


Brighter than G19, on whiter, less transparent paper.  [Ditto]

11/16- 3/17

(V71J) (Z112?)

Carmine Aniline (thin paper^)

Dark Carmine Rosine**


A distinct shade, clearly darker & bluer than G19. Somewhat duller and redder than G23.  [Brt Red]

3?- 4/17

* G18 is here defined by the UV reaction, rather than the presence of free aniline die (hence the paler shades). There is no clear dividing line between G18 and the brighter G17/17.5's - intermediate shades should labelled as such.

** Dark Carmine Rosine here is a dark shade between Carmine and Rosine, similar to but somewhat darker and bluer than the Carmine Vermilion of the Colour Key. In the ACSC this is the (scarce) Deep Carmine subshade of G19 (Blogg Z112 perhaps?).

^ Thin paper here means paper less than 0.080 mm thick. Note that G17 & 17.5A are also sometimes found on thin paper.








(Old) (Z99)

"Dp Scarlet Aniline"



Doubtful shade - possibly G19A Dp Brt Red. (See "The Redhead").



Rose/Rose Red

Rose Red
{Rose Carm. Red}*

Pale to deep, dullish to brightish shades

Mostly duller than G12/14.5. Redder than G30's.  [Lil. Br'n/P-Dull-Dk Purplish Red/Reddish Purple/some Dull Purp.]


G21.5 (prev. G24A)

Dull Rose Red

Dull Rose Carmine Red*


Duller & bluer than G21.  [Dull-Dk Purplish Red/Dull Purp. Br'n]

Odd printings

(V71L) (prev. G22A)

(Brt) Rose Carmine

Brt Carmine Rosine^

Often aniline, some with eosin

Clearly brighter than G21 in daylight, & under UV. Similar to some aniline G30's, but brighter & yellower. [Red/Brt Red]


G22B (prev. G23A)

Dp Rose Carmine

Dp Brt Carmine Rosine^

Dp rich aniline shades, some with some eosin

Distinctive deep shades of G22. Similar to G23 but not as dark. Brighter than G70, and not as red. [Br'nish Red/ Dp Brt Red]

Mainly? 5/17


(Dullish) Rose Carmine

Rosine Carmine^

Paleish to medium shades, often aniline

A mix of nonedescript shades, somewhat darker & bluer than G22; Paler & redder than G23, & mostly dull under UV. Redder than the 1918 shades.  [Red/ Br'nish Red/P. Br'n/Dull Pp. Red]



Deep Carmine (ACSC "Crimson")

Dp Brt Carmine

Deep bright shades, often aniline

Deep shades, bluer than any of the earlier deep reds. Brighter than the deeper 1918 shades, darker & redder than G33. Cf. also G19.5. [Red/Dp Red]

(9-)10- 11/17

G23A (prev. G23D)

Brt Carmine "Dry Ink"

P. Brt Rosine Carmine^


A distinctive bright shade, similar to G31A, but paler & somewhat redder. [Dp Red]

Late '17


Red Crimson/ Crimson

Dp/Dark Carmine Red

Usually aniline

Distinctive deep shades, redder than G23, & darker than G24. Dark under UV. [Dp Purp. Br'n]



Brownish Rose**

Brownish Rosine

Brightish aniline shades (but often washed out & dull)

Browner than G10/17's & more aniline; browner than G24's, darker than G25's. Similar to darker G21's, but a little smoother (aniline) and somewhat browner in daylight. [Br'n Pp./Pp. Br'n/Dull Purp./ Dp Purp.]

(9-)10- 11/17


Brownish Red

Brt Carmine Red {Brt Carmine Rosine}

Deep rich brightish shades, more or less aniline**

Similar to G13 (& G17.5), but duller & slightly bluer, and brighter under UV. Redder than G22, 23.  [P. Brt Red- Dp Brt Red/Dp Red]



Dull Brownish Red

Dull Carmine Red


Similar to G24 but duller under UV. Redder than any 1918 shades. [Dull-Dk Pp. Red]



P. Carmine Red

P. Greyish Carmine Red

Often Perf. OS

Pale, faded looking shades. Dark under UV.  [Dull Purp. Grey]

Late '17?


(Bright) Orange Red

Reddish Scarlet/ Reddish Rosine#

Bright paleish to deep shades

Bright shades, yellower than G24 (& G26). Yellower than G10A/10.5. Cf. also G32A. [Dp Pp. Br'n/Dull Br'nish Pp./Dp Br'n]

Late '17- early '18


Bright Red

Dp Brt Rosine


V. sim. to deep G24.5, but not quite as yellow. [Reddish Br'n]



Indian Red (Dark Orange Red)

Brownish Scarlet

Non-aniline - often Perf. OS

Clear, brownish shades - darker than G23.5 & G24.5. Browner than G10A/10.5.  [Dull Pp. Red/Pp. Br'n]




Dull (Rosy) Red#

Pale to medium shades - often Perf. OS

A real shade, but easily confused with washed out Bricks.  [Pale Br'n]



Dp Reddish Salmon ("Brick")

Deep Dull Rosy Red


Deeper & redder than G26. Should be a rich aniline shade but often washed out & dull. [Br'n Red/Dull Br'n/Dull Pp. Br'n]



(Rose) Salmon**

(Pinkish) Rosy Red

Paleish to medium pastel shades (aniline)

Yellower than G21 & lighter in tone; bluer than the G25's; similar to G12/14.5 but duller. Should be brightish, slightly pink aniline shades but often washed out and dull. [Lil. Br'n/Dull Br'n/Dull Pp. Br'n]



Scarlet Salmon

Brt Pinkish Rosine

Bright shades

Brighter than G21 & G26, with a deep pastel look. [P. Red/Dk Purp Red.]



Bright Salmon (Eosin)%

Brt Vermilion (some pinkish)

Pale to deep (aniline) shades - strong eosin reaction

Very bright shades, much brighter than G26. The yellowest 1d Red shades.  [Brt Orange]



Pink/Rose Salmon (Eosin)$

Pinkish Rose Red

Pale to deep (aniline)  shades - eosin

Duller & slightly bluer than G27 in daylight. Similar to G26 but brighter under UV. [Orange]



Salmon Rose

 Bright Rose?

Generally medium shades - eosin

Distinctly bluer than G27A - not really salmon shades? Cf. 1918 pink shades.  [Orange]


* Rose Carmine Red here means Rose Red with some Carmine - the Rose Reds take on a noticeably blueish (carmine) tinge under lower light levels. G21-22's fade to a Dull Reddish Rose very similar to G30A.

**  Washed and/or faded G23.5's and G26's are almost indistinguishable in daylight, with the G23.5's a little darker in tone. They appear Grey-Lilac under UV, with no fluorescence at all. Leached G24's look like dull G13's.

^ Carmine Rosine is Rosine plus some Carmine; Rosine Carmine is Carmine plus some Rosine. Carmine Vermilion is a bright shade between Carmine Red and Vermilion.

# Reddish Rosine is Rosine with a touch of Orange. Rosy Red means shades between S.G. Red and Rose Red.

% There is also a non-eosin version of this shade, which is as bright as the normal eosin version in daylight but appears deep dull brown under UV.

$ Eosin versions of G26 (would have been better denoted as G26A rather than G27A). Mostly postmarked country N.S.W. (I assume the UV reaction for this shade is similar to G27).

$$ This shade is usually sold as Deep Pink Salmon Eosin, but it seems to be noticeably bluer than the G27A's, and hence is given a separate label here.










P. Reddish Rose/P. Dull Carm. Rose#

Mostly eosin

V. pale to pale shades; duller & yellower than the G29's. Paler than G21, and brighter under UV.  [P. Brt Or'ge/Or'ge Pk/Dull Pink**]



Brt Pink

P. Brt Rose Red


A bright shade, yellower than the ordinary Pink; similar to G66. [Or'ge]



Cerise Pink

Brt Reddish Cerise/Bright Rose

Aniline, eosin

Bluer than G28. A rich bright aniline Carmine Pink. 1917 issue? [Dull Or'ge]



Lilac Pink

Dullish Rose

Some eosin

Bluer than G28/29, duller & bluer than Cerise Pink. (Washed out Cerise Pinks?) [Or'ge Pink*]



Carmine Pink

Paleish Brt Blueish Rosine

Some w. eosin

Bluer & brighter than G28; bluer than G30 & brighter under UV.  [Pink/P.Brt Red/P.B. Or'ge]

1st Qtr '18



Brt Blueish Rosine

No eosin, some aniline

Bluer than G30, & (mostly) deeper. Similar to G33, but brighter & a little bluer. Some late issues.  [Pk-P.B. Red-B. Red-D.B. Red]



Carmine Rose Group^^

Carmine Rose/Rose Carmine#

Pale to deep, dullish to bright shades, some aniline

A wide range of shades, with a wide range of UV reactions. [Dull-Dk Pp. Red/ Br'n Pp./Dull Pp./Purp./brighter shades Brt Red-P. Red-Dp Red]



Deep Reddish Rosine^^

Brt Rosine Carmine%

Bright, somewhat aniline shades

Brighter & redder than the G30 shades - sim. to G22B but somewhat bluer. cf. G70.  [Red-Dp Red]




Dullish Carmine/ Carmine

Medium to deep shades, some aniline

Similar to deeper G30's, but darker; duller than G33 (& G23). [Dull-Dk Pp. Red/some Pp. Br'n/Dull Pp./Purp./some brighter shades Dp Red]

(4-)7- 11/18


Bright Carmine
"Dry Ink"

Brt Carmine


Distinctive bright aniline "Dry Ink" shade; deeper than the 1917 shade.  [Dp Pp. Red]



Dull Crimson%%

Dark Dull Blueish Carmine

(Distinctive, scarcer shades)

Darker & bluer than G31 (& G23), duller & darker than G33.  [Dull Pp. Br'n/Dull Pp.]

Mid '18?


(Dull) Brownish Red

Dull Carmine Rosine

Medium to deep shades

Duller than G30-31 but bright under UV. Duller & bluer than G24, deeper & bluer than G26.  [Brt Fluor. Red/Dp Brt Red]

Mid '18


Bright Scarlet

Scarlet Rosine


Similar to G24.5 but deeper & not as yellow.  [Purp. Br'n]


G32B (Z255?)

Orange Red

Reddish Rosine


Yellower than the other 1918 shades. Duller & darker than the G24.5's. Yellower than G26's. [Dp Reddish Br'n]



Carmine Red

Brt Carmine Scarlet$


Similar to G24, but dull under UV; Similar to a deep G23.5, but not as brown.  [Purp. Br'n]

Late '18

G32D (Z254?)

Indian Red

Dp Carmine Scarlet$


Similar to previous but deeper & darker. A little redder than G13/G17.5. Similar to 1917 shade.  [Dk Purp. Br'n]

? '18


Dark Red "Dry Ink"

Dp Dk Carmine Vermilion$

Deep dense shade

Deeper & redder than the G32.5's, deeper than G23A, much darker than G13/G17.5. [Dark Purp. Br'n]

Odd printing
(or 1917 shade?)

G32G (1919 issue)

Scarlet Red

Brt Scarlet


Darker & bluer than G32B. Similar to G24.5 but a liitle darker & not as yellow.  [Dp Purp. Br'n]

Mid '19

G32H (1919 issue)

Dp Scarlet Red

Dp Brt Scarlet Rosine


A deep bright intense shade, Similar to G13, but more intense.  [Dp Purp. Bn]


G32I (1919 issue)

Scarlet Vermilion


Matt shade on semi-surfaced paper

Similar to G32B, but not quite as yellow, & pastel. [Dull Pp. Br'n]




Dp Carmine

A mix of deep dark to bright shades, some aniline

Deeper shades of G31. Duller than the G23's. Redder than the deeper G33's.  [Dk Purp. Red/ Pp. Br'n/Dull Pp./brighter shades Dp Pp. Red]

Odd printings (some 1919 P/M's)

G32.5A (Z243)

Red Crimson

V. Dp Brt Carmine Scarlet$


A deep bright intense shade, deeper than G32I.  (White & Balzer's "Red Crimson"?).  [V. Dp Pp. Red]

Odd printing

G32.5B (Z253?)

Dp Crimson (Brownish Rose?)

Dp Dark Reddish Carmine (Aniline)

Deep aniline shades

Distinctive rich shades, deeper & darker than ordinary Maroons (& G31.5). [Dp-Dk Pp. Red]

Odd printings Late '18

G32.5C (Z249?)

Rose Crimson$$

Dp Rose Carmine#

Deep bright shades

Distinctive deep blueish shades. Deeper & bluer than G33. As LM wmk shade G105. [Dull-Dk Pp. Red/Purp. Br'n]

Odd printings


Dp Rosine (Plum)

Dp Brt Carmine Rose#


Distinctive shade, bluer than the other deep shades; similar to a deep G29, but somewhat duller.  [Dp Cerise Red]

Odd printings

G32.5E (1919 issue)

Brt Crimson

Dp Bright Carmine


Bright shade but not as intense as G32.5A. [Dp Purp. Br'n]

(late issue?)








Carmine Aniline/ Carmine Rose Aniline

Brt Rosy Carmine/
Brt Pastel Carmine Rose#

Mainly deep shades, some paler - mostly little or no free aniline dye

Generally deeper & brighter than G31, & slightly bluer. Pale shades brighter & pinker than G30. Cf. also G32.5C.  [Br'nish Red/ Red-Dp Red/ Dull-Dk Purplish Red]


* The earliest 1918 Pinks are not very blue, and are in fact not very different to the Pink and Rose Salmon Eosin shades of late 1917.

** A "Pink" reaction here means a pale pastel red or pale orange red reaction. Washed out copies appear dull brown to pale dull purple under UV.

^ The dividing line between G29 and G30 in daylight is rather unclear, but the Rosines are somewhat bluer than the G30's. Rosines mostly react bright red to UV - but so do some of the brighter G30's.. Note that most "Carmine Pink's" sold today (particularly mint copies) are in my opinion G28's rather than the bluer (and scarcer) G29's.

^^ G30 & G31 form a continuum of shades with the bluer shades in the G30 group and the redder and generally darker shades in G31 - the dividing line between the groups can be rather arbitrary. The paler and brighter G30 printings were often perforated OS NSW.

Washed out aniline G31's are dull purple red under UV and look like a dull G30 in daylight.

Note that G30.5 Deep Reddish Rosine is not a transitional shade between G30 & G31 but a separate shade similar to the rough paper G70.

# "Rose Carmine" here is a shade between Carmine and (Bright) Rose - Carmine Rose is similar but lighter and somewhat bluer. (These shades are deeper and brighter than those in the Colour Key.) Rosy Carmine is Carmine with a touch of Rose.

% Rosine Carmine is a bright shade between Carmine and Rosine. Carmine Rosine is similar but redder. Rose Cerise is basically Reddish Cerise with a pink tinge.

%% Mostly slogan cancellations.

$ Carmine Scarlet is between Carmine Red and Scarlet; Carmine Vermilion is similar but redder.

$$ These (scarce) deep blueish shades are similar to the later G33's, but are somewhat bluer in appearance, and lack the smooth finish of the G33's.




Scarlet (Aniline)

Dp Carmine Scarlet

Usually aniline & eosin

Very rich aniline shades; cf. deeper G18's.  [Brown-Br'n Or'ge/ Br'nish Red]



Brt Red (Aniline)

Dp Bright Scarlet

Often aniline & mostly eosin

Very rich shades, redder than G60; cf. deeper G18's. [Brown-Br'n Or'ge/Br'nish Red/some Dp Pp. Red]




(Reddish) Carmine

Brt Carmine Red

Pale to deep, often aniline; some with eosin

Paler & somewhat bluer than G60/61.  [B. Red/some P. Red/ Red Or'ge]



Rose Red

Brt Carmine Ros{in}e^

Aniline, pale to deep; some with eosin

Bluer than G62, brighter than 1918 shades; cf. G22, G24.  [B. Red/some P. Red/Red Or'ge]


G63.5 (Z315?)

Rose Carmine

Ros{in}e Carmine^


Darker versions of G63; cf G23. [Dp Red/Dp Brt Red]



Brownish Pink



Faded/washed out G63's(?)


Orange Red



Basically a bright yellowish (washed out?) subshade of G62. [Dull Red]

* G62 & G63 are really just subshades of a single continuous shade group corresponding to the smooth paper G22's and G24's. Washed out copies are dull under UV.

^ Carmine Rosine is Rosine plus some Carmine; Rosine Carmine is Carmine plus some Rosine. G63 appears Carmine Rose or Rose Carmine under reduced light (i.e, somewhat bluer).

** In the ACSC, V72E is now used for "Pale Rose Red" - apparently just pale G63's.









Salmon Pink

Brt P. Rose Vermilion (between Rose Red & Vermilion)

Two shades - pale & medium. Eosin

Distinctive bright eosin shades (often Perf. OS).  [Brt Orange]

1920 (OS)


Rose Pink

Brt Reddish Rose

Paleish to medium shades

Bluer than G66. Slightly redder than G68.  [Pink*, P.B. Red]



Deep Pink

Dp Brt Scarlet Rose

Deep rich shade (often Perf. OS.)

Deep shades, somewhat redder than G68 Rosine, but bluer than G70.  [Brt Red]



Carmine Pink

Brt Rose Carmine^

Pale to medium shades, some eosin

Bluer than G66, G67 (note late issues).  [Pink, Or'ge]




Brt Rose Carmine^

Medium to deeper shades

Bright shades, bluer than G70, brighter than G74 (note some later issues).  [P.B. Red-B. Red]


(now G70.5?)

 (Perf. OS)

Blueish Carmine


Bluer than G68 Rosine & G71 Plums. Brighter than G71. [Dp Pink*]


(V72J) (Z335)

Deep (Reddish) Rosine

Dp Bright Carmine

Mainly deep bright shades, often aniline

Redder than G67A & G68. Deeper & brighter than G63. Similar to deeper G72's but brighter. Darker (browner) than G22B & G23. [Red-B. Red-Dp B. Red]


(V72Q?)(aka 72.5 & 74.5)

Reddish Rose

Pinkish Carmine

Medium to deep matt shades

Pastel shades similar to G70, but a little redder, & dull under UV. Duller than G63; somewhat bluer than G72, lighter than G73.  [Dull-Dp Purp. Red]



 Damson (Blueish Plum)

Carmine Cerise

Medium to deep shades

Deeper & bluer than G71 Plums. The bluest 1d Red shades. [Dull-Dp Purp. Red]

Early? '18


Lilac Rose

Pinkish Cerise

Pale to medium bright shades

Distinct pinkish shade, lighter & brighter than Damson.  [Pink*]

Early? '18
(OS later?)


(Reddish) Plum

Reddish Cerise


Somewhat brighter & redder than Damsons. [Dp Pink*]



Deep Plum

Dp Blueish Carmine


Deeper & duller than G69. [Dp Purp. Red]



Dull (Brownish) Red

(Dullish) Reddish Carmine

Pale to medium shades

Redder than G73/73B & brighter under UV. Cf. G32. [Red-Brt Red-Dp Brt Red]



Carmine Red

Carmine (some reddish)

Paleish to medium shades - some brighter

Darker & mostly bluer than G72, & mostly dull under UV. [Du.-Dk Pp. Red/ Dp Red Pp./ Br'n Pp./some Red/Dp Red]



Bright Carmine Red

Bright Pinkish Carmine

Brightish to bright pastel shades

Similar to G73, but brighter & slightly bluer. Bluer & mostly darker than G70/70A. [Some Dull-Dp. Pp. Red/ most Red/Dp Red]


(ex 73.5)

Bright Carmine

Bright Carmine

Brightish mostly aniline shades

Brighter & bluer than G73.  [Dk Reddish Pp./Dk Pp Red]


(V72P) (Z353)

Dull Crimson (Dark Carmine)

Paleish Dark Carmine

Paleish non aniline shades

"Dry" looking shades, paler & darker than G73.  [Dk Reddish Pp./Dk Pp Red]



Carmine Rose

Rosine Carmine^

Paleish to deep mostly dullish shades (some brighter)

Redder than G68 etc. Somewhat bluer than G73, bluer than G70A.  [Br'n Pp./Pp. Br'n./Pp./some brighter shades Dp-Dk Pp. Red]



Brownish Rose

Dp Dull Rosine Carmine^

Deep dark matt shades

As G74 but somewhat deeper & darker, duller & bluer than G73. Darker than G70A.  [Dk. Pp. Red/Pp. Br'n/Br'n Pp]


G75 (V72N)

Brown Red

Brt Reddish Carmine

Medium to deep bright shades

Brighter & redder versions of G72. [Red-Brt Red-Dp Brt Red]

Odd printings mid '18


Red Brown

Dp Dullish Red Carmine

Deep matt shades

Distinctive shades, deeper & somewhat redder than G72/75. Duller & redder than G77.  [Dp Brt Red]

Odd printings mid '18

(V72R) (Z265-9)

Maroon Group

 Dp Reddish Carmine/
Dp Carmine

Various deep shades, some aniline

Mainly deeper shades of the aniline G73's. Darker & slightly bluer than G70. [Dp-Dk Purp. Red/Pp. Br'n/some bright shades Dp Red]

Odd printings

G77A (Z270)


Dp Dark Carmine


Somewhat darker & bluer than the Maroons. [Purp. Br'n]

Odd printings

G77AB (Z272?)

Rose Crimson

Dp Rosy Carmine^


A distinctive pinkish Crimson.   [Purp. Br'n]




Dp Dull Carmine Lake

Deep dull shades

Similar to a deep dull G75, but dull under UV; clearly duller & browner than other G77's.  [Purp. Br'n]

Odd printings

(Old) (Z274)

Chocolate Red

V. Dp Reddish  Carmine/Dp Brt Carm. Red (O.S.)


Distinctive deep, very dense shades, often Perf. OS.  [Dk Purp. Br'n/ Dp Purp. Red (OS)]



Orange Brown (Perf. OS)

Reddish/ Brownish Rosine

Paleish to medium shades.

The brownest rough paper shade. Very scarce - only 34 known (April '05). Cf. G32B?.  [Dull Pp. Br'n/Dp Br'n?]%


* "Pink" here means a pale pastel red reaction.

#  Not to be confused with the redder G70 Deep Rosine.

^  Rosine Carmine is a bright shade, basically Carmine plus some Rosine, Carmine Rosine is similar bur redder. Rose Carmine is Carmine plus some Rose, Carmine Rose is similar but bluer. G70 & 70A appear Rose Carmine & Carmine Rose under reduced lighting (i.e, somewhat bluer). Rosy Carmine is Carmine with a touch of Rose.

^^ The ACSC now takes G70 to be White and Balzer's reddish "Deep Rosine", but originally it was (it seems) Damson, which the ACSC now includes in G71.

$  The G72 "Dull Reds" are now basically just paler shades of the G75 Brownish Reds. The dividing line between the two groups is a matter of taste. (G72 originally probably meant the "Reddish Rose" and "Reddish Rosine" shades listed here as G70A and G70).

$$ Sometimes offered as G71, but brighter and redder.

%  I have not seen this shade under UV - According to Balzer & White the reaction is similar to that of G24.5 (and hence G32B?).

© James Chapman 2000-04.

Latest revisions:

Nov. '06:  1917 Rose Red/Rose Carmine discussion revised. 
May  '07:  "Deep Reddish Rosine" added as new G30.5. 
June  '07:  Discussion of G72 and G74.5 revised. Section on "Restoring the Catalog" added.
Aug. '08:  Brick redefined (again).  
Apr.  '17:  G27A revised and G27B Salmon Rose (Eosin) split off as separate shade.
Apr.  '17:  G73.5 and 73.5A relabelled as G73B and G73C. G74.5 (= G72.5) relabelled back to G70A. 
Apr.  '17:  G26.5 Deep Reddish Salmon relabelled as G25 Brick. G26A Scarlet Salmon shade noted.  G67.5 Lilac Rose moved to G70.5.  
May  '17:  G68 shades tidied up. G70.5 Damson shade revised.   
June  '17:  G69 discussion revised. G32, 32.5 shades revised. 
July '17:   G70.5 & G71 revised (again) & Colour Triangle revised. 
July '17: 1917 Rose Red/Rose Carmine discussion revised again.

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