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” (Blogg’s Z11 is probably an example of this shade).

In fact, the brightest versions of G10A are very similar to G11 “Bright Red”, at least in daylight, and these are listed separately below as G10.5 “Bright Red” (Blogg’s Z13 is an example). 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 (as the ACSC includes it in G13 – Blogg’s Z31 is an example). 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 predominantly Type I formulas were used for the main carmine red and red shade groups, so that G1, G2, G10, G10A and G16 generally 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 and redder 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 G26B.

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.

In the tables below the dull reddish-grey shade now described as Terracotta is listed under G25. 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.

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.

In recent times “new” shade groups from late 1917 have been promoted which have caused some confusion. Thus G27 Salmon (Eosin) has now been generally split into two groups, with the yellower sub-shades in G27 proper and the bluer shades in G27A (as Pink or Rose Salmon). As well there are reddish shades which are a bit of a problem as they can be assigned by the experts to either group.

However, when these “new” shades first came to the attention of the ordinary collector in the 1980’s the main interest was in the fact that they included dullish shades which looked little different to the ordinary G26 Salmons in daylight, but which reacted strongly to UV light, like the standard G27’s, In the tables here I have adopted this latter distinction, i.e, I have restricted G27A to the clearly duller (eosin) shades, leaving all the bright shades (from yellow to reddish to rose) in G27.

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).

As well, we have the clear (non-aniline) darkish shade described here as Indian Red which is listed now under G24.5B (this not very common shade reappears sporadically in 1918-19, possibly as late issues).

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).

There are actually two main sub-groups of the G30 shades – the Carmine Rose/Rose Carmines and the clearly redder shades listed here as G30B Reddish Rose. (These latter shades are actually commoner as rough paper printings than smooth and 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 G70A).

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”. To complicate matters there are also shades which are bright in daylight but dull under UV – these 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), which hark back to similar earlier issues. These are mostly bright shades (Bright Red, Orange Red, Scarlet, Carmine Red 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 curious “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”, Blogg’s Z274), 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.

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 too many rough paper equivalents of the G30’s. This is because in the rough papers the brighter shades are not particularly common to start with and in any case the more obvious ones (those reacting red under UV) tend be merged in practice with the very similar Rosines as “Reddish Rosines” (although Deep Pink seems a better description to me in many cases). As a result the only common rough paper shades which counterpart the G30 shades are the duller blueish Carmine and Brownish Roses (shades which mostly react purple to purple-brown under UV), and also the Reddish Rose shade denoted here by G74C. This last shade lies between G74 and G72, but although relatively common it has generally escaped separate notice in the ACSC; it is similar to G70A in daylight but is duller under UV, lacking the red reaction of the Brownish Reds. Like the Brownish Reds it is commoner on rough paper than smooth.

Worth noting here is the rare “Rose Crimson” shade listed here under G77 (Blogg Z272 perhaps?); this is a genuine deep Carmine Rose shade, very similar to the deeper G33’s, but lacking the smooth and rich look of the latter issues.

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, which are clearly bluer than the G68 Rosines in daylight and duller under UV. Thus Damson here (now) means a non-fluorescent shade between S.G. carmine and cerise, while Plum means shades which are somewhat brighter and redder than Damson, but still bluer than the Rosines. Actually there is in fact a continuity of shades (and UV reactions) from Deep Rosine through Plum to Damson, so that it is not always possible (or appropriate) to tie intermediate shades to one particular G number. (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).

Another problem concerns G69 Rosine (Perf. OS). In the Blogg shade list these are simply described as Rosine O.S. and today they are usually dismissed today as a “marketing ploy” by Orlo-Smith, rather than a separate shade.

Finally, there is the curious case of the G70 Deep Rosine group. In “The Redhead” and the ACSC G70 is now simply taken to cover deep shades of G68 Rosine and “Reddish Rosine”. This usage is problematical however because in Blogg’s shade list G70 does not in fact include any reddish rosine shades, and so here I restrict G70 proper to deeper shades of G68 Rosine only. Deeper versions of G68 Reddish Rosine (G67.5 here) can be described how you wish. (Note that historically most ACSC editors clearly weren’t sure how to define the G70 group and hence generally ignored it).

There are however some quite separate shades which can also fairly be described as Deep Reddish Rosine, namely the deep reddish rosine shades described by White & Balzer in the Jan. 1993 issue of Stamp News as having “barely a trace of the bluish appearance of G68 and G69 groups in daylight”, and with a “bright deep red” UV reaction (contra Beech, who gives the UV reaction of G70 as mainly orange). These are clearly redder than any standard deep G67.5/G68 shade, and hence they are listed in the tables below under the separate number of G70A. In other words G70A means a deep reddish S.G. rosine rather than the bluer Reddish Rosines of the Orlo-Smith scheme and the ACSC. (Note that with this usage G70A possibly belongs a little later in the G number sequence – with the G72/75 Brownish Reds, as G72A perhaps?).

* 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 currently adopted in the ACSC and here.

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 deep dark Carmines. 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 much deeper and somewhat bluer Chocolate Reds.

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. (In this context “Rosine” means the reddish Gibbons shade, not the bluer Orlo-Smith shade of the ACSC).

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.]


G10.5Bright Red**Brt Scarlet/ Scarlet VermilionBright shades; no eosinBright 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 somewhat brighter UV reaction. [Dull/Dark/Dp (purplish) Red/some Dull Purp./some Br’n
Purp./Dp. Br’n#]


Bright RedBrt ScarletBrighter than G16 & G17. Smoother & mostly deeper than G11 & G15.5, & darker under UV. Smoother than G10A, and brighter under UV.  [Dull-Dp Pp.


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 UV 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.
table id=”Table2″ border=”1″ cellspacing=”1″ cellpadding=”1″ width=”100%”>








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]


G64** (new)

Dull Rose Carmine

Dull Ros{in}e Carmine^

Duller (washed out?) versions of G63;  [P. Red/Dull Red]


G64^^ (old)

Brownish Pink



Faded/washed out G63’s(?).



Orange Red



Basically a bright yellowish subshade of G62 (seemingly a genuine shade, but possibly a changeling) . [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).

** Now sold as G64 Brownish Rose?

^^ 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, eosin

Bright shades, bluer than G66 (often Perf. OS).  [Or’ge]

Early ’18
(& later)


PinkScarlet RoseNon-eosinSomewhat deeper than G67 and non-eosin. [Pink]3-9/18

Dp Pink

Dp Brt Scarlet Rose

Non-eosinDp rich non-eosin shades.  [Brt Red]9/18
Reddish  Rosine*Brt Carmine Rose^Medium to deep rich shades, some eosin  Deeper shades, somewhat redder than G68 Rosine (often Perf. OS); cf. G30A. [Or’ge Red, Brt Red]3-9/18
(& later)

Carmine Pink

Pale Blueish RosinePale to medium shades, eosin

Bluer than G67. [P. Or’ge]

Early ’18



Blueish Rosine

Medium to deeper shades, non-eosin

Brightish shades, bluer than G70A. (Note some later issues).  [P.B. Red-B. Red]



(Perf. OS)

Perf. OS versions of (uncertain) G68 shade?



Deep Rosine

Dp Blueish Rosine

Deeper shades of G68. [Dp Red]

Early? ’18

G70A/ G72A^^

Deep Reddish Rosine

Dp Bright Rosine Carmine^

Mainly deep bright shades, often aniline

Redder than G67.5, G68 & G70. Similar to deeper G72’s but much brighter. Darker (browner) than G22B & G23. [Red-B. Red-Dp B. Red]



 Damson (Blueish Plum)

Carmine Cerise

Medium to deep shades

Deeper & bluer than G71 Plums. The bluest 1d Red shades. (Often perf. OS). [Dull-Dp Purp. Red]




Lilac Rose

Pinkish Cerise?

Pale to medium bright shades

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

Early? ’18
(OS later?)


Plum/ Reddish Plum

Blueish Carmine/ Reddish Cerise

Bluer than Rosine, redder than Damson.  [Dk 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 brighter shades Red/Dp Red]



Bright Carmine Red

Bright Pinkish Carmine

Brightish to bright pastel shades

Similar to G73, but brighter & slightly bluer. [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

Rose Carmine^

Paleish to deep mostly dullish shades (some brighter)

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



Brt Carm. Rose

Brt Rose Carmine^

(See G67.5 Reddish Rosine above)


Brownish Rose

Dp Dull Rose Carmine^

Deep dark matt shades

As G74 but somewhat deeper & darker; duller & bluer than G73. [Dk. Pp. Red/Pp. Br’n/Br’n Pp]



Reddish Rose

Medium to deep brightish matt shadesRedder than G73 & 74, duller than G63; somewhat bluer than G72, sim. to G70A but dull under UV. [Dull-Dp Purp. Red]4-5/18

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

Mainly deeper shades of the G73’s. [Dp-Dk Purp. Red/Pp. Br’n]

Odd printings


Brt Maroon (Aniline)

Dp CarmineDeep bright aniline shades

 Deeper shades of aniline G73 & 73A’s. Darker & bluer than G70A.  [Dp Red]

Odd printings mid ’18

G77A (Z270)


Dp Dark Carmine

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

Odd printings

G77B (Z272?)

Rose Crimson

Dp Rose Carmine^

A distinctive pinkish Crimson, clearly bluer than other G77’s.  Cf. G33. [Purp. Br’n]


G77D (Z273?)

Brownish Lake

Dp Dull Brownish Carmine

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 (OS)

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?]%


* Basically rough paper versions of the G30A Bright Carmine Rose shades. Usually sold as G68 “Reddish Rosine”.

** “Pink” here means a pastel reddish-pink or orange-pink reaction.

^ 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. G70A & G74A appear Rose Carmine & Carmine Rose under reduced lighting (i.e, somewhat bluer). Rosy Carmine is Carmine with a touch of Rose.

^^ Note that G70A here is different from the ACSC shade G70 (see discussion of the rough paper Rosines in text).

$ The G72 “Dull Reds” are basically just paler shades of the G75 Brownish Reds. The dividing line between the two groups is a matter of taste.

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

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

© James Chapman 2000-04.

Latest revisions:

Apr. ’17: G27A revised, and G27B Salmon Rose (Eosin) split off as separate shade (later dropped).
Apr. ’17: G73.5 and 73.5A relabelled as G73B and G73C.
Apr. ’17: G26.5 Deep Reddish Salmon relabelled as G25 Brick. G67.5 Lilac Rose moved to G70.5. G26B Scarlet Salmon shade noted (Blogg Z.174-5?).
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.
Sep. ’17: G27B dropped; G27A group discussion revised.
Sep. ’17: “Reddish Rose” moved to G74C, and added as smooth paper G30C.
Sep. ’17: Damson/Plum group revised. G70 & 70A distinguished.
Dec. ’17: G27 & G27A treatment revised.
Nov. ’18: G25 Indian Red relabelled as G24.5B.
Mar. ’19: G63.5 renamed G64 (new).