In the Philatelistisch Maandblad of 1916 the story of the discovery of M. Heijmans was published:
"One night when I was going to put a 3 cent stamp of the Jubilee issue on a letter I made a starling discovery. It was quite unexpected, for thousands of these stamps had gone through my hands, and I had never noticed anything special about them.
When I had the sheet of stamps in my hand I noticed some glitter on the sheet. I tried to brush it off, but couldn't do it. I then took out my magnifying class and discovered gold on the stamps. Upon further examination I noticed quite a few stamps that were sprinkled with gold, some of it even extending into the perforations. I did some more work and discovered that all mint stamps of this series, with values from 2 1/2 cent through 10 guilder showed the same glitter. If it wasn't that they were issued in 1913, instead of in these unhappy times, I would have thought that the printers in Haarlem had gotten their part of the golden rain and had sprinkled some of it on the Royal portraits on these stamps. So, collectors, everybody start looking. If you don't have mint copies, you can find them on used copies as well, but you have to hold them under an angle and use artificial light before you can see it."
Explanation by Pull
Mr. J.C. Pull (Chief Quality Control Manager of PTT) explained the phenomenon in a later issue of the Maandblad.
"The important discovery of gold on the Jubilee stamps, implores me to let you know that the 'gold' is nothing more then barium sulfate, one of the chemicals being used in the production of the paper. This material can be made two ways, either artificial, in which case it is called 'permanent white' or 'blanc-fixe' and which is so fine that you only can see it with a microscope or as ground sulferspar, which can be seen by the naked eye as small shiny platelets. It is this second type of barium sulfate that is used to produce the paper of the Jubilee stamps.
As can be seen, we are not dealing with 'gold'. According to my calculations each stamp contains not more then 1/50000 cent worth of chemicals, most of it being made up of cheap pipe clay. One would have to separate these chemicals from 50000 stamps to get 1 cent worth of chemicals. So the advice: "everybody start looking" is better being ignored and the motto of the story should be: "It is not all gold that glitters".
Onze Jubileumzegels; M. Heijmans; Het Philatelistich Maandblad, 1916 pag. 88.
Het "goud" op onze Jubileumzegels; J.C. Pull; Het Philatelistich Maandblad, 1916 pag. 105.
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