Shortcut: Wmk

Watermarks are an integral part of some papers. They are formed in the process of paper manufacture. Watermarks consist of small design, formed of wire or cut from metal and soldered to the surface of the mold or, sometimes, on the dandy roll. The designs may be in the form of crowns, stars, anchors, letters or other characters or symbols. These pieces of metal – known in the paper making industry as bits – impress a design into the paper. The design sometimes may be seen by holding the stamp to the light. Some are more easily seen with a watermark detector. This important tool is a small black tray into which a stamp is placed face down and dampened with a fast-evaporating watermark detection fluid that brings up the watermark image in the form of dark lines against a lighter background. These dark lines are the thinner areas of the paper known as the watermark. Some watermarks are extremely difficult to loacte, due to either a faint impression, watermark location or the color of the stamp. There also are electric watermark detectors that come with plastic filter disks of various colors. The disks neutralize the color of the stamp, permitting the watermark to be seen more easily.


Standard Types of Watermarks
– Crown CC
– Multiple Crown CA
– Crown over CA
– Multiple St. Edwards Crown Block CA
– Spiral CA
– Multiple Script CA
– Rosette
– Multiple Rosettes
– Five-Pointed Crown
– Multiple PTM
– CA over Crown
– Half Check Pattern
– Scrolled “S” multiple
– Harrison

– Watermark error: Crown missing
– Watermark error: St. Edwards Crown

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