Common Fakes and Alterations

With Any High Dollar Stamp it is Always Best to Have the Stamp Expertised.

Image Alteration What to Look For
Trimming the perforations off an 1857-1861 issue to make it resemble an 1851 – 1857 imperf. issue. Difficult to Detect

Look for stamps being narrower than the normal stamp. Also, look for indentations from the perforations still on the stamp.
The red arrow points to what looks to be an indentation from one of the perforations. On some issues, such as this one, look for characteristics
only found on the 1857-1861 issues. This stamp is a type V, which is only found perforated.

Chemically cleaned, to remove light pen cancellations, being passed off as unused, no gum. Difficult to Detect
This example was on ebay, but the honest dealer included the APS certificate to show it was used.
Adding a grill to
issue of 1861 – 1866.
Difficult to Detect
What a fake grill does to the value of a stamp.
Make sure the grill is measurable, and not described in vague terms.
Scott 73 offered as a Scott 103
73 = $50.00, $350.00 unused
103 = $5,000 used, $3,250 unused
The Scott 103 always has a black "wart" under the left eye.
Adding a grill to any Bank Note issue. 1) Be sure the bank note is a National. With few exceptions, the National
Bank Notes
are the only ones with grills.
2) Make sure the grill is measurable, and not described in vague terms.
Scott
303 trimmed and Schermack III type perforations added to look like 314A
303 = $1.25
314A = $35,000
Measure width of stamp, it should not be less than 20mm.
Scott 304 trimmed to look like 315.

304 = $1.50
315 = $600

1) Measure width of stamp, it should not be less than 20mm.
2) Look for perfectly straight cuts. Most real stamps are not cut perfectly straight.
Scott 304 trimmed to look like 317.
304 = $1.50
317 = $12,500 (not known
used)
1) Measure width of stamp, it should not be less than 20mm.
2) Look for perfectly straight cuts. The real stamps are not cut perfectly straight.

Scott 338 trimmed to look like 356.
338 = $1.40
356 = $1,250.00
1) Measure height of stamp, it should not be less than 20¼ mm.
2) Look for perfectly straight cuts. The real stamps are not cut perfectly straight.
Scott 344 re-perfed to look like 519
344 = $3.00
519 = $1,100
Flat ends on perforations. Perforations not ragged. Perforations different diameter.
1) Scott 383 perforated to look like 388
2) Scott 375 trimmed to look like 388
Difficult to Detect
Look for perfectly straight cuts. The real stamps are cut perfectly straight. Check width to
inside of perforations. Width should not be less than 20mm.
"Orangeburg Coils" Scott 376 with top and bottom perforations trimmed to look like 389 Difficult to Detect

Look for perfectly straight cuts. The real stamps are cut perfectly straight. 

492 with lines of ribbon modified to pass as the rarer 491.
Scott 454 with virtually unperceivable watermarks can be passed of as the rarer 491.
Difficult to Detect
Look for scrap marks, or discoloration, on the ribbons. The folds in the ribbons should have one line instead of two. One line is often scrapped off.
Scott 506 re-perfed to look like 506a Flat ends on perforations perforations not ragged. Perforation holes different diameter.
Scott 507 re-perfed to look like 507a Flat ends on perforations perforations not ragged. Perforation holes different diameter.
Scott 508 re-perfed to look like 508c Flat ends on perforations perforations not ragged. Perforation holes different diameter.
Scott 509 re-perfed to look like 509a Flat ends on perforations perforations not ragged. Perforation holes different diameter.
Scott 511 re-perfed to look like 511a Flat ends on perforations perforations not ragged. Perforation holes different diameter.
Scott 512 re-perfed to look like 512b Flat ends on perforations perforations not ragged. Perforation holes different diameter.
Scott 515 re-perfed to look like 515a Flat ends on perforations perforations not ragged. Perforation holes different diameter.
Scott 517 re-perfed to look like 517a Flat ends on perforations perforations not ragged. Perforation holes different diameter.

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