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THE MODERN FAKE 1986 BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF CABLE AND WIRELESS STAMP SOUVENIR SHEETS

I have recently discovered that modern fake souvenir sheets of this issue as imperforates are being flooded onto the market. I can tell you that real dangerous fakes or some call forgeries are being flooded on the market as I write this page in January of 2016.
I recently purchased numerous lots on eBay from a Latvian based seller and can now confirm that the BVI 20th Anniversary of Cable and Wireless Ships souvenir sheets have been forged.

My research into the printer has enabled me to discover modern fake stamps have been created in 2014!! The gum type is different in it being yellowish in color and smooth. This gum type was not used until much later years, long after Format went bankrupt. This gum is inferior and is already having severe gum curling. If you were to leave the fakes out long enough they will curl completely into a "tube"! Because the imperforates exist it is certain that the normal issue has also been forged. All fakes have a very shiny surface on the face unlike originals. All are being offered online right now as I write this on January 23, 2016.

I can also tell you that I have discovered that many more "modern" issues for BVI and other countries are being forged. Mainly varieties and "errors" of the issues which bring in higher profits although normal issues are also being faked in now many cases. All are being produced by the same source which is unknown at present. All are dangerous forgeries because the perf sizes are correct. Images shown on auction sites cannot be trusted because they cannot be defined by counting perforations and unless you have a comparable image of the originals they cannot be recognized by the images given by sellers. This includes the Audubon Birds issues including inverted frames, Dogs inverts, Flowers inverts, Michael Jackson inverts, imperforates and many more.

ANY INFORMATION TO TRACE THE SOURCE OF THESE FORGERIES WILL BE POSTED TO THE PROPER RESOURCES

At present sellers on ebay, Delcampe, Bonanza, and Amazon are offering them. I am sure other sources are now selling them also. A list of these sellers is being compiled and at some point the source may be revealed. At this time unless the sellers stop selling them (which is doubtful) it is up to you as a buyer to refuse to buy them without proper identification. In other words, make the seller send you 1200dpi images of the front and back of the stamps and then compare them with my images. I have posted more pages on the issues I have discovered to be forged and have included an index page listing them with links.

New information is welcome and you may contact me through this website anytime.

As of October 2017 I have updated sections of this page and added the ultra-violet detection section.

The main movers of this junk now since 2014 and still to this day in 2017 are eBay sellers: armi777 based in Latvia.
asrm10 based in Latvia.
balticamber2011 based in Latvia.
hobbytrade based in Latvia.
kamalmedicine based in India.
kamalthematic based in India.
alphaomegaphilately based in India.
stampbank_of_london based in the United Kingdom.

I note that apparently some as you can see are the same seller using different user names.

These sellers are spamming and have been spamming eBay lots for several years now. They offer this junk at 99c start bids. Or they offer fake color proofs and fake inverts and fake imperforates for amounts that would not relate to true value of the genuine stamps. Namely because for most the genuine material was either destroyed or only found on archival press sheets of which very few were saved in the archive. Therefore, this junk offered by these sellers (which you can see nobody appears to care in the philatelic community) should be avoided because all you are doing if you buy it is to:

1.) Enable the producer of these fake reproductions to continue to rip you off!
2.) Enable sellers like these to continue to rip you off!
3.) Enable the flooding of the stamp market with these fake reproductions to the point that now over 50% and in some cases much more are now being sold to unknowing collectors and thus you are ripping off other collectors!

This is a bit different than other issues I have written about. I am bulking together these because I do not have time to make individual pages for the countries and the problem is so huge now because of the ignoring of it by your "respected leaders" of the stamp community to the point that the market is now saturated with these fakes. On December 19, 2015 I purchased from user asrm10, a Latvian seller on ebay numerous lots of imperforate souvenir sheets in bulk lots of five souvenir sheets. I got the BVI souvenir sheets for $4.00 each lot. there were 4 competitors in the auctions which started at 99c. Just bought them along with other Format related issues that I suspected as forgeries. Many are now verified as fakes.
Here is an image of what I got.

British Virgin Islands 1986 20th Anniversary of Cable and Wireless Ships Fake Imperforate Souvenir Sheets
I lost out on winning the 80c value but it does not matter. The information here is the same for all of them.

To show you differences I have scanned an image of the forgeries and images of perforated genuine souvenir sheets which I have had for years to compare. You see, once you know what to look for it is quite simple to define the fakes just by images. This is not to say that some shady sellers will try to enhance, modify or give you a bad image so as to cover the fact they are selling you fakes. It is up to the buyer to beware of these sellers.
Ask for clear scans of the souvenir sheet. Look for the obvious differences when you receive it.

DO NOT BUY IMPERFORATE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF CABLE AND WIRELESS SHIPS SOUVENIR SHEETS!

The first and basically the only reason the imperforate souvenir sheets of the 85th Birthday issues as imaged are fakes is because until now they did not EXIST!!!. They never were on the market until this last year. Only archival examples have ever been offered on the market. Those being from press sheets or die proofs by the printer. All of a sudden 30 years later these appear! So you don't smell a rat?

The second reason...they are not watermarked!!

ULTRA-VIOLET LIGHT DETECTION

I have discovered another way to detect many of the forgeries. Use an ultra-violet light on them!
In many cases with all the forgeries I have posted the now many pages for, I have found that many sets glow brightly like the fluorescent papers used on many, for example, Canadian stamps in the past. A word of caution on this though. Many forgeries I have found, which all have the yellowish gum, do not glow or have lower grades of brightness or have numerous fibers in the paper that glow. In quite a few cases I have found the sets to have mixed papers, as in , several values glow and several are either less bright or do not glow at all!
There are only two answers to this oddity that are possible. It is either the forger is so lazy that he just grabs whatever paper is handy or....there are numerous different printings of the forgeries and this has been going on much longer than my discovery of the early 2014 massive movement of the forgeries onto the market.

The basic rule to follow with all stamps produced by the Format Printers is,
THE IMAGE SIDE OF GENUINE STAMPS DO NOT GLOW AT ALL.
The Format Printers used basically all the same type of paper on all the stamps they produced in the 1980's as did they use the same gum type except for a couple sets they produced in 1989 when newer types of gum were becoming popular in the stamp printing business.

For the imperforate forgeries of this issue that I have acquired, there are differences from the many other forgeries I have acquired.
I use genuine perforated watermarked souvenir sheets for the comparison.

This first image shows that the mixing of papers has occured for the forgeries of this issue. British Virgin Islands 1986 20th Anniversary of Cable and Wireless Ships Comparison of Souvenir Sheet Forgeries with Genuine Souvenir Sheets Under Ultra-violet Light
The top row are the forgeries. The left and right souvenir sheets do not glow at all and the middle one has a slight glow very close to how the genuine souvenir sheets glow.

The watermarked paper used on the genuine issues for some British Virgin Islands stamp issues of the time was supplied by the British Crown Agents and therefore differs with the paper used on the majority of stamps that the Format International Security Printers used. This is why some of the issues for the British Virgin Islands are different (have a glow) than all the other issues I have posted ultra-violet detection on.

We can see with the image above that one of the forgeries glows very closely to the same level as the genuine souvenir sheets. I have therefore taken the imaging to a higher level for you to detect them. This image is a closer comparison under ultra-violet light of the papers used.
British Virgin Islands 1986 20th Anniversary of Cable and Wireless Ships Comparison of Souvenir Sheet Forgeries with Genuine Souvenir Sheets Under Ultra-violet Light Closeup View
The genuine souvenir sheets have a fiberous paper which makes the splotchy look as you can see in the image. The forgery that glows has smooth whiter paper. The forgeries that do not glow do have a fiberous paper but because they do not glow at all , are easy to detect.

This last image is taken of the gum side of the souvenir sheets under ultra-violet light.
British Virgin Islands 1986 20th Anniversary of Cable and Wireless Ships Comparison of Souvenir Sheet Forgeries with Genuine Souvenir Sheets Under Ultra-violet Light Gum Side View
Not the best image in the world but this image shows you that the genuine souvenir sheets gum side glows whereas both varieties of the forgeries gum side do not glow. The difference on the bottom genuine souvenir sheets is because of the angle of the light. I note you can also see the watermarking on the genuine souvenir sheets.

Here are comparison images of the three values I got with notes. You can use these images to compare perforated souvenir sheets as well. The 80c value will have the same definition as the $1.50 value.

Here is why you don't want these fakes. They are inferior in all ways with the originals. Cheap gum, cheap paper and printed with low grade screens! I use the 40c value for 1200dpi image comparisons.

Comparison of the Screens and Colors of Fake British Virgin Islands 20th Anniversary of Cable and Wireless 40c C.S. Sentinel Stamp with an Original Stamp
British Virgin Islands 1986 20th Anniversary of Cable and Wireless Ships 40c C.S. Sentinel Fake with Original Stamp Screen and Color Comparison

Comparison of the Screens and Colors of Fake British Virgin Islands 20th Anniversary of Cable and Wireless 40c Purple Background
British Virgin Islands 1986 20th Anniversary of Cable and Wireless Ships 40c Fake with Original Background Screen and Color Comparison

Comparison of the Paper of Fake British Virgin Islands 20th Anniversary of Cable and Wireless 40c Souvenir Sheets
British Virgin Islands 1986 20th Anniversary of Cable and Wireless Ships 40c Fake with Original Paper Comparison

Comparison of the Fake British Virgin Islands 20th Anniversary of Cable and Wireless 40c Imperforate Souvenir Sheet with an Original Souvenir Sheet
British Virgin Islands 1986 20th Anniversary of Cable and Wireless Ships 40c Fake with Original Souvenir Sheet Comparison

Obvious difference:
Look at the background color of the souvenir sheets. On originals the color is a deeper purple than on the fakes. On fake souvenir sheet stamps the water is green versus blue-green on the originals. Still you can see these are very dangerous forgeries.

Comparison of the Fake British Virgin Islands 20th Anniversary of Cable and Wireless 50c Imperforate Souvenir Sheet with an Original Souvenir Sheet
British Virgin Islands 1986 20th Anniversary of Cable and Wireless Ships 50c Fake with Original Souvenir Sheet Comparison

Obvious difference:
Look at the color of the borders on the stamps. On originals the color is a deeper green than on the fakes. On fake souvenir sheet stamps the water and mountains is green versus blue-green on the originals. Again the Purple background is as noted above.

Comparison of the Fake British Virgin Islands 20th Anniversary of Cable and Wireless $1.50 Imperforate Souvenir Sheet with an Original Souvenir Sheet
British Virgin Islands 1986 20th Anniversary of Cable and Wireless Ships $1.50 Fake with Original Souvenir Sheet Comparison

Obvious difference:
Look at the color of the borders on the stamps. On originals the color is a deep red-brown versus yellow-brown on the fakes. On fake souvenir sheets the land at the bottom is light green versus dark green on the originals. Again the stamps have the same differences as noted above. The 80c souvenir sheets will be the same.

Because of the fact that a major portion of leaders in the stamp community wish to turn a blind eye on these forgeries. Because of dealers and buyers who are afraid to "step up to the plate" because of fear of being ridiculed by self proclaimed "experts" or because they don't want to get involved, the forgers will continue to forge more and more sets. They have already effected other issues that have nothing to do with Leaders of the World issues such as Nauru 1982 Scouts, Barbuda 1983 Manned Flight and others showing us the wide range of stamps they are capable of forging and possibly have already forged. Soon you will be the victim when you buy that fake high valued Orchid stamp or that high priced definitive set you have dreamed of getting or what you thought to be a genuine error or variety which in the end only turns out to be fabricated by these forgers and nobody wants it when you go to sell it or your children go to sell it.

You have a choice.

Continue to ignore this problem that the majority of stamp leaders and editors seem to be trying to do just like they have with unauthorized reprints and "illegal" stamps in the past. Or spread the word and complain to your contacts and leaders that these problems need to be exposed and described in magazines, newspapers and catalogs before every stamp issue made in modern times from the 1970's onward falls victim to being a suspected forgery and in turn you or your friends or associates will fall victim to it when trying to buy or sell them. These forgers are professionals and have been here for decades unseen. They will continue to harm us unless people like you stand up and take notice!

This problem effects everyone because now instead of the value being based on a set quantity of the issued stamp, we now have double, triple or even more in quantity placed on the market. It will therefore depreciate the stated value of them in the catalogs simply because they will not research them and "assume" there are tons available when in reality for many sets the originals are and have become difficult to find.

I am simply the one who discovered them because of my research on the printer.
Indeed several issues that I have researched and obtained the original varieties of are effected. For this issue I only own the sets imaged. I am a professional tradesman and have never depended on stamps to live on. There are many that do depend on stamp sales though and it is for them also that I have created this section of the website.

You can now define the British Virgin Islands 1986 20th Anniversary of Cable and Wireless Ships souvenir sheet forgeries easily and can now possibly avoid being ripped off! Sorry to say this, a lot of you already have been fooled and more of you will be until the right people get serious about it! Obviously, some what I call "forum dwellers" are not the right people to depend on for advise and their childish antics should be ignored by serious collectors as a whole. Sadly there are some stamp collectors and dealers that, even though they are in their sixties and seventies now,...never grew up.
Why they want to silence and ridicule this problem, I do not know. Perhaps because they are involved in making the problem....

Your friend and fellow collector and researcher,
JLowe RETURN TO TOPRETURN TO TOP

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UPDATED LAST ON: 06-Oct-2017 07:29 AM