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Saint Lucia 1985 Leaders of the World Butterflies Forgery Set
Scott# 731-734 Stanley Gibbons# 781-788
Saint Lucia 1985 Butterflies Forgery Set
I have found documented proof dated April 2015 that at least 5,000 perforated forgery sets have been moved onto the market!

I have recently discovered that modern fake stamps of this issue 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 September of 2015.
The imperforate set imaged above is completely fake!

My research into the printer has enabled me to discover modern fake stamps have been created in 2014!! They are being spread across the world through online auction sites like ebay and Delcampe. Everything about them is fake except for one dangerous fact, they have the correct perf size. The gum type is different in it being white in color and very shiny. This gum type was not used until much later years, long after Format went bankrupt thus proving they were not produced by the Format International Security Printers. Obvious differences will be shown below. So far I have discovered complete sets of forgeries of the Saint Lucia Leaders of the World 1985 Butterfly imperforate issues. All are being offered online right now as I write this on September 7, 2015.

I can also tell you that I have discovered that many more "modern" issues for Saint Vincent and other countries are being forged. Mainly varieties such as these 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.


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.

I noticed sales of the Saint Lucia 1985 Butterflies issue as imperforates being sold on ebay from a dealer based in Latvia. This dealer is a large volume dealer and was and is offering these fakes in bulk lots of 5, 10 pairs and even offering blocks and strips. The starting bid is 99c! Buyers constantly bid them up to $5.00 to $12.00 ranges. They all are selling thus they are now everywhere in the world! Hundreds if not thousands have been moved!

I suspected that they are forgeries because other forgeries I have purchased from this same dealer. I recently purchased a lot of 5 sets and sure enough they are exactly the same as all the other forgeries I have written about. I got them for $4.69 winning bid. This shows us how easily these are being spread across the world.

This dealer is playing dumb and is persisting in selling these and many other forgeries so without naming names because of defamation retaliation and because eBay could retaliate I will have to leave it up to you collectors and dealers to do something about it.
so far I have alerted the APS, American Philatelic Magazine editors, Scott catalog editors about these forgeries. At this point they are tending to ignore it. Are you going to ignore it also?

A small bit of history here. During my research I acquired almost all of the progessive color proofs that exist for this issue. They were in the original packaging made by the Format International Security Printers. The packs were confiscated by the British Metropolitan Police during the raids on the company as evidence to be used in the famous trials. They were held in the police warehouse until 2008 when they were released back to the owner. The environment they were stored in was harsh and unfavorable for stamp storage. During those years water damage occurred which damaged and literally destroyed many of the panes. Some of the color packs were not in the shipment I received (presumed completely destroyed and some had so much damage that over half were useless to recover. Therefore two values do not have all the colors that make up a complete set.
In separating and recovering what was salvaged I made a discovery!
In one pack placed in between the sheets was one full set of the proofs for all the values! At this point it is believed that they can now be considered the only full set of panes left in existence. It is virtually impossibe to find imperforates of the final proofs.....until now. They too were confiscated with the color proofs as were many issues. For this issue....they were destroyed. Therefore all that are being offered are now suspect. Even Rushstamps, the biggest dealer of Format material never has offered these as imperforates.

There are fake inverts of this stamp set also circulating. I am fairly certain fakes of the normal perforated issue are also out there.

I now have everything together to present to you how to detect them and not get ripped off!!

Here are gum comparisons.

Gum Comparison of a Fake Butterfly Stamp with Original
This gum appears to still be PVA but without the greenish tint. It has been noted that other British issues like some of the Machin issues have this type of gum. The problem is it was not used until the late 90's. The gum is very shiny though which conflicts with the description of the gum known as PVAI (Layflat) used on the Machins. Yet the stamps lay perfectly flat on a surface whereas originals have a light bending from aging.
This is evidence showing even a later creation and since these imperforates did not appear on the market until 2014, it proves these to be modern forgeries of the stamps.
Saint Lucia 1985 Butterflies Forgery and Original Gum Comparison of Full Stamp Pair

Screen and Color Comparison of the Fake Stamp with Original Stamp
I will use the $2.25 value for comparisons using original from the unique proof pane which is proof of the original printing.

Note the extreme difference in color on the fake stamp. The inferior screen pattern that lacks much of the details.
Saint Lucia 1985 Butterflies Fake with Original Screen and Color Comparison

Now let's look at the fonts.
Saint Lucia 1985 Butterflies Fake with Original Comparison of the Fonts

You can see that the fonts on the forgery are bolder. Noting the obvious difference in screens used.

Now let's look at the border colors and lines.
Saint Lucia 1985 Butterflies Fake with Original Comparison of the Border

You can see that the borders on the forgery are a different color. The black frameline much thicker on the forgery. The screens used are completely different.

Now I will show reduced images of the original imperforate proofs with the forgeries. At the bottom table are links to the same images at full size. To big to fit the page of course as I scanned them all at 1200dpi.

Comparison of the Fake 15c Butterfly Stamps with the Original Stamps
Saint Lucia 1985 Butterflies Fake with Original 15c Stamp Comparison

Now that you know what to look for it helps yes?
Still you can see that most people will not even notice it which is what the forger wants!

Comparison of the Fake 40c Butterfly Stamps with the Original Stamps
Saint Lucia 1985 Butterflies Fake with Original 40c Stamp Comparison

Comparison of the Fake 60c Butterfly Stamps with the Original Stamps
Saint Lucia 1985 Butterflies Fake with Original 60c Stamp Comparison

Comparison of the Fake $2.25 Butterfly Stamps with the Original Stamps
Saint Lucia 1985 Butterflies Fake with Original $2.25 Stamp Comparison

You can see that there is a lot of differences between the two printings.

One buyer of these fakes purchased a large lot from one of the biggest and most reputable stamp sellers on ebay. He bought what he thought was the complete print run of one "newly discovered" error in full panes in packets of 200 panes which were unopened.
I am sorry to say that there are several ways proving these were never produced by the Format Printers.
Firstly the packaging is wrong. Here is the image he sent me.
Packets of Fake Stamp Panes

The plastic wrapping is a flexible plastic used today. Format packaged all stamp panes in very brittle hard plastic that tears easily when opened. The separation paper is brown. Format always used pink/red paper to separate and protect the panes and souvenir sheets.

The perforations on the panes are wrong

Here is an image of a Saint Vincent Bequia 1985 Dogs stamp pane from the original printing.
Bequia 1985 Leaders of the World Dogs Original print Stamp Pane

Now here is an image of a corner block set of the fake Bequia 1985 Dogs inverted frame error stamps with color Guides.
Bequia 1985 Leaders of the World Dogs Fake Inverted Frame Error Corner Blocks

Now look at the image of the pane and the image of the fake stamp blocks with selvage shown above. Can you see the difference?
The perforations run through the selvage on the original pane on all sides. There are no perforations on the selvage of the fake corner blocks at all!
Indeed several values do not have the perforations running through the selvage where the color guide is, but several like the pane imaged do!

I have not purchased any normal stamps of this issue that are forged but they are on the market.

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. Mainly these fake imperforates. 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 fake Saint Lucia Butterflies stamps easily (imperforate or not) 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!

Here are links to images of each stamp with an original next to a forgery. All are scanned at 1200dpi so the files are large. All were scanned at the same time with the same settings and nothing is enhanced. Using Scott Catalog numbers. Please be patient with downloading them because each file is around 7 to 8 megs.

Saint Lucia Butterflies Scott 731a Clossiana selene Stamp Saint Lucia Butterflies Scott 731b Inachis io Stamp
Saint Lucia Butterflies Scott 732a Philaethria werneckei Stamp Saint Lucia Butterflies Scott 732b Catagramma sorana Stamp
Saint Lucia Butterflies Scott 733a Kallima inachus Stamp Saint Lucia Butterflies Scott 733b Hypanartia paullus Stamp
Saint Lucia Butterflies Scott 734a Morpho rhetenor helena Stamp Saint Lucia Butterflies Scott 734b Ornithoptera meridionalis Stamp

Your friend and fellow collector and researcher,

Visit or return to the Modern Fake Stamps Introduction Page with Links to other Forgeries Here!!

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UPDATED LAST ON: 25-Oct-2015 01:50 PM