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THE SAINT LUCIA 1985 BUTTERFLY STAMP FORGERIES

Saint Lucia 1985 Leaders of the World Butterflies Forgery Set
Scott# 731-734 Stanley Gibbons# 781-788
Saint Lucia 1985 Butterflies Imperforate Forgery Set
Saint Lucia 1985 Butterflies Perforated Forgery Set
Saint Lucia 1985 Butterflies Inverted Frame Forgery Set
I have found documented proof dated April 2015 that at least 5,000 perforated forgery sets have been moved onto the market!
They were sold in Gaertner's 30th auction in lot number 21438A.

UPDATE August 2017

The sale of these forgeries continues. I recently purchased the imaged perforated set of these forgeries from a Canadian dealer. There is one noticeable difference between the perforated and imperforated sets. The gum is yellowish on the perforated forgeries. Colors are basically the same and the inferior coarse screens are the same. The yellow gummed forgeries are already beginning to curl.

END OF UPDATE

UPDATE October 2017

Adding users who sell these forgeries along with new ultra-violet light detection section. Updating the selvage image section as well.
Also added image of the fake inverts which has been kindly donated by our favorite fake invert seller....Stampbank of London.

END OF UPDATE

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.
All the sets imaged above are forgeries!

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.

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.

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.
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!

I noticed sales of the Saint Lucia 1985 Butterflies issue as imperforates being sold on ebay from user armi777 based in Latvia. This seller 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. Here is an image of what I got.
Saint Lucia 1985 Butterflies Imperforate Forgery Sets sold by armi777
These sellers are playing dumb and are persisting in selling these and many other forgeries.

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 including the final imperforates.
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. I have seen a few imperforates which are usually random (only a couple values) that were cut from a press sheet. Most are poorly cut.

There are fake inverts of this stamp set also circulating as well as the proven perforated forgeries.

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

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, the forgeries glow brightly as this image shows.
I use the genuine imperforate panes for the comparison.
Saint Lucia 1985 Butterflies Comparison of Imperforate Stamp Forgeries with Genuine Imperforate Stamps Under Ultra-violet Light
You can see the extreme difference between the two.

For the perforated forgeries I received which have the yellowish gum we have a problem. Under ultra-violet light we see there are two that glow and two that do not. In fact, the lower left 60c value glows less brightly than the upper right 40c value! This shows again my theory that these have been forged multiple times.
Saint Lucia 1985 Butterflies Comparison of Perforated Stamp Forgeries Under Ultra-violet Light
Do the other two values glow in other forged sets and vise versa? Do the fake inverts glow like this? I am not buying the inverts because they are forgeries and the asking price is rediculous because they are proven forgeries.
Perhaps you have the answer to those questions.....

Here are gum comparisons.

Updating to the problem I have found the perforated versions of these forgeries have the yellowish gum. I believe the perforated forgeries recently being offered by these Latvian sellers have the white gum like the imperforates. If that is the case then this shows a continuation of printings of these forgeries.
I am updating the gum comparison section as of October 2017 to include the yellowish gum versions.

Gum Comparison of a Fake Imperforate 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

Unlike the gum on many of the forgeries that are flooding the market right now the gum on the perforated stamp forgeries I purchased is more yellowish in color. It is opague though in comparison with the original gum. This type of gum has appeared on quite a few other issues I have detected as forgeries like the St. Vincent Century of Motoring issue and now many Locomotives sets. It is having a tendancy to curl worse than original gum. I do not know if these were produced earlier by the forger and held until now, but they did not appear here on the market until recently. Everything else about the forgeries is the same as all the other forgeries I have described as you will see. This yellowish gum does make them harder to detect though at first glance without originals to compare with.

Saint Lucia 1985 Butterflies Perforated 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

This section updated as of October 2017.

Here are two images of the Saint Lucia 1985 Butterflies stamps upper left corners with the selvage still attached from the original printing.

Saint Lucia 1985 Butterflies Original print Upper Left Stamp Pair Corners
Saint Lucia 1985 Leaders of the World Butterflies Original print Upper Left Stamp Pair Corners
Saint Lucia 1985 Butterflies Original print Upper Left Stamp Block Corners
Saint Lucia 1985 Leaders of the World Butterflies Original print Upper Left Stamp Block Corners

Notice how the perforations run through the selvage on the sides.

Now here is an image placed on eBay by our reputable (not) seller alphaomegaphilately in India of an upper left corner block of the fake St. Lucia 1985 Butterflies inverted frame error stamps.
Noting snapshots of the lot offers are retained on file so that denial of the fact cannot be made in the future.

Saint Lucia 1985 Leaders of the World Butterflies Inverted Frame Error Forgery Upper Left Corner Block
Saint Lucia 1985 Leaders of the World Butterflies Inverted Frame Error Forgery Upper Left Corner Block

Now look at the images of the upper left corners on the genuine stamps and then the image of the forged invert upper left corner with selvage shown above. Can you see the difference?
The perforations run through the selvage on the genuine corners in both images on all sides. There are no perforations on the selvage of the invert error forgery at all!
Indeed several values do not have the perforations running through the selvage at the top. It depends on the position of the full panes on the press sheet. All genuine stamps have perforations running through at least one side or the other and for this issue most have them running through all sides.
The forgeries of the perforated normal stamps will be the same. No perforations through the selvage!

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 forgeries of the 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 Saint Lucia 1985 Butterflies stamp forgeries 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.

FAKE SAINT LUCIA 1985 BUTTERFLIES STAMPS WITH ORIGINALS
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,
JLowe RETURN TO TOPRETURN TO TOP

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UPDATED LAST ON: 07-Oct-2017 08:07 AM