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THE MODERN FAKE SAINT VINCENT 1988 SPANISH ARMADA STAMP ISSUES

Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish armada Progressive Color Proof Forgery Set
Scott# 1100-1106 Stanley Gibbons# 1137-1142
Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada Progressive Color Proof Forgery Set
Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada Perforated Stamp Forgery Set
Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada Perforated Stamp Forgery Set
Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada Imperforate Souvenir Sheet Forgery
Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada Imperforate Souvenir Sheet Stamp Forgery
I have found documented proof dated April 2015 that 2,500 imperforate forgery sets and 500 progressive color proof sets (including final imperforates) have been moved onto the market!
They were sold in Gaertner's 30th auction in lot number 21438A.

UPDATE August 2017

As I predicted last year perforated stamp forgeries of this issue are now on the market.
I just purchased a set of perforated forgeries and added the image above. Everything is the same as the color proofs I describe on this page. White gum, cheap white paper, inferior screens causing blurry images. Even shoddy centering as you can see. These I purchased on eBay from a seller in Canada who had no idea that they are forgeries.

END OF UPDATE

This discovery is a little different than the many others I wrote about. The "color proofs" show us just how far these forgers will go. Not only creating forgeries of the normal issues as imperforates or inverts but now even as progressive color proofs!

I have discovered that modern fake stamps of this issue have and 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 July of 2016.
All the stamps imaged above are fakes!

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 Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada issues as imperforate progressive color proof sets.The normal issues have also been forged. Also the souvenir sheet which has never been offered as an imperforate until the forgeries appeared. All are being offered online right now as I write this on July 29, 2016.

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 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 September 2017 I have once again updated sections of this page and added the ultra-violet detection section. Addition of the fake imperforate souvenir sheet has also been added.

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 Vincent Spanish Armada issues as color proofs being sold on ebay by Latvian seller armi777 months ago. I knew there was something wrong because there were only 5 stages of the colors whereas originals have 7 stages.

You see back in 2012 user city-collectables on eBay sold off all the original panes of the progressive color proofs that were originally confiscated by the British Police in 1989 and held until 2008 in their warehouse. The complete stock was purchased by city-collectables in auction and sold to the public on eBay. I was lucky to get a complete set of the panes of all the values at the time.

I knew that they are forgeries because of the many other forgeries I have purchased from these dealers already. I purchased a couple sets (values) around 4 months ago. Before that I was always outbid when they came up. I was outbid on several values that time too but managed to get two sets like the one imaged above. I was waiting for this seller to post more to try to get the other sets but to this day they have not posted them again. Sure enough, when I received them I could see they are exactly the same as all the other forgeries I have written about. I got them for around $3.00 each set like the one imaged showing how easily they have now been filtered onto the market.

This dealer is and has persisted in selling many other forgeries and is not to be trusted.

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

The first and most obvious way to tell is the number of color proofs. If there are only five....something is wrong! All progressive color proof sets made by the Format Printers during 1988 had seven or more color proofs in the set. Here is an image of what a real set looks like!

Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada Progressive Color Proof Genuine Set

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 normal perforated version of this issue that I have acquired the forgeries glow brightly as this image shows.
Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada Comparison of Forgeries with Genuine Stamps Under Ultra-violet Light
The same holds true with the imperforate color proof forgeries. Here is a comparison with the genuine color proofs from the City Collectibles sales. I left out two of the proofs to match the forgery set.
Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada Comparison of the Color Proof Forgeries with Genuine Color Proofs Under Ultra-violet Light
The same is also holding true for the souvenir sheet forgeries. Here is a comparison with a genuine perforated souvenir sheet.
Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada Comparison of the Imperforate Souvenir Sheet Forgery with a Genuine Souvenir Sheet Under Ultra-violet Light
Here are gum comparisons.

Gum Comparison of a Fake 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 did not appear on the market until 2014 and no such invert errors have ever been on the market nor recorded, it proves these to be modern forgeries of the stamps.
Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada Forgery and Original Gum Comparison of Full Stamps

Screen, Font and Color Comparison of a Fake Stamp with an Original Stamp
Let us use the 75c Ark Royal stamps for high resolution comparisons. I use 1200dpi scans for viewing.
This first comparison shows you how inferior the screens are. I first compare the Armada Medallion.
Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada 75c Fake with Original Screen and Color Comparison of the Armada Medallion

You can see that the screens used on the forgery are coarser. Much of the details are lost on the forgery. Note the difference in color.
The forgeries still are very dangerous because when imaged for sale by sellers they look almost exactly the same as the originals. Buyers will think it is just the sellers scanner making them look "different". To compensate the forger uses a shinier surface on the face of the stamps.

Now here is a look at the center mast and flag.
Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada 75c Fake with Original Screen and Color Comparison of the Center Mast and Flag

Here you can see a big difference in the color and see the difference in the screens used.

Now let's look at the blue proof.
Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada 75c Fake with Original Screen and Color Comparison of the Blue Proof

You can see that the screens on the forgery stamp are completely different.

Now I will show reduced images of the original perforated stamps with the newly acquired perforated forgeries.

Comparison of the Fake 15c Spanish Armada Stamp with the Original Stamp
Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada 15c Fake with Original 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!

Other notes on this stamp:
Sky and water are shades of blue on genuine stamps. It is shades of green-blue on the forgeries.
All the "accent" marks are larger and more pronounced on the forgeries.
The sails are much darker as is everything on the forgeries.
The "C" and the "h" in the word "Chibalric" are very close on forgeries whereas they are well spaced apart on genuine stamps.
Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada 15c Fake with Original Stamp Font Comparison

Comparison of the Fake 75c Spanish Armada Stamp with the Original Stamp
Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada Fake with Original 75c Stamp Comparison

Notes on some other differences:
The sky is shades of very light blue on genuine stamps versus greenish-blue on the forgeries.
The medallion is lighter on the genuine stamps and does not have the yellowish hue that the forgeries have.
All the differences I show above in the high definition images.
The "R" and the "o" in the word "Royal" touch on forgeries whereas they are well spaced apart on genuine stamps.
Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada 75c Fake with Original Stamp Font Comparison

Comparison of the Fake $1.50 Spanish Armada Stamp with the Original Stamp
Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada Fake with Original $1.50 Stamp Comparison

Notes on some differences:
The sky is shades of light blue on genuine stamps versus greenish-blue on the forgeries.
The ocean is shades of yellow-green on the genuine stamps versus green on the forgeries.
The navigational sexton is bright gold on genuine stamps. It is duller and darker gold on the forgeries.
The "T" and the "h" in the word "The" touch on forgeries whereas they are well spaced apart on genuine stamps.
Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada $1.50 Fake with Original Stamp Font Comparison

Comparison of the Fake $2.00 Spanish Armada Stamp with the Original Stamp
Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada Fake with Original $2.00 Stamp Comparison

Notes on some differences:
This forgery is interesting because it has a sure giveaway. Under high magnification you can see that on genuine stamps the fonts for "St. Vincent" are opague. Here is a comparison.
Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada $2.00 Fake with Original Font Comparison of the Opacity

You can see the ship and boats through the letters. It is the same on all the values but this stamp shows the opacity easier. The forgeries all have solid lettering and you can see nothing through them.
Everything is darker colors on the forgeries.
The sky is light blue on genuine stamps versus almost shades of white on the forgeries.
The "n" and the "t" in the word "Century" touch on forgeries whereas they are well spaced apart on genuine stamps.
Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada $2.00 Fake with Original Stamp Font Comparison

Comparison of the Fake $3.50 Spanish Armada Stamp with the Original Stamp
Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada Fake with Original $3.50 Stamp Comparison

Notes on some differences:
You can see the greenish tint on the fakes versus the light brown tints on the originals.
The smoke is shades of brown on genuine stamps. It is almost black on the forgeries.
The "m" and the "b" in the word "Firebomb" almost touch on forgeries whereas they are well spaced apart on genuine stamps.
Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada $3.50 Fake with Original Stamp Font Comparison

Comparison of the Fake $5.00 Spanish Armada Stamp with the Original Stamp
Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada Fake with Original $5.00 Stamp Comparison

Notes on some differences:
You can see that the forgery has a heavy greenish tint throughout the stamp.
The drum has bright red rims and is shades of orange and burnt orange on genuine stamps. The drum on the forgeries is dull, has very dull red rims and is shades of dull gold.
The color of the top two sail banners under the "St. Vincent" are brown on genuine stamps and the lower one is gold. On the forgeries all three are gold.
The "r" and the "u" in the word "Drum" almost touch on forgeries whereas they are well spaced apart on genuine stamps. Note the larger "wing" on the "r" on the forgery as well.
Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada $5.00 Fake with Original Stamp Font Comparison

As I noted earlier there are two proofs missing in the fake set. The all colors proof with no inscriptions and the blue-red proof. Here are images of originals.

Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada 75c Original All Colors with no Inscriptions Color Proof

Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada 75c Original Blue Red Color Proof

Now let's look at the blue proofs side by side.
Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada 75c Fake with Original Color Comparison of the Blue Proofs

You can see that the blue is darker on the forgery stamp.

Now let's look at the red proofs side by side.
Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada 75c Fake with Original Color Comparison of the Red Proofs

Note the clarity on the original stamp. The reddish color in the background on the forgery.

Now the yellow proofs side by side.
Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada 75c Fake with Original Color Comparison of the Yellow Proofs

Again noting the clarity on the original stamp. This time the yellow color in the background of the forgery.

Now the black proofs side by side.
Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada 75c Fake with Original Color Comparison of the Black Proofs

Quite a difference! Note the very white paper on the forgery.

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

The Souvenir Sheet

Gum Comparison of a Fake Imperforate Souvenir Sheet with a Genuine Souvenir Sheet
Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada Forgery and Original Gum Comparison of Souvenir Sheets
Unlike the gum on many of the forgeries that are flooding the market right now the gum on the imperforate souvenir sheet forgery 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.
I note the opacity of the forgery. You can see the face image through it quite easily whereas on genuine souvenir sheets the gum is much less transluscent.

Screen, Font and Color Comparison of the Imperforate Souvenir Forgery with a Genuine Souvenir Sheet
This first comparison shows you how inferior the screens are. I first compare the ship in the water.
Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada Souvenir Sheet Forgery with Genuine Souvenir Sheet Screen and Color Comparison of the Ship
You can see again that the screens used on the forgery are coarser. Much of the details are lost on the forgery. Note the difference in color.

Now let's look at the fonts.
Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada Souvenir Sheet Forgery with Genuine Souvenir Sheet Comparison of the Fonts

You can see that the fonts on the forgery are darker and blurry. The fonts on genuine souvenir sheets are clear and crisp.

Now I will show reduced images of the genuine souvenir sheet with the imperforate souvenir sheet forgery.

Comparison of the Fake Spanish Armada Souvvenir Sheet with the Genuine Souvenir Sheet
Saint Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada Souvenir Sheet Forgery with Genuine Souvenir Sheet Comparison

You can see this is a difficult one to determine by images given by sellers on auction sites and elsewhere.
The number one rule:
IMPERFORATE ST.VINCENT 1988 SPANISH ARMADA SOUVENIR SHEETS ARE ALL FORGERIES
They were never produced and sold by the printer and did not appear on the market until 2015.
Noting that the forgery is darker than the genuine issue in all ways.
Noting the water is shades of blue on genuine souvenir sheets versus shades of green on the forgeries.

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. If panes are packaged like this it is a sign to beware!

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 Vincent 1988 Spanish Armada stamps, color proofs and souvenir sheets 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 and stop these clowns!

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

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UPDATED LAST ON: 12-Nov-2017 08:20 AM