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THE 1987 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE STATUE OF LIBERTY STAMP ISSUES MADE FOR TUVALU

Produced by the Format International Security Printers

The Production and Distribution of the 1987 Statue of Liberty stamps for Tuvalu

In 1986 The Format International Security Printers was commissioned By Tuvalu and various other Commonwealth countries to produce stamps and souvenir sheet sets celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty. It was a large production and many of the photo images that were used were taken by the famous photographer, Peter B. Kaplan. These sets are beautiful and colorful depicting photographs of the Statue of Liberty and many photographs of the restoration of the statue before the grand opening celebration on the 4th of July 1986.

As I said the production was massive and many countries all over the world produced stamps to celebrate the occasion. The issuance of new stamp sets continued through several months in 1987. Tuvalu issued a set of nine souvenir sheets on November 24, 1986.
The Tuvalu 1986 Statue of Liberty Souvenir Sheet Set
As you can see these were issued a bit "after the fact" considering the celebration was on July 4th. It is called "jumping on the bandwagon" and Philatelic agencies for Tuvalu and many other countries saw the popularity of the topic and thus had many stamp and souvenir sheets created with collectors in mind.

This page is not about the issued set but about another set that few collectors know exist.

Many of the countries who issued stamps celebrating the anniversary, issued them before the celebration on July 4th. Obviously Tuvalu, Saint Vincent, Saint Lucia, British Virgin Islands, Montserrat and others did not. This shows they were simply producing sets for the popularity of the topic.

In the earlier part of 1987 several countries produced additional sets (2nd issues) probably because sales were excellent on their 1st issues. For Tuvalu this was supposed to be the case. For unknown reasons, but I theorize that because of waning popularity of collectors interest in Tuvalu stamps in general, the set was produced but never issued.

There is a controversy over the status of the 1987 Statue of Liberty stamps produced for Tuvalu. The following set that is imaged has and is being said to be "fakes" according to the website created and managed by Brian Cannon.

THE 1987 TUVALU UNISSUED 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE STATUE OF LIBERTY STAMP SET

The Tuvalu 1987 Unissued Statue of Liberty Stamp Set
The classification of calling these "fakes" is wrong and misleading.
You can view this on the link below.

Stamps of Tuvalu - Fakes and Forgeries

And here is a snapshot image of the section of the page for historical recording.
Snapshot of tuvaluislands Fakes webpage
So you ask, "why are they not fakes?" as the tuvaluislands website implies.

THE EVIDENCE

1.) Examples were found in the Format International Security Printers archive and retained by Kasimir Bileski.
Let's get real! The Format Printers never produced fake stamp sets.

2.) The set is of the same exact design as the stamp set produced for Penrhyn Island (by the Format Printers), which is not noted in Stanley Gibbons in error. Examples including the die proofs were found in the Format Printers Archive and sold in the 1995 final sale of the archive.
The Penrhyn Island 1987 Statue of Liberty Stamp Sheetlet Set

3.) I have one of the die proofs! Tuvalu 1987 Unissued Statue of Liberty Stamp Die Proof

4.)The Postal Commemorative Society Created a special 100th Anniversary of the Statue of Liberty Collectors Panel collection. In it are the panels for the Tuvalu 1987 Statue of Liberty set with all the stamps of the set on six different panels. For reasons unknown at present, the panels were replaced with a different set of the exact same panels but the country name and stamps were changed. I believe the society was told the stamps were not issued. All the stamps in the collection are supposed to be official international stamps and thus they had to replace the panels. It is possible that at that time the rumor that the stamps were fakes may have been created. This falls right in line with all the other rumors and lies created by a few to mislead us collectors.

ORIGINAL TUVALU STATUE OF LIBERTY POSTAL COMMEMORATIVE SOCIETY COLLECTORS PANEL page 20
Original Postal Commemmorative Society Panel with Tuvalu Unissued Statue of Liberty Stamps

CHANGED TUVALU STATUE OF LIBERTY POSTAL COMMEMORATIVE SOCIETY COLLECTORS PANEL page 20
Tuvalu stamps replaced with Kiribati and Liberia stamps and title changed
Replaced Postal Commemmorative Society Panel with Kiribati and Liberia Statue of Liberty Stamps

A bit of work and a loss of profits went into changing the six panels. Here again is solid evidence the stamps were fully produced and distribution started but was then stopped.

So the bottom line is that the 1987 Tuvalu Statue of Liberty stamp set is neither a fake set nor a forgery. They are not even "unauthorized" and definitely not illegals. They are simply unissued stamps that were planned and produced by the Format International Security Printers but were never issued. Thus they are highly collectible and apparently quite hard to find now which in turn means they are valuable.

I hope that this reference page on the Tuvalu 1987 unissued Statue of Liberty stamp set will assist all collectors, dealers and memorabilia collectors in the clarification of what they are.

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

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UPDATED LAST ON: 26-Jan-2015 05:34 PM