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THE TUVALU VAITUPU 1985 BUTTERFLIES STAMP FORGERIES

Tuvalu Vaitupu 1985 Leaders of the World Butterflies Forgery Set
Scott# 39-42
Tuvalu Vaitupu 1985 Butterflies Forgery Set

I have found documented proof that 10,000 sets of forgeries of the Tuvalu Vaitupu 1985 Butterflies issue were placed onto the market in 2015. They were sold in Gaertner's 30th auction in lot number 21438A.

I have discovered that modern forgeries of this issue are being flooded onto the market a long time ago now. Just did not get around to posting this page because of the tons of other forgeries I have been documenting.
I can tell you that real dangerous forgeries are being flooded on the market as I write this page in February of 2018.
The set imaged above are all 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 or yellowish 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 perforated sets of forgeries of the Tuvalu Vaitupu Leaders of the World 1985 Butterflies issues. All are being offered online right now as I write this on February 25, 2018.

I can also tell you that I have discovered that many more "modern" issues for Tuvalu 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 I do not see any sellers on ebay but have found numerous sellers who have and are selling the forgeries on Delcampe. 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 have recently been working with a dealer in Canada who has been ripped off when he was re-supplying his stock. His supplier is located in the U.S.. That suppliers stock has been infected by the forgeries which were supplied to him by the forger who at this time I will not name until more "hard evidence" has been made against the criminal. In working with the Canadian dealer I had him send me more suspected sets of stamps to analyze and sure enough, this issue has been forged.
This set is interesting as the UV light tests show that either the forger has used "random" papers to make the forgery set or has been reproducing this issue numerous times now. i tend to think it is the latter as evidence in other forgery sets is showing multiple printings have been done.

I have alerted the APS, American Philatelic Magazine editors, Scott catalog editors about these forgeries. Other than one editor of the Philatelic Exporter who only wrote the article because of influence by several British based stamp dealers the rest have been tending to ignore it. Now they are everywhere and thanks to your leaders and "experts" you cannot trust what you buy as far as stamps originally printed by the Format International security Printers is concerned. Are you going to ignore it also?

For this issue I purchased a block set of specimens from a legitimate dealer in France. At this point the forger has not stooped low enough to try to create forgeries of the specimen overprint stamps of any forged issue. Possibly because specialists are usually buyers of specimens and they would detect the forgeries more readily thus alerting the stamp market.
Tuvalu Vaitupu 1985 Butterflies Specimen Stamp Set

I now have everything together to present to you how to detect the forgeries 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.

I note that these images are taken with an iphone. Conditions make the brightness differ with each picture taken so the genuine set "looks" different as far as brightness. the images are to give you a basic idea of what to look for.

I have found for this set that the forgeries all glow brightly. Here is the comparison of the perforated forgery set I received.
Tuvalu Vaitupu 1985 Leaders of the World Butterflies Comparison of Forgeries with Genuine Stamps Under Ultra-violet Light

You can see that the genuine stamps have a dull glow. The paper used on genuine stamps has a "spotty" look under the UV light. Here is another image comparison of the 15c value. Note the UV effect on the colors making them completely different.
Tuvalu Vaitupu 1985 Leaders of the World Butterflies Comparison of 15c Forgery with Genuine 15c Stamp 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 genuine stamps 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 it proves these to be modern forgeries of the stamps.
You can see there is a complete difference in color and texture.
Tuvalu Vaitupu 1985 Butterflies Forgery with Original Closeup Gum Comparison

Gum Comparison of the Original and Forgery of the full Saint Vincent Union Island 1985 Butterflies Stamp pairs
Again there is an obvious difference in color and texture.
Tuvalu Vaitupu 1985 Butterflies Forgery and Original Gum Comparison of Full Stamp Pairs

Screen and Color Comparison of a Forged Stamp with a Genuine Stamp
I use the 50c values for comparisons. you will see an easy way to detect the 50c Sticopthalma camadeva below.

Note the differences in color on the fake stamp. The inferior screen pattern that has lost a major portion of the details.

Color and Screen Comparison of the Palaeochrysophanus hippothoe Stamp Forgery
Tuvalu Vaitupu 1985 Butterflies Palaeochrysophanus hippothoe 1200dpi Screen and Color Comparison

Color and Screen Comparison of the Sticopthalma camadeva Stamp Forgery
Tuvalu Vaitupu 1985 Butterflies Sticopthalma camadeva 1200dpi Screen and Color Comparison

Now let us look at the fonts.

It is quite easy I found to define the forgeries from the originals. The "U" in "TUVALU" almost touches the "T" and the "V" on forgeries. On the genuine stamps there is a good spacing between the letters.
Note the difference in background color. In all my studies of these forgeries one thing is clear. The forgers cannot match the original colors exactly.
Tuvalu Vaitupu 1985 Butterflies Forgery with Genuine Font Comparison

In comparing the fonts for the names of the butterflies I found that the Sticopthalma camadeva has what appears to be a spelling error on the forgery. Actually it is spelled correctly but the dot at the top of the "i" is malformed and so close to the bottom leg it looks like an "l". So an easy way to detect the forgery as you can see.
Tuvalu Vaitupu 1985 Butterflies Forgery with Genuine Name Font Comparison

I have yet discovered another easy way to detect the forgeries
The spacing of the dot and the "Leaders of the World" logos. Much closer together on genuine stamps as this image shows. This is the same on all values of this set.
Tuvalu Vaitupu 1985 Butterflies Forgery with Genuine Comparison of the Logo

Now I will show reduced images of the genuine stamps with the forgeries.

Comparison of the Tuvalu Vaitupu Butterflies 5c Stamp Forgery Pair with a Genuine Stamp Pair
Tuvalu Vaitupu 1985 Butterflies 5c Forgeries with Genuine 5c Stamp Comparison

Now that you know what to look for it helps yes?
Obvious differences:
The country name color bar is dull lavender on genuine stamps. It is deep lavender on the forgeries.
the upper and lower color bars are light pink on genuine stamps. It is light lavender on the forgeries.
On the genuine stamps the spacing of the country name letters is well spaced. On the forgeries they are very close to almost touching each other.
On the genuine stamps the spacing of the "Leaders of the world" logo's and the dot in the middle are very close compared to the forgeries as shown above.

Comparison of the Tuvalu Vaitupu Butterflies 15c Stamp Forgery Pair with a Genuine Stamp Pair
Tuvalu Vaitupu 1985 Butterflies 15c Forgeries with Genuine 15c Stamp Comparison

Obvious differences:
The country name color bar is olive green on genuine stamps. It is deep green on the forgeries.
the upper and lower color bars are light yellow-green on genuine stamps. It is light green on the forgeries.
On the genuine stamps the spacing of the country name letters is well spaced. On the forgeries they are very close to almost touching each other.
On the genuine stamps the spacing of the "Leaders of the world" logo's and the dot in the middle are very close compared to the forgeries as shown above.

Comparison of the Tuvalu Vaitupu Butterflies 50c Stamp Forgery Pair with a Genuine Stamp Pair
Tuvalu Vaitupu 1985 Butterflies 50c Forgeries with Genuine 50c Stamp Comparison

Obvious differences:
The country name color bar is orange on genuine stamps. It is deep red-orange on the forgeries.
the upper and lower color bars are light pale orange on genuine stamps. It is deep orange on the forgeries.
On the genuine stamps the spacing of the country name letters is well spaced. On the forgeries they are very close to almost touching each other.
On the genuine stamps the spacing of the "Leaders of the world" logo's and the dot in the middle are very close compared to the forgeries as shown above.
The letter "i" in "Sticopthalma" looks like an "l" on the forgeries.
The cent sign "c" is closer to the "0" on the forgeries.

Comparison of the Tuvalu Vaitupu Butterflies 75c Stamp Forgery Pair with a Genuine Stamp Pair
Tuvalu Vaitupu 1985 Butterflies 75c Forgeries with Genuine 75c Stamp Comparison

Obvious differences:
The country name color bar is gray-blue on genuine stamps. It is very deep gray-blue on the forgeries.
the upper and lower color bars are very light pale blue on genuine stamps. It is light blue on the forgeries.
On the genuine stamps the spacing of the country name letters is well spaced. On the forgeries they are very close to almost touching each other.
On the genuine stamps the spacing of the "Leaders of the world" logo's and the dot in the middle are very close compared to the forgeries as shown above.
The 75c values have a major blunder by the forger. The "7" and the "5" are touching hard on the forgeries. Well spaced on genuine stamps. Here is a closeup image.
Tuvalu Vaitupu 1985 Butterflies 75c Forgeries with Genuine 75c Stamp Denomination 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 the Tuvalu Vaitupu 1985 Butterflies upper left specimen stamp corners from the original printing.

Tuvalu Vaitupu 1985 Butterflies Original print Specimen Stamp Corners

Now here is an image of upper left corner blocks offered recently (2018) by our favorite Latvia based forgery selling gang member armi777 on eBay.
Tuvalu Vaitupu 1985 Butterflies Upper Left Corner Stamp Forgery Blocks

Now look at the image of the original specimen overprinted Vaitupu corners selvage. Then look at the selvage on the stamp forgery blocks. Can you see the difference?
The perforations run through the selvage on the genuine corners on all sides. There are no perforations on the selvage of the forgery blocks and I can tell you there are no perforations running through the selvage on the forgery panes on any side!

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. This set does not effect me at all. Only what is imaged here is what I own. 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 Tuvalu Vaitupu 1985 Butterflies stamp 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!

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

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UPDATED LAST ON: 27-May-2018 06:15 AM