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THE SAINT VINCENT UNION ISLAND 1985 BUTTERFLIES STAMP FORGERIES

Saint Vincent Union Island 1985 Leaders of the World Butterflies Forgery Set
Scott# 194-197
Saint Vincent Union Island 1985 Butterflies Forgery Set
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 and imperforate sets of forgeries of the Saint Vincent Union Island Leaders of the World 1985 Butterflies issues. All are being offered online right now as I write this on February 18, 2018.

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.

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?

First a little history on the Union Island 1985 Butterflies set. Long ago this set was reproduced as "unauthorized reprints" by Clive Feigenbaum in the early 1990's. The perforated version is easy to tell in that all you have to do is count the perforation holes to see if they are genuine or the "reprints". Here is the link to my detailed page on these "reprints".

The Unauthorized Reprints

I state on the reprint page that almost 50% of the sets offered are now the unauthorized reprints. Now you can add the forgeries which in a bit more time will make the factor change to 75% offered on the market being either forgeries or unauthorized reprints.

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 there are several different papers used as the image shows. One glows brightly whereas two have "medium" brightness and one does not glow at all! I do not have the imperforate set of forgeries but need to note that some offers on eBay showing the back of the forgeries having very white gum. this is the latest production of forgeries and all will glow brightly. Here is the comparison of the perforated forgery set I received.
Saint Vincent Union Island 1985 Leaders of the World Butterflies Comparison of Forgeries with Genuine Stamps Under Ultra-violet Light

Here are gum comparisons.

Gum Comparison of a Fake Stamp with Original
This gum appears to still be PVA but with a flat appearance compared to original Format gum. The forged stamps are "curling" much worse than the genuine stamps which have a natural "bending" from age and the type of gum Format used. The gum on the forgeries is slightly yellowish making them a bit more difficult to detect by the gum unless you have the genuine stamps to compare with. No need to worry though because this issue is easy to detect by other means.
You can see there is a difference in color and texture.
Saint Vincent Union Island 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.
Saint Vincent Union Island 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 $2 values for comparisons. you will see an easy way to detect the dollar values 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 Anartia amathea Stamp Forgery
Saint Vincent Union Island 1985 Butterflies Anartia amathea 1200dpi Screen and Color Comparison

Color and Screen Comparison of the Salamis temora Stamp Forgery
Saint Vincent Union Island 1985 Butterflies Salamis temora 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 "I" in "UNION" almost touches the "N" on forgeries (and the reprints I might add). On the originals there is a good spacing between the two 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.
Saint Vincent Union Island 1985 Butterflies Forgery with Genuine Font Comparison

I have found that the forger made the same mistake on the normal perforated versions of the dollar value pairs as Clive Feigenbaum did on the unauthorized reprints of this issue. The dollar sign "$" has the vertical bar running all the way through it on the forgeries and the unauthorized reprints, whereas on genuine stamps there is only a "tab" at the top and bottom of the dollar signs.
Saint Vincent Union Island 1985 Butterflies Forgery with Genuine Dollar Sign Comparison

I have yet discovered another easy way to detect the forgeries
The use of capital letters in the country name. This is the same on all values of this issue.
Saint Vincent Union Island 1985 Butterflies Forgery with Genuine Comparison of the word St.

Again this same problem is on the unauthorized reprints made by Clive Feigenbaum in the 1990's showing us a direct connection between those reprints and these newest forgeries.

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

Comparison of the Saint Vincent Union Island Butterflies 15c Stamp Forgery Pair with a Genuine Stamp Pair
Saint Vincent Union Island 1985 Butterflies Forgeries with Genuine 15c Stamp Comparison

Now that you know what to look for it helps yes?
Obvious differences:
The flowers on the Cynthia cardui stamp are shades of lavender on the forgeries, shades of pink on genuine stamps.
The upper left leaf on the Zerynthia rumina stamp is very yellow-green on forgeries, mainly light green on genuine stamps.
The "c" of the 15c denomination is well spaced away from the "5" on genuine stamps. It is very close to the "5" on the forgeries.
The country name color bar is light red-brown on genuine stamps. It is light brown on the forgeries.
On the genuine stamps the letters are "St." in the country name. On the forgeries it is "ST."!
The dot between the "Leaders of the World" logo's is smaller on the forgeries. The logo's are closer together with less space between the dot on genuine stamps.

Comparison of the Saint Vincent Union Island Butterflies 25c Stamp Forgery Pair with a Genuine Stamp Pair
Saint Vincent Union Island 1985 Butterflies Forgeries with Genuine 25c Stamp Comparison

Obvious differences:
The central blades of grass on the Byblia ilithyia stamp are shades of yellow on the forgeries, shades of green on genuine stamps.
The leaves on the Papilio machaon stamp are shades of yellow on forgeries, They are shades of yellow-green on genuine stamps.
The "c" of the 25c denomination is well spaced away from the "5" on genuine stamps. It is very close to the "5" on the forgeries.
The country name color bar is light yellow-green on genuine stamps. It is a much deeper green-yellow on the forgeries.
The outer border bars are very pale yellow on the genuine stamps. It is a very pale green on the forgeries.
On the genuine stamps the letters are "St." in the country name. On the forgeries it is "ST."!
The dot between the "Leaders of the World" logo's is smaller on the forgeries. The logo's are closer together with less space between the dot on genuine stamps.

Comparison of the Saint Vincent Union Island Butterflies 75c Stamp Forgery Pair with a Genuine Stamp Pair
Saint Vincent Union Island 1985 Butterflies Forgeries with Genuine 75c Stamp Comparison

Obvious differences:
The wings on the Carterocephalus palaemon are shades of dull yellow-orange on the forgeries, Shades of orange on genuine stamps.
The wings on the Acraea anacreon are shades of pale yellow-orange on forgeries, They are much deeper shades of orange on genuine stamps.
The "c" of the 75c denomination is well spaced away from the "5" on genuine stamps. It is very close to the "5" on the forgeries.
The country name color bar is light brown-gray on genuine stamps. It is light green-gray on the forgeries.
The outer border bars are very pale lavender on the genuine stamps. It is a very pale gray on the forgeries.
On the genuine stamps the letters are "St." in the country name. On the forgeries it is "ST."!
The dot between the "Leaders of the World" logo's is smaller on the forgeries. The logo's are closer together with less space between the dot on genuine stamps.

Comparison of the Saint Vincent Union Island Butterflies $2 Stamp Forgery Pair with a Genuine Stamp Pair
Saint Vincent Union Island 1985 Butterflies Forgeries with Genuine $2 Stamp Comparison

Obvious differences:
The wings on the Anartia amathea are shades of dull gray-brown on the forgeries, Deeper shades of dark brown on genuine stamps.
The darker shades on the wings on the Salamis temora are shades of dark blue on forgeries, They are much deeper shades of lavender and purple on genuine stamps.
The dollar sign "$" has the vertical bar running all the way through it on the forgeries. On genuine stamps there is only a "tab" at the top and bottom of the dollar signs.
The country name color bar is dull orange on genuine stamps. It is dull yellow on the forgeries.
The outer border bars are very pale orange on the genuine stamps. It is a very pale brown on the forgeries.
On the genuine stamps the letters are "St." in the country name. On the forgeries it is "ST."!
The dot between the "Leaders of the World" logo's is smaller on the forgeries. The logo's are closer together with less space between the dot on genuine stamps.

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

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 Saint Vincent Union Island 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: 18-Feb-2018 12:17 PM