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Golowe's Collector Stamps

Collector Stamps

Hello and welcome to my web site. My name is John and I am a combination of stamp collector, stamp dealer and stamp research specialist. I started collecting around 1984 and my first passion was Egyptian stamps. It soon blossomed into worldwide collecting with my interests branching into the rare and unknown to exist varieties for many countries. Time went on and I collected a massive amount of material and so began selling stamps on eBay when it was created. I have sold many stamps there and am well known by some collectors. My pricing being extremely competitive thus the user name "golowenow".

As time went on in my personal collecting, I dealt with many stamp dealers, some on a small scale and others on a very large scale. I specialized in Egyptian, Cuban, Canadian, Middle Eastern and British Commonwealth stamps. Many years ago I had the pleasure of dealing with a famous stamp dealer in Canada. His name was Kasamir Bileski. At the time the largest Canadian stamp dealer in the world. I was interested in varieties of Canadian stamps at the time and made a number of large purchases from him. With these purchases Mr. Bileski would send "bonuses". These were from purchases of various printers archives and from the Royal Collections of Egypt.

Mr. Bileski's passion was research on archival material and he was one of the biggest buyers when the archives were sold from Waterlow and Sons, the ABN Co. the Royal Collections of Egypt, just to name a few. Today thousands of the pieces from these archives are sold all over the world and many do not know that much originated from this stamp dealer.

In some of the bonus lots he sent to me were pieces from a printing company called The Format International Security Printers. They printed stamps for over 100 countries, mainly the British Commonwealth countries. They had a very short existence beginning in 1968 and closing in 1989. During their existence they printed millions of stamps, many being very famous issues like the Royal Weddings, Statue of Liberty Centennial, Richenbachia Orchids, Norman Rockwell, and many more. Many of the bonus pieces he sent me were unknown to exist varieties from the archive of this printer.

That is where my interests turned and is my specialty today! I am the expert and lead research specialist on the Format International Security Printers and the stamps they produced. To this day there is nobody in the world that can deny it because there is nobody that has or even can do the extensive research I have done. I have acquired over a ton over the years of issues and varieties produced by the printer. Many unknown to exist. Many are unique press sheets found in the printers archive. Thousands of documents thought to be destroyed to archived business records nobody has ever gained access to. All are fact based proof of what really happened from what was produced to who was involved.

Some collectors and dealers have problems with stamps produced by this printer because they are modern stamp issues or because of evidence that was produced in a trial against the last owner of the company and his associates. Because this evidence was exposed to the public and the philatelic community, many rumors, conjecture and false stories have been circulated now for many years about the company. The evidence from the trials that was used shows the inside story of what security printers like Format and the associated stamp agencies and philatelic services do to create a postage stamp and sell it to the public. It shows the darker side of the business that stamp dealers, stamp agencies and their associated counterparts do not want the collectors of stamps to know about.

The documents that were seized from the printer show how stamps produced in the past and that are being produced to this day have and are being overproduced with the numbers said to be issued not being the actual numbers that exist to errors and varieties being purposely made to order to sell to collectors like you and me. Some hardheaded dealers and collectors wish to believe that the Format Printers, because of the trials, were the only printers to do this. What they do not wish to believe and what was actually proven because of the trials is that a major portion of the stamp printers and the agencies that used them were doing the same thing and are still doing it to stamps that are issued to this day. In many cases the ones who object to this truth are the ones involved in allowing this to go on. They are stamp dealers who are directly connected with the agencies and producers of stamps. Many have direct access to making orders for reprints and varieties and "errors". In other words, these big stamp dealers are running the show for many countries.

My research is ground breaking in philatelic studies and I decided to show it here on my site. Some wish to conflict with it either from personal bias against the past history of the company or from hearsay from others. In the majority of cases, they have nothing to back their claims except words. They have no research, no documents, no proof. In my now 25+ years of research I have obtained a mass of them and therefore if you are interested you can visit my introductory page to learn more about this fascinating company and the connections with all the other printers and agents of that time era. Here is the link.

Format International Security Printers Reference HomepageFormat International Security Printers Ltd. Reference

Marquee for Golowe's Reference Site on the Format International Security Printers


In my latest updates to this page (2017) and many of the specialized pages a new problem has risen in recent years. I have discovered a massive flood of forgeries of many stamp issues produced by the Format Printers in the 1980's have been placed on the stamp market and now millions of these forged stamps are in dealers stocks and collections worldwide. It is the biggest stamp scandal only paled by the flood of illegal stamps to hit the stamp market in recent years. The forgeries are poorly printed lithograph copies of the genuine stamps and are all being produced and moved onto the market by the source who is obvious. Because of the greed of this person and the associated parties and the deceit caused by the family and associates which has now been decades in the making all Leaders of the World stamp issues produced by the Format Printers and many other issues that are not related to the Leaders of the World series nor the countries that were involved in that series have or are being forged and sold to unsuspecting dealers and collectors worldwide. To understand the scope of this latest scourge on the stamp market and how to protect yourself from being ripped off by this I have created yet another reference section I call Modern Fake Stamps. Here is the link to the introduction page.

Modern Fake Stamps and how to Identify Them


I am also a firm advocate against the proliferation and sale of counterfeit illegal stamps. I started another section in 2016 of the website that shows you what "stamps" are documented to be illegal stamps according to verified U.P.U. circulars and many other verifiable sources. They are counterfeit stamps mainly created and produced by rotten and immoral stamp dealers who feed off of ripping off topical stamp collectors all over the world. The reference pages are a new standard in that they show images of the actual illegal stamps which is the only way these sellers can sell them. Who is going to buy a topical stamp without knowing what it looks like?

The reference sections are based on the victimized country and the years that illegal stamps were made in. Individual pages by the year of "issue" are provided making it very easy for anyone to check to see if a specific stamp they are looking to buy is verified as being a counterfeit illegal stamp. If it is there and watermarked with my now famous "ILLEGAL STAMPS" watermark then avoid it and the dealer who is selling it!

The reference area is becoming quite large as more sections on the victimized countries are added. The research shows that it is a massive problem that effects everyone. The criminal producers and their associates have infiltrated every association and society that deals with the hobby of stamp collecting. Their corruption even extends within the U.P.U. itself! This has been going on for three decades now and it is time for all collectors from every hobby class to unite and put an end to this small group of criminals careers once and for all. Please join the fight and do your part to break the illegal stamp industry and the people who support it.

Linked to the introduction page is a page that lists users on eBay and other sites who boldly sell illegal stamps past and present. In my book these sellers should be avoided and you should buy nothing from them at all, even if it is a legitimate stamp, because they are supporters of the illegal stamp trade. You will see that some no longer have accounts because they were kicked off for this. More are heading for that status as well because they have made it to the list. Continuing the abuse is going to make that happen as some are finding out now. I and others are working with very powerful people that are intent on stopping them
PERMANENTLY no matter how "big" the dealer is.


In these current times it is best to NOT trust anyone in regards to stamps. Especially sellers on stamp selling venues, people buying and selling stamps in associations and societies, and dealers selling stamps on private websites. Yes, do not even trust me before doing your own research to verify stamps are real. On the stamp selling venues like eBay, Delcampe, ebid and even Amazon, a good rule to follow is that if the seller is listing stamps without verifiable major stamp catalog numbers, or does not use the country of issue in their titles, or a combination of both, DO NOT TRUST THEM! VERIFY the stamps they are selling BEFORE buying any.

Do not trust sellers on private websites. Major counterfeit stamp dealers are all over the internet. Some even create their own BOGUS catalogs listing hundreds and thousands of illegal stamps as if they are real. This includes First Day Covers, Color proofs, imperforates and many other varieties. Most of them target the topical collectors, many who do not have stamp catalogs, are not savvy collectors and only buy stamps for the images of a particular popular topic, or have supressed knowledge due to the country or area they live in.
Do not trust collectors on stamp forums, in general stamp associations and societies and clubs. Many of these "bad apples" are also there. They will trade you their counterfeit stamps to get your REAL stamps. The key to stamp collecting is to VERIFY they are real. Either older issues or newer issues.

The BEST website I have found to verify stamps is the Colnect website. There are listed virtually EVERY legal stamp issue to present times using the latest versions of the five major stamp catalogs. If the stamp is genuine, it will 95% of the time be listed there. If it is NOT listed in the general stamp categories, then it is time to look at the ILLEGAL stamps categories and Cinderella stamp categories. As of 2024, the illegal stamps categories are listing over 114,000 items! More are being added every day. Save yourself the hassle and USE colnect to verify stamps.

Here is my link to the introduction page. The Colnect website is becoming much more advanced and up to date for many of the countries than I have here. My site gives you a general view of the illegal stamps and many more that are not shown here are shown on Colnect. This criminal activity by counterfeiters and counterfeit dealers has gone on for three decades now and it is NOT stopping. Hopefully, this will raise awareness and damage the sale of them.

Illegal Stamps

I do offer real stamps and varieties for sale. I do not buy or sell the above mentioned illegal stamps. In 2015 I dropped the shopping cart from this site. Too many problems with updates, and security which takes my already limited time away from the research, family and my trade. I was a Union painter and retired in 2021 due to the pandemic and my ability to do so willingly.

When I do sell, I sell strictly on eBay. Below I have placed a link to my eBay profile which you can visit to see what I am offering there. On eBay many times I will put material up for $1.00 start bid that is worth a ton more! Since 2019 I have not been selling on eBay because well...I just did not have the time. I have started again in 2023 off and on.

My eBay Profile.

Feel free to browse the site. You will find the reference area on the Format Printers is huge and very diverse! Some pages are very controversial to some people. The truth and the proof showing that truth hurts and in some cases breaks the ego of some who want to claim they know anything about the subject when in fact....they know nothing. Others have new discoveries!
Enjoy the Show!

Other interesting links

1934 Saudi Arabia Stamp Forgeries

CUBAN STAMPS Cuban Stamp Image Reference Homepage
Click image or link above to go to the Cuban Stamps REFERENCE AREA

EGYPTIAN STAMPS Egyptian Stamp Image Reference Homepage
Click image or link above to go to the Egyptian Stamps REFERENCE AREA

All Content Copyright © 2015-2022 Golowe's Collector Stamps, All Rights Reserved
Collecting real stamps is fun! Do the research to make it more fun!


This is a personal website. Any views or opinions represented on any page on this website are personal and belong solely to the website owner and do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in professional or personal capacity, unless explicitly stated. Any views or opinions are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual except where proof is provided or obtained that that entity did in fact commit the offense.
All content provided on this website is for informational purposes only. The owner of this website makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

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UPDATED ON:05-May-2024 08:18 AM

Collecting real stamps is fun!

Noting the number of visitors to the pages are unique visitors. I do not "bloat" the number by using a counter that counts multiple visits by the same visitor like so many sites do to make themselves look more visited than they really are. This site is based on fact, not fiction.