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Information and Reference of What was Found in the Format Archive and Elsewhere

Varieties and Proofs

Would YOU store YOUR specialized 1985 Audubon Birds varieties this way?

Example of how the Police Evidence Stock was Stored

Tuvalu Leaders of the World Audubon Birds Stamp Set
Tuvalu Leaders of the World Audubon Birds Stamp Set
Marquee for Golowe's Reference Site on the Format International Security Printers

Information on this series is changing as more information is being discovered. This page and associated pages will be updated as more information is made available.

Dangerous modern fakes of this issue appearing first in 2014 are on the market. They have the correct perforation size!
Visit the linked page to define all of them and what to avoid.

The Newly Discovered Tuvalu Audubon Birds Forgeries.View my Page on how to Define the Newly Discovered Tuvalu Audubon BirdsForgeries here.
The 1985 Bicentennial of the Birth of John J. Audubon Birds stamps issued for Tuvalu are a beautiful set and very colorful.
The series was quite a production for the Format Security Printers with the numerous images of birds portrayed on the individual stamps of the series. There are some errors and varieties that exist for this series thus making it quite a diverse and challenging project to complete.

There is no information on the actual quantities produced of varieties and such but we can pretty much assert that the practices of production for other series including the Leaders of the World Automobiles and Locomotives and the Royal Wedding series should coincide with this series as well. Due to the standard principles involved with production of stamps depicting royalty the practices would be the same for this series.

In my recovery of the Saint Lucia and Tuvalu side of the police evidence stock I received nothing for this series.

In the acquisitions of the Bileski estate I got a major portion (almost all) the missing color errors for Nevis. This is because only four press sheets were found in the printers archive. Even some of these were torn, wrinkled and damaged in ways from storage in the archive.
I therefore submit to you that apparently some varieties because of these conditions have now become very limited as to what the collector can obtain and thus have become increasingly of higher value. Try to find certain varieties of these on the market and you will find it nearly impossible to obtain!

The problem is that as mentioned above the forgers are now producing fake errors like inverts and missing values and fake color proofs ta boot! Therefore the market is now being flooded with them and is thus distorting what was actually printed by the Format Printers.

On this page I will try to break down what was produced (by Format), estimated quantities and valuation of the material.

Let's get started!


Tuvalu Leaders of the World Audubon Birds Stamps
I will base the quantities produced on the standards used for other series mainly being the Leaders of the World Automobiles and Locomotives Series which obviously were of the same style as this series. Over and over again in the documentation recovered from the trials and directly from the printer the quantities produced for varieties is generally always the same.

For Tuvalu progressive color proofs were retained!

For the normal issue being a popular topic and highly collected the quantities produced for the normal issue was around 75,000 sets. I base this on quantities produced for LOW trains and cars for Montserrat.

Pricing should run at the stated catalog values.

I have not seen any uncut press sheets of this issue.


Tuvalu Leaders of the World Audubon Birds Specimen Overprinted Stamps
Documentation and evidence show that:
Based on practices of the printer for other series 2,000 sets of specimen overprinted stamps were produced.
I have purchased this specimen set in the past and they are available but not commonly offered.

Pricing should run $5-10.00 a set.


No errors exist for the Union Island 1985 Audubon Birds issue.
The inverts and any other "error" that shows up are recently produced forgeries. Beware of sellers of them!

That basically sums up the perforated varieties.


Tuvalu Leaders of the World Audubon Birds Specimen Overprinted Stamps
Standard print orders and practices were for 5,000 imperforate sets. Another 3,000 would be produced for the progressive color proofs.

Because of the forgery problem one should be wary of buying any imperforates of this issue. Up until now imperforates of this issue were and are rare. In fact basically the only imperforate that was retained is the 50c value. This is either due to Tuvalu confiscating the majority of stock deemed as "funnies", or because of horrendous storage conditions the other imperforates were destroyed.

Pricing should run at $5-7.00 for a genuine pair.

I must stress that almost every imperforate of this issue being offered on the market are forgeries! Easy to tell just by the images.


Montserrat 1985 85th Birthday of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Progressive Color Proof Sets
Standard practice was to print 3,000 sets of the progressives.

The only genuine color proofs for this issue are on presentation folders like the one imaged. All the rest were either confiscated by Tuvalu or destroyed because of horrible storage conditions.

An interesting note:
The last few years (2014-2016) sellers on eBay and elsewhere have been selling "color proof sets" of this issue.

They are all forgeries!

They too are easy to spot because of the colors of the finals. Also they are only selling them in five color sets. They include the fake final, a fake blue, a fake red, a fake yellow, and a fake black. ALL the Audubon Birds series were produced using the seven stage process. These rip-off sellers don't have the final with no inscriptions nor the Blue-red proofs in their offerings. This is because the forger apparently is not using advanced enough equipment to produce them! Besides that....they cannot reproduce the colors of the originals exactly because the inks used at the time no longer exist.
Avoid these sellers in all regards. Even when told they persist in trying to rip you off! Some of them are "highly reputable" dealers.
Reputable my eye! They are cons!

This basically sums up the stamp varieties for the Tuvalu 1985 Bicentennial of the Birth of John J. Audubon Birds stamp issue. As new information and evidence is found it will be added to this page.

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UPDATED LAST ON: 30-Oct-2016 05:12 PM