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The Antigua and Barbuda 1984 U.P.U. Congress Flowers Imperforate Souvenir Sheet Forgery
Scott Catalog# 759 Stanley Gibbons# MS839
Antigua and Barbuda 1984 U.P.U. Congress Flowers Imperforate Stamp Souvenir Sheet Forgery

I have discovered that modern fake stamps of this issue are being flooded onto the market. I can tell you that real dangerous fakes or some call forgeries have and are being flooded on the market as I write this page in March of 2016.

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 for this issue in that it is yellowish in color. Very closely resembling the original gum if you do not have an original to compare with. I theorize that this issue was forged at an earlier date than the many forgeries I have written about in the past few months. I theorize they were "held" until just recently when they were released with many other forgeries. Most of the new forgeries have gum that is white 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 forgeries of the souvenir sheet as imperforates. They are being offered online right now as I write this on March 19, 2016.

I have not found if the stamp issue or the perforated version of the souvenir sheet have also been forged but suspect they have. This souvenir sheet is very popular for flower collectors and many other types of collectors.

I can also tell you that I have discovered that many more "modern" issues for many 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 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 Audubon Birds issues including inverted frames, Dogs inverts, Flowers inverts, Michael Jackson inverts, and many more.


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 many 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.

Recently I was alerted by a fellow collector and seller on eBay that they suspected certain stamp issues they had purchased from the Latvian based sellers on eBay in bulk lots of five souvenir sheets were possibly forgeries. The seller was kind enough to donate examples for my analysis. They sent me one copy of the 60th Birthday souvenir sheet for the British Virgin Islands as an imperforate and one copy that was perforated. They also sent me a copy of Antigua and Barbuda 1984 U.P.U. Congress Flowers issue souvenir sheet as imperforate and the Lesotho 1984 Trains of the World perforated souvenir sheet. I found that both the imperforate souvenir sheets were fakes. The perforated souvenir sheets are originals.

In past dealings with this same Latvian seller who uses multiple seller accounts on eBay, I had purchased several times, the lots of five BVI 60th Birthday souvenir sheets, both perforated and imperforate, only to find them genuine which was an oddity because at the same time the seller was selling fake version from St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Montserrat, etc..
The evidence comes to the conclusion that this seller after selling out his stock of originals, continues selling the issues as forgeries. The possibility of a firm connection between the eBay seller and the one producing the Format Printers issues as fakes is very real! Both believing they have the right to continually print stamps produced by the Format Printers and sell them as genuine stamps (some sellers using the deceitful wording like "later printings") to mask the fact that they are all forgeries of the originals created to deceive dealers and collectors. These people think they have the right to do this for all eternity! When are the right people going to wake up, expose these people, and destroy this now decades old forgery ring??

For Antigua and Barbuda I have already found several different issues that have been forged. Now you can add the 1984 U.P.U. Congress Flowers issue to the growing list. The colors, screens, fonts and gum completely differ.
I searched for anything else odd with the issue but at present have not found anything. I am certain that more forgeries of the Antigua and Barbuda issues produced by Format will surface as well. I will use the actual Antigua and Barbuda fake imperforate souvenir sheet and a genuine perforated souvenir sheet purchased from a reputable seller. Here are the differences.

The gum is very important to note here. You can compare the original with tons of other original Format produced issues and find it is exactly the same no matter what country it was made for. The fakes are not. Here are the differences.

Here are gum comparisons.

Close up Gum Comparison of a Fake Souvenir Sheet Gum with Original Souvenir Sheet Gum
This gum appears to still be PVA but with a flat appearance compared to original Format gum. The forged souvenir sheets are "curling" much worse than the original one I received which has a natural "bending" from age and the type of gum Format used.
Antigua and Barbuda 1984 U.P.U. Congress Flowers Fake with Original Gum Comparison

Gum Comparison of the Original and Fake 1984 U.P.U. Congress Flowers Souvenir Sheets
For this issue we can see how dangerously close the gum looks in images. Comparing them with an original in person is really the only way to tell the gum differences.
Antigua and Barbuda 1984 U.P.U. Congress Flowers Souvenir Sheet Fake and Original Gum Comparison

Screen and Color Comparison of the Fake Souvenir Sheet with Original Souvenir Sheet
the following images taken at 1200dpi and not enhanced.

First let us look at the stamps on the souvenir sheets. This one compare's the Crown of Thorns Flowers. Note the difference in color on the fake stamp. The loss of much of the details. The inferior screen pattern.
The originals are much brighter and deeper colors than on forgeries.
Antigua and Barbuda 1984 U.P.U. Congress Flowers Fake with Original Screen and Color Comparison of Crown of Thorns Stamp

Now here is a section from the side of the souvenir sheets with the center large leaf.
Again the same faults as described above.
Note how blurry the dots of white and black are on the forgeries.
Antigua and Barbuda 1984 U.P.U. Congress Flowers Fake with Original Screen and Color Comparison of Center Leaf

Now here is a comparison of the upper right corner of the souvenir sheets.
You can see that the original has finer screens. Note the paper difference.
Antigua and Barbuda 1984 U.P.U. Congress Flowers Fake with Original Upper Right Corner Comparison

Now here is a comparison of the fonts.
Indeed it is shocking! Here you can see the original has clear bold uniformed fonts. The fake is blurry and faint. You cannot even see the figures on the U.P.U. Emblem! How crude yet so deceitful.....
Antigua and Barbuda 1984 U.P.U. Congress Flowers Fake with Original Font Comparison

Comparison of the Fake Souvenir Sheet with the Original Souvenir Sheet
Now that you know what to look for you can see quite a difference yes?
Note the darker border frame around the stamp.
The forgeries have a very shiny glossy finish on the surface like a photograph. Originals have a dull shine with a matt type finish on the surface. Antigua and Barbuda 1984 U.P.U. Congress Flowers Fake with Original Souvenir Sheet Comparison

Which one would you want in your collection?

You can now define the fake Antigua and Barbuda 1984 U.P.U. Congress Flowers souvenir sheet easily and can now possibly avoid being ripped off! Sadly, many have been ripped off already!

Your friend and fellow collector and researcher,

Visit or return to the Modern Fake Stamps Introduction Page with Links to other Forgeries Here!!

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UPDATED LAST ON: 19-Mar-2016 11:43 AM