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The St. Vincent Bequia 1988 Great Explorers Imperforate Souvenir Sheet Forgery
Scott Catalog# 259
Saint Vincent Bequia 1988 Great Explorers 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 January 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. 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 January 30, 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 ship 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.

Months ago I noticed sales of the Saint Vincent Bequia 1988 Great Explorers souvenir sheet being sold as imperforate on eBay from a dealer located in Latvia in lots of five or ten sheets starting bidding at 99c! I suspected them to be fakes because up till now this dealer had only been selling progressive color proof sets. I bought several around a year ago from this same dealer and I can confirm that they are genuine. The problem is that this same dealer is selling massive lots of many of the other forgeries I have written about. no imperforates in bulk lots of this issue were ever offered before!
Off to eBay I go and won one of the lots from the Latvian dealer containing 5 souvenir sheets. Got them for $1.75 showing how easily they are spreading. I then went and found the color proof sets I had purchased from the same dealer. I immediately compared final color proof with the imperforates I just received and sure enough the imperforates are from a completely different printing than the originals! The colors, screens, fonts and gum completely differ.

I found immediately that the forgeries are cut larger than the originals! The width is the same but the height is taller. Here is an image to show it.
Saint Vincent Bequia 1988 Great Explorers Fake with Original Size Comparison of the Souvenir Sheets

The gum is very important to note here. You can compare the original color proof 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
As you can see the gum is completely different on the forgery.
Saint Vincent Bequia 1988 Great Explorers Fake with Original Gum Comparison

Gum Comparison of the Original and Fake 1988 Great Explorers Souvenir Sheets
Very easy to tell the gum differences.
Saint Vincent Bequia 1988 Great Explorers 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 ship hull and rigging. Note the difference in color on the fake stamp. The loss of much of the details. The inferior screen pattern.
The ship hull is dark brown on fakes versus light brown on the originals.
Saint Vincent Bequia 1988 Great Explorers Fake with Original Screen and Color Comparison of Ship Stamp

Now here is a section from the side of the souvenir sheets with the map.
Again the same faults as described above.
Note the land is much darker on the forgeries.
Saint Vincent Bequia 1988 Great Explorers Fake with Original Screen and Color Comparison of Map

Now here is a comparison of the upper right scroll corner of the souvenir sheets.
You can see that the original has finer screens. Note the paper difference. How dark the fake colors are.
Saint Vincent Bequia 1988 Great Explorers Fake with Original Upper Right Scroll Corner Comparison

Now here is a comparison of the fonts.
Here you can see the original has finer and more uniformed fonts.
Saint Vincent Bequia 1988 Great Explorers 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?
Saint Vincent Bequia 1988 Great Explorers Fake with Original Souvenir Sheet Comparison

Which one would you want in your collection?

You can now define the fake Saint Vincent Bequia 1988 Great Explorers 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: 30-Jan-2016 01:38 PM