Home My Stamp Reference Files Contact About Links Sitemap


The Lesotho 1984 Railways of the World Imperforate Souvenir Sheet Forgery
Scott Catalog# 458 Stanley Gibbons# MS610
Lesotho 1984 Railways of the World 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 December of 2016.

My research into the printer has enabled me to discover modern fake stamps have been created in 2014-2015!! 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. 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 December 25, 2016 (Christmas).

I have found documentation that 500 were released on the market back in October of 2014.

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 Trains and Railroad collectors and many other types of collectors.

I can also tell you that I have discovered that many more "modern" issues for many 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 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 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.


A year ago I noticed sales of the Lesotho 1984 Railways of the World 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 noticed it because up until 2014 no imperforates of this issue aside from the 30s stamp were ever on the market! Recently through tracing I found the major lot sold at H.R. Harmer Sale# 3006 and in the list of issues was the Lesotho imperforate souvenir sheets!
I won one of the lots from the Latvian dealer containing 5 souvenir sheets about a year ago. I then chose a dealer who was selling the perforated version and purchased it. I got it and for some reason, probably because I was working on all those other forgeries, I had set it aside. Over the time they were buried in the stacks, so to speak. Just now I compared it with the imperforates I received and sure enough the imperforates are from a completely different printing than the originals! The colors, screens, fonts and gum completely differ.

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.
This forgery is different than others with yellowish gum though because it looks like the forger tinted the gum to a shade darker than on genuine stamps. Without high powered magnification, this gum is basically undetectable and thus can slip right past you if using the gum to compare! Lesotho 1984 Railways of the World Fake with Original Gum Comparison

Gum Comparison of the Original and Fake 1983 Graffic Zeppelin Souvenir Sheets
As you can see it almost looks the same!
Lesotho 1984 Railways of the World 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.

Because the gum is so close in similarity we have to resort to the following to detect this forgery.

First let us look at the stamp sections on the souvenir sheets. This one compare's the front of the locomotive.
Note the extreme difference in color on the fake stamp. The loss of much of the details. The inferior screen pattern. The blurry look on the forgery caused by the coarser screens that were used.
Lesotho 1984 Railways of the World Fake with Original Screen and Color Comparison of Zeppelin Stamp

Now here is a section of the side of the zeppelin on the souvenir sheets.
Again the same faults as described above.
The Format Printers did reprint stamps, but when they did, they never changed the screens that produce this inferior quality.
Lesotho 1984 Railways of the World Fake with Original Screen and Color Comparison of Zeppelin Side

Now here is a comparison of the fonts.
Here you can see the genuine stamps have very fine and clear fonts. The forgeries have blurry fonts.
Lesotho 1984 Railways of the World 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 a stunning difference yes?
Lesotho 1984 Railways of the World Fake with Original Souvenir Sheet Comparison

Noting obvious differences:
1.) The forgeries (at least the ones I got) have a big white spot on the mountain. Since it is a forgery it cannot be considered a plate flaw or anything else other than a bad print job by a lousy forger! A forger who is too cheap to even reject selling them and running off a batch without the flaw!
2.) The mountains are very light lavender-blue on genuine stamps. Light greenish-blue on the forgeries.
3.) The locomotive is red-brown on genuine stamps. It is yellow-brown on forgeries.
4.) The background where the country name is located is red-tan on genuine stamps. It is yellow-tan on the forgeries.

Aside from matching the gum (sort of) and getting the size of the souvenir sheet close the forger did a very lousy job in attempting to reproduce this issue.

Which one would you want in your collection?

You can now define the fake Lesotho 1984 Railways of the World souvenir sheet easily and can now possibly avoid being ripped off! Sadly, many have been ripped off all over the world over the past few years already!

Your friend and fellow collector and researcher,

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

All Content Copyright © 2016 Golowe's Collector Stamps, All Rights Reserved
Return to last page viewedClick here to return to last page viewed

Return to Format International Security Printers Reference Home page Here.

Collector stamps are fun!

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional

Valid CSS!

UPDATED LAST ON: 25-Dec-2016 08:39 AM