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The St. Vincent 1988 Tourism Imperforate Souvenir Sheet Forgery
Scott Catalog# 1099 Stanley Gibbons MS1136a
Saint Vincent 1988 Tourism Windsurfing 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 forgeries have and are being flooded on the market as I write this page in July of 2018.



Several hundred if not more of these forgeries have been sold by user matthijs_philatelie on eBay in the past couple months in lots of 10 souvenir sheets. The movement of them may have been much longer as eBay deletes sold lot listings after 90 days. I do not think the seller knew they were forgeries. Since the discovery and closing of sales the seller is no longer offering them. Sorry to say that the "cat is out of the bag" and they are now in the hands of other dealers and collectors worldwide. This is just another example of how even the most "reputable" dealers are being fooled by the Format forgeries.
Saint Vincent 1988 Tourism Windsurfing Imperforate Stamp Souvenir Sheet Forgery eBay Lot

Until this time no imperforate versions of this souvenir sheet were ever on the stamp market except for the original proofs from the press sheets.
When sellers start selling oddities like these imperforates in group lots of ten it is time for you to suspect something is wrong and do some research!!

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 Saint Vincent 1988 Windsurfing Tourism souvenir sheet as an imperforate variety. They are being offered online right now as I write this on July 22, 2018.

I have not found if the rest of the stamp issue or the perforated version of the souvenir sheet have also been forged but suspect they may have. This souvenir sheet is very popular for sailing, windsurfing and water sports 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 known but eludes public exposure 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 noticed a sale of the Saint Vincent 1988 Windsurfing souvenir sheet being sold as an imperforate variety on eBay from a dealer located in France. I suspected it to be a forgery simply because the colors are different and because imperforate varieties of the souvenir sheet are rarely offered. The reason this is so is because there was only one printing of the 1988 Tourism issue. I was able to retain the actual print order document for this issue. It shows that only 1000 imperforate souvenir sheets were produced and no color proofs of the souvenir sheet were ordered. Therefore the genuine imperforate variety of the souvenir sheet is quite rare. All the details can be found on my specialized page for this issue.

Have the single stamps of the issue been forged as well? I cannot say at this time. 3000 imperforate sets were made of the single stamp issues and 3000 sets of progressive color proofs were made as well thus the imperforate varieties are not as rare. At this time I have not detected any of the single issues as forgeries.

For the comparisons I purchased a perforated Specimen Overprinted souvenir sheet. When I received both I immediately compared them and sure enough the imperforate is from a completely different printing than the originals! The colors, screens, fonts and gum completely differ.

The gum is very important to note here. I found the gum on the forgery to be the similar yellowish tint gum which is very shiny and not textured like gum on the genuine souvenir sheets. Firstly I used ultra violet light on the samples and found that the face of the souvenir sheets do not glow. When I turned them over though I found that the forgery gum side has a very low glow whereas the genuine gum glows brightly. This leads me to suspect that the forgery was created earlier than 2014 and "held" until recently. There may be "newer" forgeries out there now with the white gum.


I have discovered another way to detect many of the forgeries. Use an ultra-violet light on them!
In many cases with all the forgeries I have posted the now many pages for, I have found that many sets glow brightly like the fluorescent papers used on many, for example, Canadian stamps in the past. A word of caution on this though. Many forgeries I have found, which all have the yellowish gum, do not glow or have lower grades of brightness or have numerous fibers in the paper that glow. In quite a few cases I have found the sets to have mixed papers, as in , several values glow and several are either less bright or do not glow at all!
There are only two answers to this oddity that are possible. It is either the forger is so lazy that he just grabs whatever paper is handy or....there are numerous different printings of the forgeries and this has been going on much longer than my discovery of the early 2014 massive movement of the forgeries onto the market.

The basic rule to follow with all stamps produced by the Format Printers is,
The Format Printers used basically all the same type of paper on all the stamps they produced in the 1980's as did they use the same gum type except for a couple sets they produced in 1989 when newer types of gum were becoming popular in the stamp printing business.

For the imperforate forgery of this issue that I have acquired, the forgery does not glow brightly on the face nor the gum side as image shows.
I use a genuine perforated Specimen Overprinted souvenir sheet for the comparison.
Are perforated forgeries of this souvenir sheet out there or perhaps the stamp set has also been forged? Perhaps you have the answer to that question.....
Saint Vincent 1988 Windsurfing Comparison of Souvenir Sheet Forgery with Genuine Souvenir Sheet Under Ultra-violet Light
Here are gum comparisons.

Close up Gum Comparison of a Forgery Souvenir Sheet Gum with Genuine Souvenir Sheet Gum
As you can see the gum is similar making this a difficult forgery to detect. Still you can see that the genuine gum is more textured.
Saint Vincent 1988 Tourism Windsurfing Forgery with Genuine Gum Comparison

Gum Comparison of the Genuine and Forged 1988 Windsurfing Souvenir Sheets
As you can see not easy to tell the gum differences. In fact the fake gum is a tad bit darker!
Saint Vincent 1988 Tourism Windsurfing Souvenir Sheet Forgery and Genuine Gum Comparison

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

First let us look at the far left windsurfing sail on the souvenir sheets. This is what "caught my eye" when I first saw it for sale. Note the difference in color on the fake stamp. The loss of much of the details. The inferior screen pattern.
The color of the left stripe looks blue on genuine versus purple on the forgery.
Saint Vincent 1988 Tourism Forgery with Genuine Screen and Color Comparison of Windsurfing Sail

Now here is a section of the water from the lower left corner of the souvenir sheets.
Again the same faults as described above.
Note the water is much darker and has a greenish tint on the forgery.
Saint Vincent 1988 Tourism Forgery with Genuine Screen and Color Comparison of the Water

Now here is a comparison of the fonts.
Here you can see the original has finer and more uniformed fonts.
Note how the overlapping color dots at the bottom of the letters makes them "cut off" on the forgery. Especially the lower right corner of the "N".
Saint Vincent 1988 Tourism Windsurfing Forgery with Genuine Font Comparison

Comparison of the Forged Souvenir Sheet with the Genuine Souvenir Sheet
Now that you know what to look for you can see quite a difference yes?
Saint Vincent 1988 Tourism Windsurfing Forgery with Genuine Souvenir Sheet Comparison

Which one would you want in your collection?

You can now define the Saint Vincent 1988 Tourism Windsurfing souvenir sheet forgery 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: 10-Aug-2018 10:48 AM