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Saint Vincent Bequia 1985 Leaders of the World Warships Stamp Forgery Set
Scott# 186-189
Saint Vincent Bequia 1985 Leaders of the World Warships of the Second World War Stamp Forgery Set
Recently I received a group of the forgery stamps from a dealer who has been victimized by his supplier who was victimized by his supplier. That supplier has been named which is more solid evidence of who the source of all the forgeries I have documented over the past three years is. In the new group I have found that the Bequia 1985 Warships issue has been forged by the same source.

All the stamps imaged above are fakes!

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 in it being 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 complete sets of forgeries of the Saint Vincent Bequia Leaders of the World 1985 Warships stamp issues in perforated forms. All have and are being offered online right now as I write this on February 10, 2018.

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

This set of forgeries I purchased from a Canadian seller who sells on eBay and Hipstamps. Another example of how these fake reproductions are now being circulated all over the world.

I purchased a genuine set from another seller on eBay after I received the forgeries. This set is not cheap to buy and in searching for it I found that there are not a lot of offers out there showing that this set is becoming difficult to find. I will use them for comparisons.
I now have everything together to present to you how to detect them and not get ripped off!!

The first and foremost way to detect the forgeries is quite simple.
The Format Printers used a process that they did not commonly use on the thousands of stamp issues they produced. They used a varnish type coating on this set. This gives the stamps an "antique" look. A heavy yellowish stained paper look. The forgeries paper is white as snow in comparison giving them away as the forgeries easily.
I have another easy way to detect them as well. Please read on.


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 normal perforated version of this issue that I have acquired all of the forgeries glow brightly as this image shows.
Saint Vincent Bequia 1985 Leaders of the World Warships Comparison of Forgeries with Genuine Stamps Under Ultra-violet Light
Here are gum comparisons.

Gum Comparison of a Fake Stamp with Gum on a Genuine Stamp
This gum appears to still be PVA but without the greenish tint. It has been noted that other British issues like some of the Machin issues have this type of gum. The problem is it was not used until the late 90's. The gum is very shiny though which conflicts with the description of the gum known as PVAI (Layflat) used on the Machins. Yet the stamps lay perfectly flat on a surface whereas originals have a light bending from aging.
This is evidence showing even a later creation and since these imperforates did not appear on the market until 2014, it proves these to be modern forgeries of the stamps.

Saint Vincent Bequia 1985 Warships Forgery with Original Closeup Gum Comparison

Gum Comparison of the Genuine and Forgery of the 1985 Warships Stamps
Again there is an obvious difference in color and texture.
Saint Vincent Bequia 1985 Warships Forgery and Original Gum Comparison of Full Stamp

Screen, Font and Color Comparison of a Fake Stamp with an Original Stamp
I will use the 15c HMS Hood stamp pairs for high resolution comparisons. I use 1200dpi scans for viewing.
These first comparisons show you how inferior the screens are. I compare the area at the middle of the ship.
Saint Vincent Bequia 1985 Warships 15c HMS Hood Fake with Original Screen and Color Comparison of the Ship

You can see that the screens used are much coarser. Much of the details are lost on the forgery. The forgeries still are very dangerous because when imaged for sale by sellers they look almost the same as the originals. Buyers will think it is just the sellers scanner making them look "different". Of course you can see that there is no varnish coating on the forgery.
Note that the lines that make up the drawing are mainly dots on the forgery.

Now let's look at the fonts.
Saint Vincent Bequia 1985 Warships 15c HMS Hood Fake with Original Comparison of the Fonts

Can you see the other easy way to detect the forgeries?
Look at the word Warships. On the genuine stamps it is like this "WARSHIPS". On the forgeries (all four values) it is like this, "WAR SHIPS". A space between the "R" and the "S".
Noting on the forgeries that the letters and numbers for the ship names and years are bolder and smaller than on the genuine stamps.

Now let's look at the clouds in the sky.
Saint Vincent Bequia 1985 Warships 15c HM Hood Fake with Original Comparison of the Clouds

You can see that much of the detail is gone or indistinct on the forgery.
The cross hatching is bold and distinct on genuine stamps. It is a mess on the forgeries.
Note the extreme color difference of the frame!
I ask you....which would you rather have?

Now I will show reduced images of the original stamps with the forgeries.

Comparison of the Genuine 15c HMS Hood Stamp with a Forgery
Saint Vincent Bequia 1985 Warships 15c HMS Hood Forgery with Genuine 15c Stamp Comparison

Now that you know what to look for it helps yes?
Notice the difference in overall color now?
The genuine stamp is very dark blue. The forgery is blue.

Comparison of the Genuine 50c HMS Duke of York Stamp with a Forgery
Saint Vincent Bequia 1985 Warships 50c HMS Duke of York Forgery with Genuine 50c Stamp Comparison

The genuine stamp is dark red-brown. The forgery is brown.

Comparison of the Genuine $1 KM Admiral Graf Spee Stamp with a Forgery
Saint Vincent Bequia 1985 Warships $1 KM Admiral Graf Spee Forgery with Genuine $1 Stamp Comparison

The genuine stamp is dark brick red. The forgery is bright pink red.

Comparison of the Genuine $1.50 USS Nevada Stamp with a Forgery
Saint Vincent Bequia 1985 Warships $1.50 USS Nevada Forgery with Genuine $1.50 Stamp Comparison

The genuine stamp is dark green. The forgery is bright green.

You can see that there is a lot of differences between the two printings.

Because of the fact that a major portion of leaders in the stamp community wish to turn a blind eye on these forgeries. Because of dealers and buyers who are afraid to "step up to the plate" because of fear of being ridiculed by self proclaimed "experts" or because they don't want to get involved, the forgers will continue to forge more and more sets. They have already effected other issues that have nothing to do with Leaders of the World issues such as Nauru 1982 Scouts, Barbuda 1983 Manned Flight and others showing us the wide range of stamps they are capable of forging and possibly have already forged. Soon you will be the victim when you buy that fake high valued Orchid stamp or that high priced definitive set you have dreamed of getting or what you thought to be a genuine error or variety which in the end only turns out to be fabricated by these forgers and nobody wants it when you go to sell it or your children go to sell it.

You have a choice.

Continue to ignore this problem that the majority of stamp leaders and editors seem to be trying to do just like they have with unauthorized reprints and "illegal" stamps in the past. Or spread the word and complain to your contacts and leaders that these problems need to be exposed and described in magazines, newspapers and catalogs before every stamp issue made in modern times from the 1970's onward falls victim to being a suspected forgery and in turn you or your friends or associates will fall victim to it when trying to buy or sell them. These forgers are professionals and have been here for decades unseen. They will continue to harm us unless people like you stand up and take notice!

This problem effects everyone because now instead of the value being based on a set quantity of the issued stamp, we now have double, triple or even more in quantity placed on the market. It will therefore depreciate the stated value of them in the catalogs simply because they will not research them and "assume" there are tons available when in reality for many sets the originals are and have become difficult to find.

I am simply the one who discovered them because of my research on the printer.
Indeed several issues that I have researched and obtained the original varieties of are effected. These do not effect me at all. I am a professional tradesman and have never depended on stamps to live on. There are many that do depend on stamp sales though and it is for them also that I have created this section of the website.

You can now define the Saint Vincent Bequia 1985 Warships of the Second World War stamp forgeries easily and can now possibly avoid being ripped off! Sorry to say this, a lot of you already have been fooled and more of you will be until the right people get serious about it!

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-Feb-2018 09:38 AM