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The St. Vincent 1988 Cricket Players Imperforate Souvenir Sheet Forgery
Scott Catalog# 613 Stanley Gibbons MS581
Saint Vincent Grenadines 1988 Cricket Players M.D. Marshall 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 August of 2018.



Several thousand if not more of these forgeries have been sold over the past few years on internet auction sites and elsewhere. According to printer documents imperforate versions of this souvenir sheet were produced but until recent years none were on the market showing the probability they were either lost or destroyed. All of a sudden since 2015 these fake imperforate souvenir sheets started appearing. Buyer beware!

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 Grenadines 1988 Cricket Players M.D. Marshall souvenir sheet as an imperforate variety. They are being offered online right now as I write this on August 17, 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 sports and cricket players 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 Grenadines 1988 Cricket Players M.D. Marshall souvenir sheet being sold as an imperforate variety on Delcampe from a dealer located in Lithuania. I suspected it to be a forgery simply because the colors are different and because imperforate varieties of the souvenir sheet have never been offered until recent years. The reason this is so is because there was only one printing of the 1988 Cricket Players souvenir sheet where imperforate varieties were made. I was able to retain the actual print order document for this issue. It shows that only 10000 imperforate souvenir sheets were produced and no color proofs of the souvenir sheet were ordered. Because the souvenir sheet was not issued and because the imperforate variety was never offered until recent years it is most likely the genuine imperforate varieties were lost or destroyed. 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 which is linked in the St. Vincent Grenadines page in my general research pages on the Format International Security Printers.

Have the single stamps of the issue been forged as well? I cannot say at this time. 5000 imperforate sets were made of the single stamp issues and 6000 sets of progressive color proofs were made as well thus the imperforate varieties are not rare. At this time I have not detected any of the single issues as forgeries.

For the comparisons I pulled out an archival piece from one of the original press sheets of the perforated souvenir sheet. When I received the forgery I immediately compared it and sure enough the imperforate is from a completely different printing than the originals! Sadly also as you will see the forgery was badly damaged by the postal system. the seller did not use any kind of stiffener and thus this is what can happen if you do not use one when mailing stamps. 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 sheet forgery glows.


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 glow brightly on the face as image shows.
I use a genuine perforated archival piece from a press sheet of the 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 Grenadines 1988 Cricket Players 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 Grenadines 1988 Cricket Players M.D. Marshall 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 Grenadines 1988 Cricket Players M.D. Marshall 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 Mr. Marshall on the souvenir sheet stamp. Note the loss of much of the details on the forgery. The inferior screen pattern.
Saint Vincent Grenadines 1988 Cricket Players Forgery with Genuine Screen and Color Comparison of M.D. Marshall

Now here is a section of the grass and players from the lower right area of the souvenir sheets.
Again the same faults as described above.
Note the grass is a bit darker and has a yellowish tint on the forgery.
The detail of the cricket players is so inferior on the forgery!
I also have found the forged souvenir sheets are cut smaller. You can see that there is much more grass area on the right on the genuine souvenir sheet where it is almost all "cut off" on the forgery.
Saint Vincent Grenadines 1988 Cricket Players Forgery with Genuine Screen and Color Comparison of the Grass Field

Now here is a comparison of the fonts.
This is what "caught my eye" aside from the souvenir sheet being imperforate. Shocking yes?
Firstly you can see the color is completely different. Red is genuine and orange is a forgery.
The problem is that many genuine souvenir sheets and stamps appear to have slightly orange fonts as well at least in images given by sellers. This can be due to slight ratio difference of red used in the original printings and reprinting or just the sellers scanner or camera. So how can we really tell?
This is where you need to request to have a high dpi image of the fonts.
The easiest way to detect the forgery. Note the "dots" all over the fonts on the forgery!
No dots....not a forgery.
Saint Vincent Grenadines 1988 Cricket Players 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 Grenadines 1988 Cricket Players Forgery with Genuine Souvenir Sheet Comparison

Which one would you want in your collection?

You can now define the Saint Vincent Grenadines 1988 Cricket Players M.D. Marshall 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: 17-Aug-2018 10:26 AM