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Forgeries of the 1985 Flowers Inverted Frame Error Stamps

I have found documented proof dated April 2015 that at least 10,000 perforated inverted frame error forgery sets have been moved onto the market!
They were sold in Gaertner's 30th auction in lot number 21438A.

UPDATE October 2017

Adding users who sell these forgeries along with new ultra-violet light detection section.


I have recently discovered that modern fake stamps of this issue are being sold onto the market. I can tell you that real dangerous fakes or some call forgeries are being flooded on the market as I write this page in August of 2015.

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 fake inverts of the Saint Vincent Grenadines 1985 Flowers issue. More than likely forgeries of the normal issue are being seeded onto the market as well. All are being offered online right now as I write this on August 7, 2015.

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 some 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.

The main movers of this junk now since 2014 and still to this day in 2017 are eBay sellers: armi777 based in Latvia.
asrm10 based in Latvia.
balticamber2011 based in Latvia.
kamalmedicine based in India.
kamalthematic based in India.
alphaomegaphilately based in India.
stampbank_of_london based in the United Kingdom.

I note that apparently some as you can see are the same seller using different user names.

These sellers are spamming and have been spamming eBay lots for several years now. They offer this junk at 99c start bids. Or they offer fake color proofs and fake inverts and fake imperforates for amounts that would not relate to true value of the genuine stamps. Namely because for most the genuine material was either destroyed or only found on archival press sheets of which very few were saved in the archive. Therefore, this junk offered by these sellers (which you can see nobody appears to care in the philatelic community) should be avoided because all you are doing if you buy it is to:

1.) Enable the producer of these fake reproductions to continue to rip you off!
2.) Enable sellers like these to continue to rip you off!
3.) Enable the flooding of the stamp market with these fake reproductions to the point that now over 50% and in some cases much more are now being sold to unknowing collectors and thus you are ripping off other collectors!

Recently I noticed sales of the Saint Vincent Grenadines 1985 Leaders of the World Flowers issue being sold as inverted frame errors on eBay from Stampbank of London in the UK at a cost of around $25.00. I had already discovered the seller is selling other fake invert sets and so I purchased a set and was amazed to find it is from a completely different printing than the originals! The colors, screens, fonts and gum completely differ.
With my suspicions up I checked other lots on eBay looking for odd Flowers lots but at this point have not found any but because these are being produced fear that other varieties will appear soon!

As of 2017 I have watched several of the above noted sellers on eBay including this stampbank guy selling these fakes. Stampbank only offering a singles set for the above mentioned price while armi777 and some of the others offering these forgeries in strips of 5 at the 99c price. This armi777 and the others did not even mention that they are invert "errors" either because they are too stupid to recognize them as such or because they did not want to draw attention to them with intent to move the forgeries and make as much money off of them as possible before anyone caught on. Sorry to say dude(s), I caught on quick and got the imaged forgeries in the strips for dirt cheap!

In scanning eBay and Delcampe today (October 8, 2017) I found only one seller on eBay offering a set of these. The user is alexunitrad. Tried to contact through eBay and cannot.
Seller does not mention they are inverts. Seems majority of offers are from stock purchased from the Latvian sellers. Advise to be wary of the seller until he analyzes and gets rid of the forgeries.

The first clue that tells you the inverted stamp sets are fakes is....INVERTS ARE ALL FAKE! No inverts of this issue were ever produced by the Format Printers.

The second clue.



Here are the differences so you can define these fakes.
To show the differences I will use an original specimen overprinted set. I note that the 5c value has an overprint error that is genuine.


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 perforated inverts of this issue that I have acquired, the forgeries glow brightly as this image shows.
I do not know if the normal perforated and imperforate versions of this issue have been forged as I do not have them in my possession. Maybe you have that answer....
Saint Vincent Grenadines 1985 Leaders of the World Flowers Comparison of Forgeries with Genuine Stamps Under Ultra-violet Light
Here are gum comparisons.

Gum Comparison of a Fake Stamp with Original
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 did not appear on the market until 2014 and no such invert errors have ever been on the market nor recorded, it proves these to be modern forgeries of the stamps.
1985 Flowers Fake with Original Gum Comparison

Gum Comparison of an Original Pair and a Fake Pair of Flowers Stamps
Again there is an obvious difference in color and texture. I note you can see right through the fakes.
1985 Flowers Fake and Original Pair Gum Comparison

Screen and Color Comparison of the Fake 5c Stamp with Original 5c Stamp
Image taken at 1200dpi.
Note the extreme difference in color on the fake stamp. The inferior screen pattern.
1985 Flowers Fake with Original Screen and Color Comparison

Screen and Color Comparison of the Frame and Fonts of the Fake 5c Stamp with Original 5c Stamp
Image taken at 1200dpi.
Again noting the extreme difference in color on the fake stamp. You can see the black frame lines on the fake stamp are much thicker than on the original. The inferior screen pattern is prominent in this image.
1985 Flowers Fake with Original Frame and Color Comparison

Comparison of the Fake 5c Stamp with the Original Stamp
A stunning difference yes?
Please note the extreme difference in colors on the fake stamp. You can see that the box color where the country name and value are is a completely different color being very deep colors.
The forgery stamps are kind of like a photocopy of the originals but use a lower quality screen and have a shiny surface over the face.
1985 Flowers Fake invert with Original 5c Stamp Comparison

Comparison of the Fake 55c Stamp with the Original Stamp
Again a difference in colors on the fake stamp. You can see that the background colors on both stamps is a much deeper green.
The black frame bars again much thicker than on originals.
1985 Flowers Fake invert with Original 55c Stamp Comparison

Comparison of the Fake 60c Stamp with the Original Stamp
Here again note the extreme difference in color of the backgrounds on the fake stamps. You can see that the lavender is much deeper and where the country name is it is almost purple! The black bars above and below the country name on the fake stamp are again much thicker.
1985 Flowers Fake invert with Original 60c Stamp Comparison

Comparison of the Fake $2 Stamp with the Original Stamp
Here again note the extreme difference in color of the backgrounds on the fake stamps. You can see that where the country name and value are the color is a deep brown color. The black bars again much thicker than on the originals and the bar below the Leaders of the World logo even has an extra shorter bar on the edge appearing to be doubled! It appears the forger is putting obvious differences on these fakes just to laugh in the faces of collectors who buy them!
1985 Flowers Fake invert with Original $2 Stamp Comparison

I have created a table with links at the bottom of this page to full size images at 1200dpi for you to use to compare. It is possible and probable that the forgery ring has created fakes of the normal issues as well as imperforates. Therefore please use my pages to authenticate them before putting money down on them and getting ripped off!

One buyer of these fakes purchased a large lot from one of the biggest and most reputable stamp sellers on eBay. He bought what he thought was the complete print run of one "newly discovered" error in full panes in packets of 200 panes which were unopened.
I am sorry to say that there are several ways proving these were never produced by the Format Printers.
Firstly the packaging is wrong. Here is the image he sent me.
Packets of Fake Stamp Panes

The plastic wrapping is a flexible plastic used today. Format packaged all stamp panes in very brittle hard plastic that tears easily when opened. The separation paper is brown. Format always used pink/red paper to separate and protect the panes and souvenir sheets.

The perforations on the panes are wrong

Here is an image of the Saint Vincent Bequia 1985 Flowers 10c stamp pane from the original printing.
1985 Flowers Original print Stamp Pane

Now here is an image of a corner block from a fake stamp pane.
1985 Flowers Fake Stamp Corner Block

Now look at the image of the pane and the image of the fake stamp with selvage shown above. Can you see the difference?
The perforations run through the selvage on the original panes on all sides. There are no perforations on the selvage of the fake panes on any side!
Also the pane numbers of the panes are completely different on examples I have found of other forgeries! Format never changed pane numbers on reprints.

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. Mainly some fake imperforates. 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 Grenadines 1985 Leaders of the World Flowers 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!

Here are links to images of each stamp with an original next to a fake. All are scanned at 1200dpi so the files are large. All were scanned at the same time with the same settings and nothing is enhanced. Please be patient with downloading them because each file is around 8 megs.

Scott 476 Flowers Stamp Scott 477 Flowers Stamp
Scott 478 Flowers Stamp Scott 479 Flowers Stamp

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: 08-Oct-2017 09:14 AM