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Tuvalu 1985 Leaders of the World Audubon Birds Forgery Set
Scott# 279-82 Stanley Gibbons# 301-8
Tuvalu 1985 Audubon Birds Forgery Set
Tuvalu 1985 Leaders of the World Audubon Birds Imperforate Forgery Set
Tuvalu 1985 Audubon Birds Imperforate Forgery Set
I have found documented proof dated April 2015 that at least 10,000 perforated forgery sets and 2,000 imperforate forgery sets have been moved onto the market!


I have found documented proof dated October 30, 2015 that 500 sets in panes of progressive color proof forgeries have been moved onto the market!
This now shows that fake color proofs are also flooding the market.

They are easy to define....

1.) There are only five stages to the set including the final proofs whereas all originals were produced with seven stages. Until now (30 years later) none were on the market because they were either destroyed or lost or never produced in quantity by the Format Printers. The originals can only be found on presentation cards.

2.) Colors, gum and screens are the same as described in my original definitions below.

The Tuvalu 1985 Audubon Birds 25c Forged Color Proof Set 3.) Another defining point on these fake color proofs is the country name and value are "impressed" on the blue and the red color proofs. On the originals the colors are solid. Why this "impression" is on the colors I do not know. The country name and denomination are black and were placed onto the stamp as the last stage making the final stamp. There is no reason for these "impressions" since there is no border or highlighting of the fonts. Anyway it is a dead giveaway that the color proofs are fakes.


I have recently 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 are being flooded on the market as I write this page in September of 2015.
The sets imaged above are all 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 Tuvalu Leaders of the World 1985 Audubon Birds issues. All are being offered online right now as I write this on September 13, 2015.

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

I noticed sales of the Tuvalu 1985 Audubon Birds issue being sold on eBay from a dealer based in Latvia. This dealer is a large volume dealer and was and is offering these fakes in bulk lots of 5, 10 pairs all still attached and even offering full pane sets. The starting bid is 99c! Buyers constantly bid them up to $3.00 to $12.00 ranges. They all are selling thus they are now everywhere in the world! Thousands have been moved!

I suspected that they are forgeries because other forgeries I have purchased from this same dealer. I recently purchased one lot of 5 sets and sure enough they are exactly the same as all the other forgeries I have written about. I got them for $1.90 winning bid. This shows us how easily these are being spread across the world.


Recently I finally got a set of the part panes of this issue as imperforates from the same seller on eBay. Sure enough they are fakes. I got them for a winning bid of $15.65 against 10 bids by 5 unique users! Again showing even now they are selling like hotcakes. Because of the complete ignorance of our stamp community leaders these fakes continue to flood the market. Here is what I got.
Tuvalu 1985 Audubon Birds Imperforate Forgery Part Pane Set

This dealer is playing dumb and is persisting in selling these and many other forgeries so without naming names because of defamation retaliation and because eBay could retaliate I will have to leave it up to you collectors and dealers to do something about it.
so far I have alerted the APS, American Philatelic Magazine editors, Scott catalog editors about these forgeries. At this point they are tending to ignore it. Are you going to ignore it also?

I now have everything together to present to you how to detect them and not get ripped off!!

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 stamps like these have ever been on the market nor recorded, it proves these to be modern forgeries of the stamps.
Tuvalu 1985 Audubon Birds Forgery with Original Closeup Gum Comparison

Gum Comparison of the Original and Forgery of the 1985 Audubon Birds Stamps
Again there is an obvious difference in color and texture.
Tuvalu 1985 Audubon Birds Forgery and Original Gum Comparison of Full Stamp

Screen and Color Comparison of the Fake Stamp with Original Stamp
I will use the 70c value for comparisons using original Specimen overprinted which is proof of the original printing.

Note the extreme difference in color on the fake stamp. The difference in the border color. The inferior screen pattern that lacks much of the details. The much heavier black frame line. As you can see the forgery is completely different. The Format printers would never downgrade the quality like this!
Tuvalu 1985 Audubon Birds Fake with Original Screen and Color Comparison

Now let's look at the fonts.
Tuvalu 1985 Audubon Birds Fake with Original Comparison of the Fonts

You can see that the fonts on the forgery are very much bolder. The lettering for "AUDUBON" is smaller on the forgery. I also note here that the darker blue frame is narrower on the forgery. The coarse screen quite prominent.

Now let's look at the perforations.
Perforation Comparison of Fake Stamps with Originals
The forgeries have much cleaner cut holes than the originals. Aside from the forgeries being perforated with a different machine this is most likely due to the originals being produced on much more fibrous, heavier and thicker paper and gum.
But here is something else!
When running the comparisons I found that three of the values of the forgeries have double perforations! This is quite a shoddy job indeed. I would not put it past some to start trying to sell these as perf errors. They are not legitimate because they are fakes! Don't let them fool you!
Tuvalu 1985 Leaders of the World Audubon Birds Forgery with Original Perforation Comparison

Now I will show reduced images of the original stamps with the forgeries. At the bottom table are links to the same images at full size. To big to fit the page of course as I scanned them all at 1200dpi.

Comparison of the Fake 1c Audubon Birds Stamp Pair with the Original Stamp Pair
Tuvalu 1985 Leaders of the World Audubon Birds 1c Fake with Original 1c Stamp Comparison

Now that you know what to look for it helps yes?
Still you can see that most people will not even notice it which is what the forger wants!

Comparison of the Fake 25c Audubon Birds Stamp Pair with the Original Stamp Pair
Tuvalu 1985 Leaders of the World Audubon Birds 25c Fake with Original 25c Stamp Comparison

Comparison of the Fake 50c Audubon Birds Stamp Pair with the Original Stamp Pair
Tuvalu 1985 Leaders of the World Audubon Birds 50c Fake with Original 50c Stamp Comparison

This one is even more dangerous because the frame colors are closer in comparison. The fakes are still darker though.

Comparison of the Fake 70c Audubon Birds Stamp Pair with the Original Stamp Pair
Tuvalu 1985 Leaders of the World Audubon Birds 70c Fake with Original 70c Stamp Comparison

You can see that there is a lot of differences between the two printings.
You can also see how easily these can and will fool many collectors and dealers.

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 Tuvalu Niutao 1985 Audubon Birds stamp panes from the original printing.
I note that I am using Niutao panes because I could not find any images of any originals with selvage for the Tuvalu set. This image is from Rushstamps who indeed is the owner of a major portion of original Format produced issues and has been selling them since the liquidation. They do not offer the Tuvalu set in this form showing that original full panes are scarce!
Tuvalu Niutao 1985 Audubon Birds Original print Stamp Panes

Now here is an image of upper right corner blocks offered recently (2018).
Tuvalu 1985 Audubon Birds Upper Right Corner Stamp Forgery Blocks

Now look at the image of the original Niutao panes and look at the top right corner selvage. Then look at the selvage on the fake stamp blocks. Can you see the difference?
The perforations run through the selvage on the original panes on the right side. There are no perforations on the selvage of the forgery blocks and I can tell you there are no perforations running through the selvage on the forgery panes on any side!

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 these 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 fake Tuvalu 1985 Audubon Birds stamps 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 forgery. 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. Using Scott Catalog numbers. Please be patient with downloading them because each file is around 7 to 8 megs.

Tuvalu Audubon Birds Scott 279a Common Flicker Stamp Tuvalu Audubon Birds Scott 279b Say's Phoebe Stamp
Tuvalu Audubon Birds Scott 280a Townsend's Warbler Stamp Tuvalu Audubon Birds Scott 280b Bohemian Waxwing Stamp
Tuvalu Audubon Birds Scott 281a Prothonotary Warbler Stamp Tuvalu Audubon Birds Scott 281b Worm-eating Warbler Stamp
Tuvalu Audubon Birds Scott 282a Broad-winged Hawk Stamp Tuvalu Audubon Birds Scott 282b Northern Harrier 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: 27-May-2018 05:48 AM