Welcome to my "Fakes and forgeries purchased on eBay" page!

This is an ongoing experiment, so it will be evolving over the next year depending on my schedule. It was inspired by several eBay users / dealers and collectors who have emailed over the last few months, and warned me about various unscrupulous sellers who make quite a cash flow selling altered common stamps as rarities. Basically, modifying cheap stamps and selling them as "reference", which in polite company means a forgery or fake. Surprisingly, many people don't read the fine print and usually pay a lot of money for something that is basically worthless. Let's get started, shall we!

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The Top of the Fakes Pages
Another Bogus Scott 519 - New November 2002
The Fake Scott 346 Private Perf - New October 2002
The Most Impressive Fake Scott 62B
The Secret Life of an Altered Scott 72
The Secret Life of a Chemically Altered Scott 78
The Secret Life of an Altered RW5 Duck Stamp
A Fake Scott #320 with Schermack Type III Perforations
Fake Scott #743a
Detecting a Flat Plate Press Vertical Coil, Fake Scott 441
Fake Reperfed 514a
Fake Reperfed 508c
Fake Reperfed 546
Fake Scott 143 w / Bogus Grill
Fake Scott 137 w / Same Bogus Grill as Fake 143
Fake Scott 139 w / Same Bogus Grill as Fake 137 and 143
Fake Scott 315 - Revised June 2002
Fake Reperfed Scott 519 - Revised June 2002

A Gallery of Bogus Stuff Part 1
A Gallery of Bogus Stuff Part 2
A Gallery of Bogus Stuff Part 3
A Gallery of Bogus Stuff Part 4
A Gallery of Bogus Stuff Part 5

Credits, Inspiration and Links of Interest
Bibliography of Research Material I Use for this Site
Download the Schermack Type III Go-NoGo Gauge

The Most Impressive Faked Scott #62B

This was purchased on eBay from a very honest dealer. I am not going to mention his name because he has a great reputation and is an expert in his field. He has sat on some expert committees and people come to him for advice. He was very upset that both he and I got fooled. This is the crummy thing about fakes; everyone gets hurt. He gave me a refund and I hope that he can recoup his loss as well.

As you will hopefully see, even the experts can get fooled by great forgeries and alterations. How did the dealer get fooled, you are asking yourself right now? I imagine the dealer who sold it to me didn't have the high-powered microscope and light sources that I had, and as he deals with 100's of stamps a day, he couldn't spend the time expertizing every stamp. Since time is money and this is how dealers make a living, weeds slip through.

My suspicion that this was a fake came about because of a comment made by Stanley Pillar one day at his shop in Oakland CA. when I asked him about an error in the 2002 Scott Specialized Catalog concerning this stamp. On page 46A of the indentifier section of the catalog, 62B and 68 are shown correctly, but on page 21 of the catalog listing the illustration is reversed. Stanley showed me that the simplest way to tell 62B's from 68's is that the stars of the 62B have no shading and that the gap above the center star on 62B's is closed. In engineering, we call this the "first approximation".

The next bit of detective work would be to determine what the fake really is. The possibilities are as follows.

Scott 62B Dark Green 10c, No Grill
Scott 68 Yellow Green 10c, No Grill
Scott 85D Green 10c, 11x14mm Grill
Scott 89 Green 10c, 11x13 Grill
Scott 96 Yellow Green 10c, 9x13mm Grill
Scott 106 Green 10c, No Grill Hard White Paper (Special Printing)

Our fake has no grill and is not a special printing. It is also not a 62B, so it can only be an altered Scott 68.
The Most Impressive Faked Scott #62B

The picture identified as A27a to the left shows the engraving characteristics for a Scott 62B. The key thing to look for on a 62B is the narrow gap above the center star. The stars in the arch have little or no shading around them and the upper left numeral scroll should have a thin engraving line above the "1". There is also no heavy curved line across the arch below the stars.

The forger left some clues to his work as shown in the color image. The red arrow shows the open gap which is more characteristic of a 68. The green arrow shows a heavy loop which is normally not on a 62B, and the black arrow shows a heavy engraving line in the loop above the "1".

The heavy recut line above the numeral "1" on the far left is a characteristic that isn't described or shown well in the Scott Specialized Catalog. On a genuine 62B it should be a lot thinner, as it is part of the recutting work on Scott 68 printing plates.
The Most Impressive Faked Scott #62B

The Scott 2002 Specialized Catalog states "A heavy curved line has been cut below the stars and an outer line added to the ornaments above them" (see red and blue arrows). The stars also have shading around them (yellow arrow) and acanthus is heavy (green arrow).

Take a look at the 68 black and white engraving image below and try to guess how the forger altered the subject stamp.
The Most Impressive Faked Scott #62B

If you look closely at the area in the white box, you can see that the forger scraped away the ink lines. This becomes evident when the stamp in question is examined with the light source shining across the face of the stamp at an extreme angle (blue arrow). The fibers also can be seen sticking up. You can also tell that the forger very carefully cut away and scraped at the heavy recutting line just below the stars (red arrow). The most impressive alteration is the work done to remove the shadows around the stars themselves (yellow arrow). The green arrow shows the heavy cut line characteristic of a Scott 68.

The Most Impressive Faked Scott #62B

Here is a closer view at high magnification. You will notice that the texture of the paper surface below the word "POSTAGE" has a smooth appearance. That's because the forger didn't cut away at it with his scraping tool.
The Most Impressive Faked Scott #62B

Lastly, If you look at the white area at the top of the stamp, you can faintly see that it is tinged green. This appears to be ink that has bled into the paper from the printed image itself. I am theorizing that the forger scraped away at the design while the stamp was in a solvent. This would soften the ink so that the forger wouldn't have to dig so hard to get the ink off the fibers of the stamp.

The Most Impressive Faked Scott #62B

Normally, at this point in the page, I would show you a picture of a genuine 62B. Unfortunately, I haven't one just yet. When I do finally acquire one, I will update this page.

Spelling and Revision 3, June 3rd, 2002, 5:10pm
In the next few weeks and months I will be adding more images and words for a whole bunch of fakes I have purchased on Ebay and since I am not worried that the fakers will retaliate I will even tell you who they are. This is installment number 9, so come back and visit as I will probably be doing 1 or 2 new pages each week. I can be reached at: nerdman@ix.netcom.com
Thanks for visiting this site. I hope you learn something new as I am having fun doing this and stirring up the "doodoo" so to speak. You, the visitor, have my permission to copy my pages and images for the purpose of showing others how to look for fakes and forgeries. You also have my permission to link to my pages and to share the link paths to others. I only ask in return for you to send me an e-mail if I have made a mistake or have done some other technical blunder that in my rush to put these pages up would cause the visitor confusion. Please also visit my other website www.slingshotvenus.com and support the live music arts.