Wednesday 30 December 2020

Spot the difference? How many things wrong with these (barely 1st class) forgeries?

Early forgeries of Machin definitives were poor.  Of the more recent ones, many have tell-tale signs

Early 24p postal forgery
like poor perforations or a very poor printing, but generally the most recent Machin forgeries have been getting better and better.

But now we seem to be coming out of the other side of the quality peak.

I'm showing two examples in this post, one 1st class booklet and one 1st class Large sheet.

As we know all modern Machin definitives have a semi-transparent ink layer showing the letters ROYAL MAIL in a pattern.  In many cases some of these letters can be different indicating the year or production or sale, and the source (sheet, booklet) of the stamps.  Later, a similar more visible pattern was added to the backing paper of all definitive self-adhesive stamps.  

Here's the latest booklet example to grace our pages.

I mentioned a similar stamp earlier this month, so one sign is obvious if you have read that post. But how many differences can you detect without seeing the actual stamps?  I have 8 - 10 depending on how you want to count!

I'll add more details later.

So what about this 1st class Large?  You may need to click on the image to see the larger version.

For sale on eBay at £24.99 for 50 (v £57.50 face at current rates) they are described as 

... unfranked stamp is one which has been through the postal system but which hasn't been marked as used.

Sold for collecting and philatelic purposes

So what's wrong with that?  The backing paper has a faint security text printed on it, although it's difficult to see.  The stamps also have the semi-transparent security printing.  The listing has a picture of a sheet of 50, but it's not a Business Sheet or a counter sheet, the implication is that the stamps have been removed from envelopes and affixed to some genuine backing paper.  Very neatly.  

There are at least three obvious pointers to these being not quite what they seem.

Again, more later, while this is discussed on twitter and elsewhere. 

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