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NVPH 81

Stamp forgeriesI bought a fake. No, I ‘m not being ripped off, I knew that the stamps were not right, but I bought them anyway. I wanted them because I wanted to study the forgeries more closely myself. There are many different methods and types of counterfeiting. It is no exaggeration to say that the forging of stamps actually started in the same year in which they first saw the light. The purpose then was not to sell the forgeries to gullible collectors, but simply to save money on the cost of sending a letter.

Counterfeits

Counterfeits are not limited to stamps alone, even postmarks and complete covers can be imitated and perforated stamps can be converted into non-perforated and vice versa. In short, everything can be falsified.
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A well-known forgery of a Netherlands stamp is the Queen Wilhelmina stamp with fur collar and shading in the background of the portrait (NVPH 81). Below is such a forgery, next to a genuine, postmarked, stamp. Would you recognise a counterfeit copy straight away?

NVPH 81

A non-addressed first day envelope from 1950 has a high catalogue value and therefore very interesting for the counterfeiting fraternity. It is often difficult for a beginner to recognise counterfeit first day envelopes.

Forged overprints

Also overprints on stamps are forged. This Service Stamp with the red overprint “Armenwet” (Poor Law) has, according to one expert, more counterfeit examples in circulation than real stamps. If you buy one of these an inspection report would be recommended.

Armenwet

My (deliberately) purchased counterfeits are not much good, I actually view them more as “rarities”. They were advertised on an auction site and were clearly described as “forgeries” (forgeries means counterfeits). They are used stamps on which an overprint has been made.

The overprint on this stamp is: “Leiden 1944” with a swastika above. I have looked at the stamps and think the overprint was made with an inkjet printer.

Because these stamps are not included in the catalogue, it is not difficult to guess that they are not real overprints. That is why I have them listed under “rarities”.
Have you ever bought (consciously or unconsciously) a forgery?

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