KGV 'OS' Perforated Stamp Forgeries Currently On Sale

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KGV 'OS' Perforated Stamp Forgeries Currently On Sale

I recently purchased some 'OS' perforated stamps from a reputable seller on eBay.  When the item arrived I examined the stamps under a microscope, generally to check the items in a better view. 

To my horror I discovered that the particular stamps that I wanted were forgeries.  Discussions with the seller indicated the stamps had been purchased some time earlier from another eBay seller of lesser morals.

How can you tell if a perforation is forged?

By considering the manner in which the stamps were perforated originally some forgeries become obvious. 

The OS perforator is a punch machine that has a series of wire punches fabricated to produce the OS holes in each of the cliches on a sheet.  Different sets of punches are needed for each size of stamps in order to place the perforations generally in the centre of each stamp in the sheet.

A number of sheets of stamps were stacked on the machine and the punch dropped under mechanical pressure in order to  push the wires through the stamps.  Misplaced perforations occur due to mis-allignment of the sheets before dropping the punch. 

The first thing to consider is that, naturally this process is performed on mint stamps.  Examination of the holes under a magnifying glass, jewlers loupe or microscope should show the ink of the postmark INSIDE the holes or edges of the holes.  If the holes are punched through the postmark, generally this can be seen as a cut through the ink, such stamps have been punched AFTER the postmark was applied.  In other words a person unknown .

Another item to look for is the cleanness of the hole.  Generally the fact that the punch was pushed through multiple sheets of paper, there should be a reasonably clean hole.  Folding waste inside the hole at the bottom is a possible indicator of a punched single stamp, again possible forgery

If you refer to the “Stamp Collectors Against Dodgy Sellers” website there are a number of examples provided, including from the Saratoga Ring.  It is now obvious that the re-punching of OS perforations has been routinely performed for some time.

Why punch holes in perfectly good stamps?

Some of the KGV Issues are worth more as an OS perforation that fine used, for example 'OS' perforated KGV 1s4d Blue Small Multiple Perf 14.  Only small numbers of the stamp were perforated OS, making them a rarer issue that the normal fine used item.

What You Must Do

Take care with your sales and purchases of OS perforated items, particularly those items which are relatively more valuable.  Check the perforations for tell tale problems and ensure yourself of the genuine nature of the perforations.  If you have problems in confirming genuine items, you can contact me via ebay email and I will do my best to assist.
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