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General Philatelic/Newcomer Cnr : Detecting fake/Altered; U.S. Scott 304 vs 315

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david13617
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02 Feb 2014
01:48:23pm
Just getting back into collecting and trying to learn the in's and out's. I ran across the pictured stamp in an old album that was categorized as a Scott 315. Likely it's an Altered 304. However, it was noted that there are possible guidelines on the right and bottom margins, with a few white spots on the guidelines. I looked at a sheet of 1908 issues from Swedetiger and the lower right stamp in the pane appeared to have no perforations on the right and bottom, but I could not detect any guidelines on his sheet. It would certainly be easy to remove the upper and left perfs from a lower-right sheet stamp to achieve this imperf. The cut lines on the top and left are not straight compared to the right and bottom. The cancellation appears to be Oct 2, 1908. From edge to edge the stamp measures 20.5mm x 23mm. Looking at Ebay there are 304's with guidelines on the left edge which would not appear likely from the full sheet I saw.

Do some of the 304's have actual imperforate right and bottom margins? Is there anything else to be considered when evaluating this stamp? Your thoughts are appreciated!

Dave


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david13617
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02 Feb 2014
01:52:04pm
re: Detecting fake/Altered; U.S. Scott 304 vs 315

Image Not Found

Picture for prior post.

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dani20
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02 Feb 2014
02:37:19pm
re: Detecting fake/Altered; U.S. Scott 304 vs 315

David,
On the #315, aim for a pair to avoid the fake singles. On the singles probably only a cert will put the issue to rest.
Dan C.

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DavidG
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APS member since 2004
02 Feb 2014
04:03:58pm
re: Detecting fake/Altered; U.S. Scott 304 vs 315

Excellent call, Dan... this one's too close.

Send it away to APEX.

David

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TheBlueDude
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To error is human -to really fowl things up takes a computer
02 Feb 2014
04:47:53pm
re: Detecting fake/Altered; U.S. Scott 304 vs 315

That ones got a chance- Send it to Bill Weiss first, his charge can be a little as 5.50 everybody else wants your check book, plus he more than likely has more experience and his turn around time is about a week compared to months
http://www.stampexpertizing.com/

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sponthetrona2
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Keep Postal systems alive, buy stamps and mail often
03 Feb 2014
06:29:24pm
re: Detecting fake/Altered; U.S. Scott 304 vs 315

Fake...look at the cancellation date 1903, the 315 was not issued until 1908

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david13617
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03 Feb 2014
07:32:34pm
re: Detecting fake/Altered; U.S. Scott 304 vs 315

Good catch, Mr. Secretary. I mistook the 3 for an 8 using the outline of the 5 to complete the upper circle. Thanks for taking the time to look closely at this!

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179
03 Feb 2014
11:01:43pm
re: Detecting fake/Altered; U.S. Scott 304 vs 315

I just now saw this thread. I know it's been deemed a fake, but even if the cancel were contemporary, it's important to have a very healthy dose of skepticism about this issue, especially used. There were about 550 million 5 cent stamps printed. They were printed in sheets of 400 (4 panes of 100) with center lines between the panes. It's unclear how many were turned into 317 (gov't perf coils), but that number was likely small. There were only 10 sheets of 400 at most that remained imperf (315). The other sheets printed imperf had private perforations added in Indianapolis. That leaves 10 center line blocks in existence that COULD be cut down and used to mail something that MAYBE someone else kept. Not likely.

The bulk of the 5c stamps are peforated (304). There were about 5.5 million PANES issued. Each pane had one stamp with a natural straight edge on two sides (and potentially with center lines visible on one or both sides). Not many mint copies would be saved of this undesirable position. That gives us OVER 5 MILLION used stamps, with a CV of two dollars, to cut down to fake a stamp with a CV of $1250. I would never buy one without a cert and be hesitant to send one in for a cert unless I was ((5 million - 40) / 5 million) 99.999% certain it was real because those are the odds it's a fake.

Source: US Postage Stamps of the 20th Century - Vol I - Max Johl.

Lars

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meostamps
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04 Feb 2014
11:40:42am
re: Detecting fake/Altered; U.S. Scott 304 vs 315

This might be of interest.

http://www.jamesdire.net/tinyeye1.JPG


Mike in NC / meostamps

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TheBlueDude
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To error is human -to really fowl things up takes a computer
04 Feb 2014
11:42:48am
re: Detecting fake/Altered; U.S. Scott 304 vs 315

That is a good catch. When I first looked at I thought it was an 8 also. But after your post I did a little work and separated color channels. The the date is 1903 as you can see in the picture.Image Not Found

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david13617
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04 Feb 2014
04:34:48pm
re: Detecting fake/Altered; U.S. Scott 304 vs 315

These responses have been very informative! Thanks Lars for the information on the sheet specifications. The fake's margins are more logical with your explanation. Mike, thanks for the link to the tiny eye comparison. Also very valuable. On the jamesdire page, the normal eye (304) photo showed a definite diagonal line to the right of the eye. When I looked at 2 304's and the Fake 315, there was either no diagonal line or maybe a very faint one.

I appreciate the time you all have spent. This has been a very educational lesson for me.Happy

Dave

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TuskenRaider
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18 Jun 2014
03:12:28pm
re: Detecting fake/Altered; U.S. Scott 304 vs 315

Hi Everyone;

I ran across a fake recently on the Kans./Nebr. overprints of 1929. It was a pair with one missing the overprint. Closer examination reveals that the font (letter stroke shapes) on the fake were slightly different than the catalog shows. Also the period was spaced wrong, compared to the catalog.

Someone just stuck a pair of stamps on an old typewriter and added the fake letters. The embossing effect caused by typewriters can be easily pressed out with a flat iron.

When I get around to it, I will list this item, on a auction site, with the statement that it is a fake. Hopefully to be purchased by an honest person building a collection of this type of material, for reference purposes.

Regards
Ken Tall Pines

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Bobstamp
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18 Jun 2014
10:49:57pm
re: Detecting fake/Altered; U.S. Scott 304 vs 315

Several years ago there was a member of Stamporama, now deceased, who said that whenever he encountered a fake or bogus stamp he would destroy it. I don't think that's a good idea, because fake stamps can serve as references against which real stamps can be compared. But I do think that fake stamps should be clearly identified as such; if they aren't, the next owner or the one after may sell it as a real stamp. I think that fakes should be clearly identified as fakes with a rubber stamp impression on the back that says, simply, "FAKE".

You would, of course, have to be very sure that you knew for sure the stamps you were stamping were fakes. A well-known Vancouver-area collector once bought a stamp that was being sold, cheaply, as a fake, because he was sure it was not. He was right, and now has a very valuable stamp in his collection, assuming that he hasn't sold it.

Bob

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179
22 Jun 2014
10:11:38pm
re: Detecting fake/Altered; U.S. Scott 304 vs 315

Bob,
If I know it's a fake, I simply write the correct number on the back with a sharpie of the same color as the stamp. That is a bit more precise.
Lars

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Bobstamp
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22 Jun 2014
10:52:31pm
re: Detecting fake/Altered; U.S. Scott 304 vs 315

Not only more precise, but a lot easier! Of course, at least one collector I know wouldn't believe you. I identified one of his stamps as bogus (the overprint was on top of the cancellation) but he refused to even look at the stamp with my loupe!

Bob

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