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Analysis of a possible Scott #519

Scott519Cert.jpg (1211694 bytes)

The A.P.S. has certified that the stamp in question is indeed faked.

Per Paul Schmid's The Expert's Book the first thing to look at is the perforations which should read 10.94 on all sides using the Instanta perf gauge. Below are images of the Instanta gauge overlaid on all four sides of the suspect stamp. For comparisons sake a #499, a common stamp contemporary with the #519 that is perf 11, is shown to the right of the suspect stamp.

 As you can see from the above images the perforations on the suspect stamp gauge well above the required 10.94 while the #499 gauges exactly 10.94, except for the top perforations of the #499 and I have no I idea why. This is not a good start for the suspect stamp. 

Another thing I looked at was to see if the perforations are parallel from row to row or column to column. The left and right side perforations are parallel to each other but the top and bottom perforations are not parallel to each other. The top and bottom perforations diverge by about 2 divisions from left to right. The illustration below shows the effect.

This divergence is another strike against the suspect stamp as stated on page 46 of  How to Determine Damaged, Altered, and Repaired Stamps (P. Schmid) - "The perforation rows, however, should be essentially parallel to each other, and single stamps or multiples where this is not true should be regarded with suspicion". The perforations don't necessarily need to be parallel to the image frame but they most certainly must be parallel to each other. 

Color is another characteristic to look at. According to The Expert's Book "Genuine copies (of Scott #519) are a shade of dull carmine. Light carmine or bright carmine examples are probably fakes made from imperforate stock.". Now to be honest I have a horrid eye for color so I scanned the suspect stamp side by side with a Scott #344 and Scott #499 then using Microsoft Paint I took a number of color samples from around the #344 and the suspect stamp, averaged out the readings for Red, Green and Blue and made a solid side by side color block.

The two small solid color blocks represent the average of a number of different sample points taken from each stamp, the difference is subtle but the suspect stamp is a slightly duller shade of carmine that the #344. The color components of the #344 are Red = 153, Green = 6 and Blue = 13. The color components of the suspect stamp are Red = 159, Green = 12 and Blue = 21. 

Below is a side by side comparison of the two colors. In my opinion the two shades are slight variations of bright carmine.

I did verify that the suspect stamp has a double line watermark.

In conclusion I feel that the suspect stamp is a #344 that has been reperforated to resemble a #519. I'll be sending this stamp out to be expertized by the A.P.S. to verify my conclusion - I don't expect to get the results back much before the end of March.

Reference material used: 

  • The Expert's Book. A practical guide to the authentication of United States stamps. By Paul W. Schmid.
  • How to Detect Damaged, Altered and Repaired Stamps. By Paul Schmid

As always comments and suggestions are always welcome. To Contact Riverside

To Contact Riverside Stamps:
Mike Girard - Owner / Operator / Web Master: g1rardmn1099@comcast.net

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