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How common are forgeries of classic stamps? And why are they so plenty? 

Carl Sagan, famous astronomer once said ‘You have to know the past to understand the present’. These words hold very true for philatelic fakes, forgeries, facsimiles, reprints and the whole shady she-bang territory that comes along of collecting classic postage stamps. In order to understand the size and complexity of the problem, one has to understand the backgrounds that made stamp forgeries possible and common in the first place. Though postal administrations have always been on the frontier of prevention of postal forgeries with use of cutting edge technical solutions such as watermarks, hidden identifiers, perforations (and later on phosphorescence, microprinting, holograms) etc., there has very rarely been any need of such protective measures. True postal forgeries are very rare creatures. Likely this relates to fact that postage stamps are legal tender, and the punishments for counterfeiting have been very severe throughout the world. Instead the history of stamp forgeries is very […]

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