Transvaal £5 Green 1885 stamp. Counterfeit? Need Expert Opinion

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Wjkyy
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Transvaal £5 Green 1885 stamp. Counterfeit? Need Expert Opinion

Post by Wjkyy »

I found this Transvaal stamp in a box of stamps recently purchased and need expert opinion as to whether this is counterfeit or the real deal. I believe that this stamp is; Transvaal, Scott # 135, 5 pound (don't know how to make symbol), dark green, mint with hinge mark.

Scott catalogue mentions that there are reprints, and also mentions that there are excellent counterfeits made.

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Being ignorant on the subject I would also like to understand if "reprint" means counterfeit?

Any help provided is greatly appreciated.

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Re: Transvaal Scott # 135, Counterfeit? Need Expert Opinion

Post by Clive King »

The stamp could well be a forgery but maybe the following information will help.
According to the South African Colour Catalogue the following info is applicable.

1885 13 May Typo by Enschede & Son, Haarlem.
No Wmk.
Perf. 12 1/2 X 12, 11 1/2 X 12 or 13 1/2. (A Bit Confusing)
This Value was released on the 3-92 and there were 70 140 printed. (Value R40 000 for a mint copy and R2 300 used)

In a Box below this Info the following.

Note. The 5 Pound values must be treated as forgeries or reprints. This stamp must be accompanied by a valid certificate.

This stamp issue was also overprinted with V.R.I. during the British Occupation of the Transvaal. The perf listed for the stamp is 12 1/2.

A reprint is normally ordered by the applicable postal authority to full stock or replace damaged stock. A forgery is an auathorised printing of a stamp value to deprive the postal authority of revenue.

I hope you find the above intresting if not very usefull.
Cive

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Re: Transvaal Scott # 135, Counterfeit? Need Expert Opinion

Post by COLIN »

Hi

Work on the assumption that this is a reprint as there are many of these around - I have them as well :)

This stamp should never be purchased as genuine unless it has been certified. In fact the only true way to certify is if they are used on piece or cover.

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Re: Transvaal Scott # 135, Counterfeit? Need Expert Opinion

Post by nigelc »

Clive King wrote:A reprint is normally ordered by the applicable postal authority to full stock or replace damaged stock. A forgery is an auathorised printing of a stamp value to deprive the postal authority of revenue.
Hi Clive,

While these definitions sometimes apply I don't believe either is relevant here.

The Transvaal reprints were made using the original plates from 1911 onwards. This was long after the time of the original South African Republic and its postal authority.

The forgeries were created to sell to collectors not as postal forgeries to be used in lieu of genuine stamps.
Nigel

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Re: Transvaal Scott # 135, Counterfeit? Need Expert Opinion

Post by JohnBenn »

It is not a forgery,but it is a reprint.
The easiest way to tell is the white thin paper they used. (You can test any reprint, of the other values as well, by comparing the colour of the paper and it's thickness with genuinely used - not that you will easily find a genuinely used 5 pound, as they were used to ship gold bars with. But lower denominations will do.)
Being ignorant on the subject I would also like to understand if "reprint" means counterfeit?
No, the reprints were authorized by the South African government.
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Re: Transvaal Scott # 135, Counterfeit? Need Expert Opinion

Post by Wjkyy »

Thank you all for this information, it is very informative and helpful. The perf is 12-1/2, and I will find a used stamp for comparison. The Scott catalogue shows one value for this stamp at $4,000 USD. I take it from above comments that reprints do not carry the same value as original prints. What value would be applied to reprints?

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Re: Transvaal Scott # 135, Counterfeit? Need Expert Opinion

Post by Clive King »

Reprints in general do not have a very high value. At the end of the day any item is only worth what another person is willing to pay for it.

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Re: Transvaal Scott # 135, Counterfeit? Need Expert Opinion

Post by HalfpennyYellow »

The reprints are worth very little - check on ebay completed listings and they usually sell for £1-£5.
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Re: Transvaal Scott # 135, Counterfeit? Need Expert Opinion

Post by vikingeck »

a few dollars at best !
whatever it is -------it's better than a poke in eye with a wet umbrella !

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Re: Transvaal Scott # 135, Counterfeit? Need Expert Opinion

Post by Wjkyy »

Thanks for the disappointing news, :wink: and the education on varieties.

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Re: Transvaal Scott # 135, Counterfeit? Need Expert Opinion

Post by Bluegum »

Just a note on this stamp. According to the SACC, on the geniune stamp the D in EENDRAGT should touch the top of the banner.
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Re: Transvaal Scott # 135, Counterfeit? Need Expert Opinion

Post by yannis »

The best test is the colour. The colour of the genuine is deep green, and this can be checked by comparing the 'patient' with a 'SPECIMEN' stamp. There is one in the Queen's collection bearing the V.R.I. overprint:)

In 1910 Mirza Hadji, a Persian dealer resident in France asked Jon Enschede en Zonen, of Haarlem, Netherlands to reprint all the stamps that the firm had printed for the ZAR. He flooded the market with these reprints, and then added forged surcharges and overprints of the provisional and the 'V.R.I' issues.

The odds are against your specimen being a genuine example.

To digress a bit the issues of the Transvaal are one of the hardest areas to collect, mainly due to the many forgeries and that about 50 of the Transvaal stamps are very rare with possibly only 15 copies known of each. A number of the V.R. overprints for Wolmarastad in the Queen's collection were sold about five years ago.

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Re: Transvaal Scott # 135, Counterfeit? Need Expert Opinion

Post by ottawasteve »

Consider these as all reprints. They outnumber genuine examples many thousands to one.

The journal of the Transvaal Study Circle had a superb dissertation on these a few years ago. They are very hard to sort out, but it can be done. If/when I find my copy, I'll post it here.

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Re: Transvaal Scott # 135, Counterfeit? Need Expert Opinion

Post by Morgan »

ottawasteve wrote:Consider these as all reprints. They outnumber genuine examples many thousands to one.

The journal of the Transvaal Study Circle had a superb dissertation on these a few years ago. They are very hard to sort out, but it can be done. If/when I find my copy, I'll post it here.
Yes, there is a way to determine genuine from reprint, though very difficult on single stamps. I believe it was a man named John Kaupe (not sure of spelling) who used to expertize these using a perforation scheme. It was not the measurement of the perforations but the type of comb used. He noted a difference from the originals and the Mirza Hadi reprints. There were a dozen or more comb types established, some from the originals and some from the reprints. Somewhere I have the articles from the Transvaal Philatelist that were sent to me by him quite a few years ago. My eyes were not able to tell the differences and I gave up trying. The "real" specialist in this field can do it though.

My understanding is that there are the following categories to all of the stamps of this era of the Transvaal.

1- Originals
2-Remainders- (printed for the Transvaal, but didn't get there in time and were later sold to Mirza Hadi along with printing plates).
3- Reprints from these plates.
4- Forgeries- These are actually not common and command a premium by specialists.

In most books on Transvaal stamps it is stated that though these reprints appeared in the millions, it is certain that the plates were destroyed. This never made any sense and a recent Dutch publication showed documentation that in fact, the plates did make it to Mirza Hadi.

I have done a little plating of some of these stamps some years back to try and see if plating was the answer to determine the good guys from the bad guys. It wasn't, but I think I know what happened. It seems that there must have been master plates for these issues. The plates used for printing were probably destroyed but the master plates sent to Mirza Hadi. This is just conjecture on my part, but it can be seen that different flaws are seen on reprints along with some of the "original" flaws from the master plates. This work is long neglected by me and I really need to get back to it one of these days.

Getting back to the Transvaal Study Circle though, they are the best resource for articles and study on these stamps. I was a member for many years, dropped out, and then recently rejoined.

It should be noted that I am away from my publications now and I'm writing all of this from memory.

Regards.
Morgan

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Re: Transvaal Scott # 135, Counterfeit? Need Expert Opinion

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Re: Transvaal Scott # 135, Counterfeit? Need Expert Opinion

Post by Bluegum »

Thanks Rein, the article is really great!!
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Re: Transvaal Scott # 135, Counterfeit? Need Expert Opinion

Post by 1d2d »

Perhaps a bit late for the active discussion, but ...

Hadi's activities are described in detail in the book 'The remainders and reprints of Transvaal' by Jonkers and Quik, 1998, ISBN 90-803152-4-9. Hadi is also mentioned in Varro E. Tyler's books. Some time ago I found a member of the Transvaal group who replied to me regarding this Mirza Hadi reprint.

Image link inactive. Removed

"I believe your copy is a reprint. As such the stamp's image of course shows all characteristics of the genuine. Even the ink and paper can be considered 'original'. Only the printer's perforator had changed in the meantime and therefore the reprint's holes are slightly larger than the original's holes. My judgment of your scan is based on that fact - and on the presence of Hadi's back-stamp. The original £5 is extremely rare. Your copy is worth keeping as a curiosity. Hadi's signature on his reprints is not very common."

I've had the opportunity to measure two 'genuine' used copies with the SG Instanta gauge.

The 'official' reprint is 12.5 x 12.7 gauge and slightly larger holes. Both the genuine, sent to colony, were 12.6 x 13.0 and laid side by side the holes are smaller, especially on the vertical perforations. The forgery is 12.5 x 12.6 with slightly erratic sizing of the holes, but much closer to the reprint in size.

I also have one of the much less common true 'forgeries' and in that the difference is very clear as to many points of the design as well as the coarseness of the printing. It's also on 'bright' white paper.

Since -=both=- exist, there is a need to clarify the 'reprint' from the 'forgery'.

JA

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Re: Transvaal Scott # 135, Counterfeit? Need Expert Opinion

Post by berniestamps »

I acquired a full set that hasn't seen the light of day since 1965. What are my odds of #135 being genuine? I would like to post pics but I'm new to this site and I'm not sure how. Help

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Re: Transvaal Scott # 135, Counterfeit? Need Expert Opinion

Post by Bluegum »

You are welcome to show them Bernie, but the reprints was done long before 1965. They were still popular collectors items though. The popular accepted method to know if it is geniune is to have it expertised.
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Re: Transvaal Scott # 135, Counterfeit? Need Expert Opinion

Post by berniestamps »

How do I put pics on here?

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Re: Transvaal Scott # 135, Counterfeit? Need Expert Opinion

Post by fchd »

berniestamps wrote:How do I put pics on here?
There is a sticky thread on most sub-forums answering this very FAQ.

http://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=53532

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Re: Transvaal Scott # 135, Counterfeit? Need Expert Opinion

Post by PBR »

berniestamps,

a tutorial is here: http://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=53532

Cheers

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Re: Transvaal Scott # 135, Counterfeit? Need Expert Opinion

Post by Remco Mouthaan »

Hi.

Also found one here. Not checked the hole size yet. If i even manage that.

Image

Probably a reprint also i guess.

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Re: Transvaal Scott # 135, Counterfeit? Need Expert Opinion

Post by phrag99 »

You want help and you haven't even bothered to do the basic groundwork, yourself?

Come on, now, don't take all the goodwill of members of this board for granted. At least make some effort.

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Re: Transvaal Scott # 135, Counterfeit? Need Expert Opinion

Post by Remco Mouthaan »

True is guess.

But these are not easy.

Read alot already, but pff..like mentioned in the info..just assume it is an forgery :).

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Re: Transvaal Scott # 135, Counterfeit? Need Expert Opinion

Post by Wayne1951 »

Here is one with an "expert" mark. Not my photo so cannot do better on the mark. Does anyone recognize the mark as a knowledgeable expert?

Given the comments above from 1d2d above maybe it was "expertised" as a true reprint.

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Re: Transvaal Scott # 135, Counterfeit? Need Expert Opinion

Post by W5LDY »

Listing up some Transvaal to my ebay shop I have this complete sheet of the £5 reprint, quite difficult to get anything bigger than a block of four and with full sheet margins.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/str/wildy62stamp

Image

Also this selection of shades of the £5 reprints and forgeries, anybody care to confirm my thoughts on which are reprints and which are forgeries?

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Re: Transvaal Scott # 135, Counterfeit? Need Expert Opinion

Post by chos »

Nice complete sheet of the reprint of the Transvaal £5 Green 1885 stamp, it is Comb R2


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Re: Transvaal Scott # 135, Counterfeit? Need Expert Opinion

Post by Global Administrator »

Wayne1951 wrote:
15 Aug 2018 11:54
Here is one with an "expert" mark. Not my photo so cannot do better on the mark. Does anyone recognize the mark as a knowledgeable expert?

Given the comments above from 1d2d above maybe it was "expertised" as a true reprint.

Image Image

Wayne - not an expertiser - a collector owner mark - or maybe even a dealer but the former for near certain.
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