I notice a lot of fake and forged 1902-03 regular issue material frequently being offered at online auction.If you learn a few things to watch for you can avoid a costly mistake! The most common item I notice are uncertified #315 singles being offered. 100% of the ones that I have watched being sold over the last few years are nothing more than # 304s with the perforations trimmed off which are worthless. The ONLY way to buy a #315 single is to buy one that has been certified by a reputable company. If one is being offered without certification, I would not touch it with a ten foot pole! Most example will NEVER be able to be certified without being a multiple or margin single! Shown below is a regular #304. Next to it is pictured the exact same stamp with the perforations cut off! The large margins would be pretty convincing to some folks! A stamp with the perforations cut off is worthless!
Shown below are a couple certifiable example of #315
Another notorious problem I see all too often is fake coils! Most often they are regular stamps with the perforations cut off on two parallel sides. I also notice imperforate pairs being perforated to resemble scarce coil pairs. Shown below is a common #300 which is worth $12. Shown next to it is the same stamp with the perforations trimmed off to resemble a #316 which is worth $55,000.00!
Shown here is a common #303. Shown next to it is the same stamp with the perforations trimmed and fake private perforations added to make it resemble a #314A which is worth $75,000.00!
All of this goes to show that you should keep you eyes wide open and again never make a large purchase without certification!
I spend my time and write these guides to help the philatelic community. I feel that my guides can help both buyers and sellers properly identify certain issues that I notice have been often misrepresented at online auction. Even If you personally already are familiar with the information presented in this guide please vote “yes” for helpfulness as it allows me to know that people support my effort to help the philatelic community . I would appreciate any emails with questions or comments on how to better help with any of my guides. If anyone is considering buying a stamp that is mentioned in any of my guides and have doubts about authenticity please email me and I will be glad to help Best regards, Mike