Philosateleia
Kevin Blackston
PO Box 17544
San Antonio TX 78217-0544
United States of America

Flag stamp falls clearly in the counterfeit category

When I checked my post office box yesterday, there was only one item inside, but it was one I’d been eagerly anticipating: a 14¢ American Indian cover that I hope to share in a future post. Today, however, I wanted to examine the envelope in which that purchase was shipped.

When I first saw that envelope, something about the stamp on it didn’t look exactly right. I think it was the somewhat jagged left edge of the design that caught my eye, but in any case, I wasn’t sure until I got it home.

Cover bearing counterfeit 2017 United States flag stamp
Cover bearing United States flag stamp

Now, after examining the stamp under a magnifying glass, I know for certain what’s wrong with it. It’s a counterfeit.

How can I be so sure? Well, it’s actually easy. Here are close-ups of the stamp on the envelope and a genuine copy of the same issue.

Counterfeit and genuine 2017 United States flag coil stamps
Left: counterfeit stamp from envelope. Right: genuine stamp.

Note that there is no microprinted “USPS” along the right edge of the fourth red stripe on the counterfeit stamp, while on the genuine there is. Note the repeated circular pattern in the shaded areas of the white stripes on the counterfeit, while the white stripes on the genuine appear more smooth. Note how the edges of some of the letters in the “USA FOREVER” on the counterfeit stamp are poorly defined. Note the poor color registration resulting in a jagged-edged design that was what caught my attention in the first place. And the list goes on.

I’ve blocked out the sender’s return address in my scan of the envelope since they may not even be aware that they’re using counterfeit postage, but I did send them a message through eBay to let them know they might want to take a closer look. Hopefully, now that they’ve been notified, they’ll start using genuine stamps to mail their eBay lots, maybe even some nice commemoratives.

Published 2019-06-11

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