MICHAEL HAMILTON
POSTAL HISTORY
POSTMARKS
STAMPS
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Subject: OFFICIAL stamps Clear

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JAMAICA NUMERALS with FORGED CANCELLATIONS
High priced postmarks on catalogued stamps will always attract the forger and it is no surprise that forged cancels exist in all shapes and sizes on GB used abroad stamps. Those wishing to benefit financially from their endeavours have cleaned manuscript cancelled REVENUE issues and applied forged cancels to make them look postally used. Apart from those two groups the village cancels for all of the British West Indies remain largely unscathed (and virus free!). If you look to Bermuda numerals on QV issues you will be hard pressed to find any forgeries as no catalogue value was ever applied to them. Bob Topaz, in the USA, however produced his rarity chart for Jamaica numerals back in 1967, and in 1981 added sterling premiums to all the known combinations. Some of the rarest of the Topaz combinations may not exist at all unless in forgery/fake form as one keen individual took a fancy to forging Jamaica numerals on what would appear to be almost exclusively OFFICIAL issues, many with bluish ink tinge. Whether this was a result of the Topaz pricing, or whether they were prepared to be included in the counts supplied by collectors to Topaz we will never know. I stumbled across these as they appeared in bulk in a Jamaica numeral collection auctioned in the UK which I recognised as belonging to an American collector with initials ABN, possibly a totally innocent party. Around about the same time, perhaps earlier or later, I purchased the Charles Winand collection of Jamaica numerals and noted that a few forgeries from the same stable had found their way onto his album pages. The fakes from the two collections were eventually merged and set aside, and now are presented for the first time. If genuine the group would have been worth a small fortune as most are listed as rare, very rare, extremely rare. For the time being these are held safe, and the illustrations now provided should help to act as a safeguard to collectors in the future.

         
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