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413 Flat Plate Coil Pair ... Fake??

 
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Posted 01/19/2020   02:51 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add JLLebbert to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
A friend asked me whether his 413 MNH coil pair was genuine. My initial thought was the misaligned perf at bottom center precluded any possibility of it being genuine, but I am not an expert. In addition, the right & left perfs seem to wander a bit. Any and all opinions are appreciated. The pair does have a single line watermark and the perfs measure 8.5 (corrected perf measurement).

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Edited by JLLebbert - 01/19/2020 03:27 am

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Posted 01/19/2020   09:09 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Chevelle to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This coil, Scott No. 413, is often faked because of the availability of inexpensive imperforate stock (Scott No. 409) from which to create fakes. Since there is no sheet stock perforated 8 all the faker has to do is add fake perfs to Scott No. 409 to create a bogus Scott No. 413. The profit motive is certainly there.

While it is not unusual to have a line of genuine perforations "wander" a little it is unusual for two or three rows of perforations on a flat plate printed stamp align from row to row. It can happen, but on a coil such as this it should be the first warning sign that something might be amiss.

On the coil pair that the OP has shown all three rows of perforations are aligned with each other. Red flag! Each and every perforation hole should be examined under magnification to determine if they are genuine or fake.

Genuine perf holes are slightly out of round and have a consistent feathering/roughness inside the holes. Perfectly round, clean-cut perf holes are a sign of fakery.

An excellent book from which the above was taken is "The Expert's Book, A Practical Guide to the Authentication of United States Stamps, Washington/Franklin Issues, 1908-1923" by Paul W. Schmid.
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Posted 01/19/2020   09:35 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"The Expert's Book, A Practical Guide to the Authentication of United States Stamps, Washington/Franklin Issues, 1908-1923" by Paul W. Schmid has been out of print for a number years but I digitized the book for Paul and he has it available in PDF format on CD. If anyone need to contact him let me know.

A free online resource which also covers all the 'source' material from which altered and faked W/F are derived from is here
http://stampsmarter.com/1847usa/WFFakes.html
Don
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Posted 01/19/2020   10:11 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Philazilla to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I think it is a very good fake. The holes look genuine at this magnification. The one misaligned perf doesn't necessarily mean it is a fake. The only really suspicious thing is the aligned perf rows.

With W-F, coils (especially flat plate coils) assume they are fake until you can prove they aren't. A recently-purchased coil stamp or pair without a cert is 90% sure to be fake.

Another good resource for understanding fake coils and other fraudulent stamps is _The Philatelic Book of Secrets_ and its sequels by the PSE.

If you think this is genuine after reading what you can about it and listening to the folks here, send it for a cert - that is really the only way to be fairly sure it is genuine. They have more experience, better references, and better equipment than you'll likely ever have.
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Posted 01/19/2020   10:17 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The rows are close, but not aligned. Looking at the topmost holes, the hole at the upper right is highest, the hole at the upper left is very slightly lower, and the middle row is slightly lower than either.
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Posted 01/19/2020   11:41 am  Show Profile Check cfrphoto's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add cfrphoto to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The center perforations wander from side to side, more than they should. To be sure, it would be necessary to examine the perforation holes with a 10x or 15x magnifier. The holes do not seem to be evenly spaced either. Even if one perforation pin is out of alignment, the row should snap to a straight line. This can be seen, or not, by holding the stamp at an oblique angle, almost sideways, looking towards a light source. The row should appear to be straight, giving the impression of looking down a railroad track with the eye. If the row deviates from straight more than once it is unlikely to be good.
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Edited by cfrphoto - 01/19/2020 11:42 am
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Posted 01/19/2020   11:49 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Philazilla to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I changed my opinion that it is a very good fake. . .the holes look convincing, but the holes are aligned all over the place. . .this is a definite fake.
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Posted 01/19/2020   12:39 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add JLLebbert to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My sincere thanks to all who took the time to respond. The first thing I ever learned about flat plate coils was to check the perf alignment to make sure that they weren't lined up like marching soldiers. But I was so fixated on the wandering vertical rows of perfs, that I never noticed the horizontal perf alignment. That alignment is not quite perfect, possibly due to the, as one post pointed out, somewhat uneven hole spacing. I went back & forth on this pair for a while before deciding it was probably fake then decided at the last to bring more firepower to the battle. Again, thanks. I'll pass the bad news on to my friend.
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