Monthly Archives: April 2013

Report – First Quarter 2013

Report for the Commission For Fight Against Forgeries – First Quarter 2013

1. Mr. Geoffrey Kellow from Australia agreed to become a Bureau member of the Commission For Fight Against Forgeries in late 2012.
Geoffrey also wrote two very excellent articles on the role of the Expert Group at INDONESIA 2012 held in Jakarta. The first article was published in FIAP News (December 2012) and the second in Flash (January 2013). These articles well describe the work and responsibilities of the Expert Team during FIP International Exhibitions.

2. The Commission is presently working with Christopher King of the Royal Philatelic Society of London and also with the Philatelic Department of the British Library on organizing a meeting to be held in London on 22-23 October. Various topics would be on the agenda. On this occasion, the FIP Fakes and Forgeries Commission would possibly hold a bureau meeting.

3. Klaus Schöpfer, Chairman of the Commission, took part in the “First International Symposium on Analytical Methods in Philately”. The symposium was organized by the Institute for Analytical Philately Inc. and was held at the National Postal Museum in Washington D.C., 12-14 November2012.

The Symposium offered a workshop on modern technologies like “XRF” (X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy) and talks on “PIXE” (Proton -Induced X-Ray Emission Spectrometry) and “FT-IR” (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy) which can also be used in philately.

These technologies open up new possibilities for the examination of philatelic items. The basis of all examinations remains the subjective human perception, based on excellent knowledge and long-standing experience. But nowadays examinations can also be supported and checked by the results of new technical means.

Another technical advice, which is already used by several expert committees, is the “VSC” (Video Spectral Comparator) which allows a comparison between an (unquestionable) original and the item in hand.

Certainly these devices are very expensive and therefore used by very few expert teams. But they will be very useful in recognizing fakes, forgeries and repairs in a non-destructive way.

4. Richard Gratton spent 2 days at the Vincent Graves Greene Philatelic Research Foundation to have a look and evaluate its newly acquired Foster & Freeman VSC6000 Video Spectral Comparator. It is the most up-to-date instrument in detecting forgeries and happens to be quite useful in analyzing various covers, stamp papers, cancels, colors, etc…

5. We are still actively trying to establish a web site for our Commission but without any funding this represents quite a challenge!

6. Following an investigation by some National Medias, the Secretary’s opinions and expertise were sought after for radio and TV interviews which were aired earlier this year regarding counterfeits found on the market. These ended up in managing interest not only in Canada but also abroad.

7. The Secretary is also involved in building up a list of interested members for meetings to be held in different countries and during FIP exhibitions.
He is also working on various POWER POINT presentations to be presented at various exhibitions. These will be ready for Rio de Janeiro and Seoul.

Richard Gratton
FIP Fakes and Forgeries Commission
April 30, 2013

c.c.: FIP Commission for Fight against Forgeries Bureau members