US Stamps

Oversize counterfeit U.S. 2010 Love stamp found on cover

Feb 29, 2024, 11 AM

By Charles Snee

In late September 2023, Linn’s Stamp News reported the early August discovery of an unusual counterfeit of the United States 2010 44¢ Love stamp (Scott 4450). Specifically, the fake is much larger than the genuine stamp.

Not quite four and a half months later, in early February, a Linn’s editor found an on-cover example of the 2010 44¢ Love counterfeit while searching through a stack of processed subscription reply envelopes addressed to Amos Media, the parent company of Linn’s based in Sidney, Ohio.

The cover, illustrated nearby, bears a fake 2010 44¢ Love in combination with three other genuine stamps: two 2016 10¢ Red Pears coil stamps (Scott 5039) and a 2016 5¢ Pinot Noir Grapes coil stamp (5038). The quartet overpays the current 68¢ first-class letter rate by 1¢.

A sprayed-on cancel indicates the letter was postmarked Jan. 31 in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Counterfeiters, as one might expect, prefer to remain in the shadows.

In a subtly humorous, but unintentional, coincidence, the cover was mailed from a town named Shadyside.

Although the source of the counterfeit on the letter isn’t known, it is highly likely that it originated from a pane of 20 purchased online at a steep discount from the $8.80 face value.

As reported in the Sept. 25, 2023, issue of Linn’s, a counterfeit 44¢ Love pane measures approximately 7.5 inches by 8 inches, compared to 5.75 inches by 6.125 inches for a genuine pane.

A single stamp from a counterfeit pane measures about 1.6 inches by 1.25 inches, whereas a genuine stamp measures 1.19 inches by 0.91 inches.

Also illustrated here is a genuine 44¢ Love pane of 20 superimposed at lower right over a counterfeit pane. This makes it easy to see how much larger a fake pane is compared to a genuine one.

During the past few years, the number of U.S. stamps being counterfeited has exploded. Almost without exception, the quality of these fake stamps is …

To read the rest of this story, subscribe to Linn’s Stamp News.

Connect with Linn’s Stamp News: 

    Sign up for our newsletter
    Like us on Facebook
    Follow us on Twitter