US Stamps

Subtle omission leads to discovery of counterfeit U.S. Go Beyond stamps

Jul 5, 2024, 9 AM

By Charles Snee

In mid-May, a collector from Indiana sent Linn’s Stamp News a picture of a bottom right margin horizontal strip of four of the United States 2022 nondenominated (60¢) Go Beyond forever commemorative stamps (Scott 5709-5712).

“Has anyone reported the variety of this issue with the black ‘USA/FOREVER’ missing from the last stamp?” John Mitchell asked. Mitchell stated that the odd strip was purchased on eBay.

Based on the image provided, a Linn’s editor told Mitchell that “the missing inscription could be a color-missing error due to a piece of extraneous paper that hit at that spot and took the ink instead of the stamp paper.”

At the request of Linn’s, Mitchell sent the strip for closer inspection.

In a June 5 letter accompanying the strip, Mitchell said that the eBay seller had offered a total of three bottom margin Go Beyond strips of four that showed the same anomaly on the fourth stamp (Scott 5712) featuring a three-quarter profile of Buzz Lightyear.

Linn’s and Scott catalog editors closely examined the strip and determined that the stamps were convincing counterfeits of their genuine counterparts.

As shown here, when the subject strip is viewed under shortwave ultraviolet light, the tagging is much brighter than the tagging on the genuine stamps, represented by a vertical strip of four placed immediately to the right of the fake horizontal strip.

Other noticeable differences between the genuine and counterfeit stamps could be seen in the shape of the die cuts and the appearance of the offset printing when viewed under magnification.

A Linn’s editor searched listings on eBay and found two complete panes of 20 Go Beyond stamps where the fourth stamp in the bottom row is the only one missing the “USA/FOREVER” inscription that normally appears in the upper right margin. A screenshot of one of those listings is illustrated here.

It is highly likely that the Go Beyond panes offered on eBay are counterfeit because both show the same errant text omission on the same stamp as Mitchell’s strip of four.

Mitchell told Linn’s that he filed a report about the fake Go Beyond stamps with eBay.

“We looked into your report and didn’t find the listing to be in violation of our policy,” eBay replied via email on June 24. “This determination was made by a customer service agent.”

The fake Go Beyond stamps are scheduled to be listed in the next edition of the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Counterfeits, which is scheduled for publication this fall.

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