U.S. 65(5) (SCV$12.50+) XF, used
Item # 1339744356 closed on 22 Mar 2002

This lot of stamps, shown to the left, was purchased by "chickfrdstk" for $3.25. The original seller honestly described the item as "Five used copies of U.S. 65, all extremely fine or better with attractive cancellations. Free of paper remnants, old hinges and defects".

25 days later, the 65's to the left show up again on eBay. This time the special "enhancer-ator" was used to apply the "all-over grill". Also known as an "1867 Type A Grill". This is one of the most difficult grill varieties to locate.

Original Stamp Image Altered Stamp Image Fraudulent Description


79 USED CAT$1100

The all-over grill is one of the rarest stamps in US philately, yet also one of the most easily recognizable. What are the odds that any one seller would even have four perfectly centered #79's in stock at one time, and then make the monumental error of putting up all four for auction as #65's and selling them for $3.25?

79 USED CAT$1100
Item # 1346383245 closed on 17 Apr 2002

The seller "schuylerac", after making the ridiculous title claim, goes on to describe the item in the ad thus:

"THERE IS AN ALL OVER GRILL OF LINEAR ROWS WITH GRILL POINTS IN STRAIGHT LINES. THE GRILL IS INTERRUPTED AT SPOTS AND LOOKS VERY REALISTIC. THE GRILL DOES NOT BREAK THE PAPER AS SCOTT SAYS IT OFTEN DOES. THIS IS SOLD AS IS WITHOUT IMPLICATION MADE OR INTENDED THAT IT IS INDEED GENUINE!!."

Since this is an educational website devoted to the exposure of philatelic fraud, the beginning collector should note that Scott 65's are favorite targets of forgers, as fake grills can easily be added so that they resemble the more valuable grilled stamps issued in 1867.

Sold for $46.50, for a stamp with a Scott catalog value of $2.10 in F-VF used condition.


79 USED CAT$1100

Assuming that "chickfrdstk" actually had been the recipient of such wondrous luck, why again would he feel the need to add to or darken the original perfectly acceptable cancels, thereby reducing their value?

79 USED CAT$1100
Item # 1347889768 closed on 24 Apr 2002

Once again, the seller "schuylerac", after making the ridiculous title claim, goes on to describe the item in the ad thus:

"THERE IS A FAINT ALL OVER GRILL OF LINEAR ROWS WITH GRILL POINTS IN STRAIGHT LINES. THE GRILL IS INTERRUPTED AT SPOTS AND LOOKS VERY REALISTIC. THE GRILL DOES NOT BREAK THE PAPER AS SCOTT SAYS IT OFTEN DOES. NO GUM. THIS IS SOLD AS IS WITHOUT IMPLICATION MADE OR INTENDED THAT IT IS INDEED GENUINE!!."

Aside from the added grill, the reader should also take note of the "enhanced" cancel.

Sold for $21.03, for a $2.10 stamp.

79 USED CAT$1100
Item # 1351983023 closed on 12 May 2002

For a third time, the seller "schuylerac", after making the ridiculous title claim, goes on to describe the item in the ad thus:

"THERE IS AN ALL OVER GRILL OF LINEAR ROWS WITH GRILL POINTS IN STRAIGHT LINES. THE GRILL IS INTERRUPTED AT SPOTS AND LOOKS VERY REALISTIC. THE GRILL DOES NOT BREAK THE PAPER AS SCOTT SAYS IT OFTEN DOES. NO GUM. THIS IS SOLD AS IS WITHOUT IMPLICATION MADE OR INTENDED THAT IT IS INDEED GENUINE!."

Aside from the added grill, the reader should also take note of the added cancel at the top. This was probably applied to hide some damage or other flaw. As far as US stamps go, condition and centering is everything when establishing value.

Sold for $20.58, for a $2.10 stamp.

79 USED CAT$1100
Item # 1350010912 closed on 3 May 2002

I am not even going to mention the ridiculous title claim again. But the descriptions of the altered items still give me a chuckle.

"A LIGHT CORNER CREASE--THERE IS AN ALL OVER GRILL OF LINEAR ROWS WITH GRILL POINTS IN STRAIGHT LINES. THE GRILL IS INTERRUPTED AT SPOTS AND LOOKS VERY REALISTIC. THE GRILL DOES NOT BREAK THE PAPER AS SCOTT SAYS
IT OFTEN DOES. NO GUM. THIS IS SOLD AS IS WITHOUT IMPLICATION MADE OR INTENDED THAT IT IS INDEED GENUINE!!."

The reader should note the added cancel on the left. This is what I call the obliteration bullseye cancel.

Sold for $26.00, for a $2.10 stamp.



'Fraud on eBay - exposed!' article