I got some really interesting comments on the “3” post a few days ago. So I decided to check my collection. There are three types of stamps that were overprinted with a single “3” digit.
First there is the “3” on the 3 ruble stamp.
Second, the “3” on the 20.000 ruble stamp.
And last, the “3” on the 500 ruble stamp.
For the first two types of stamps, I checked for genuine cancellations. That is always a very good indication, that the overprint is genuine. A stamp of this kind with genuine cancellation, but no overprint would be a real sensation. No forger would tinker with such a stamp (if he knows at least a little bit about those stamps). Since fake cancellations exist, care must be taken. Another hint could be signatures. But this is complicated too. Only very few of the many signatures that can be found are a reliable indication for a genuine stamp and overprint. Still those exist. The 500 ruble stamp is a different story altogether. Unoverprinted stamps of this type are extremely rare – but the reprints are plentiful. Still, as a rule of thumb, if you have a original printing, the overprint is genuine. There were no stamps of the original printing available to the forgers to play with. You can get faked overprints on the reprints though… As always with Armenian stamps: not easy, but interesting and a bit challenging.
Next I sought for sure forgeries of the overprints. Sometimes the type of stamp is a giveaway -overprints on reprints of the 500 ruble, for instance. Some signatures (e.g. UZ) work too. Sometimes the shape of the overprint is too much away from the genuine one.
Here is a collage with overprints. Each row is another basic stamp. Who detects the fake overprints?