The 100r HH overprint on an unperforated 5 Ruble stamp – a rare combination

Recently I did an opinion for a stamp which is now in the Corinphila auction:


This is a rare stamp. Other collectors know this too and one wrote me when he saw the stamp listed at the auction. Included within the email was a scan with several similar stamps – some from his collection. It is always interesting to get feedback like this. For instance, I can get a “feeling” how much of those stamps exist. Sometimes all overprints have a similar appearance, which hints that perhaps only one sheet or part of sheet was used for overprinting. The scan showed four examples of the 100r HH overprint, three times on unperforated 5 Rubles stamps.

The first stamp from the scan


The overprint looks genuine. The ink is different in comparison to the stamp from the auction. Less fluid and a bit weak. For a last judgement I need a better scan or the stamp itself.

The second stamp from the scan


A nice multiple. The appearance is different in comparison to both of the other examples. The ink seems to be very fluid when looking at the HH part. All the finer details are washed away. Still the 100r part looks rather sharp. The 100r part also shows the characteristics of the genuine overprint (raised “0”, tiliting).

The overprint is not genuine. I will discuss the major flaws with the help of this enlarged fragment. Arrow indicate the interesting points.


  1. No gaps. All characteristic details of this point where the lines of the two characters meet are missing.
  2. The top of the line is too thick.
  3. There is a horizontal gap in the line (additional to the distance between the two characters).
  4. The foot of the “1” is too thick and strong.

The third stamp from the scan


A little bit weak but clean looking overprint. The 100r part has the raised “0” and correct tilting. But the HH part shows errors.


  1. The left end of the “S” is wrong. Not round enough and too much space to the “hook” of the line above.
  2. The hollow line of the “S” shows characteristic narrowing at the point were it crosses the lines of the other character. This narrowing is missing here
  3. Same, perhaps even more prominent here.

The forth stamp from the scan


The ink is stronger and fluid here, making a smudgy impression. The 100r part again shows the correct characteristics. The HH part is hard to tell. I would not rule out a genuine overprint here. For a final conclusion a better scan and taking measurements is necessary.

That leaves us with just one genuine stamp from this scan.

Compared to other collecting areas, you are able to buy the rarities of Armenia for little money, it seems. I am looking forward to learn what the auction will achieve as price tag for this stamp.

PS: I got scans from another reader. Way to go! 🙂


Here are two more stamps. The left one with a very fluid ink the right one with weaker ink but still a quite clear impression.

I think the left one has definitely a fake overprint while the right one looks ok to me. When comparing both overprints one beside the other it is possible to see the differences quite easily. All of them are not due to the different ink or manual applying (human factor as Ashford/Tchilinghirian called). Click on the image and then on “full size” to get an enlarged view.


  1. The horizontal line of the genuine overprint is not straight, but goes down in the middle.
  2. The hollow space in the upper part is to wide on the fake overprint and the top line is not hooked enough.
  3. The bulge of the genuine overprint goes up quite a lot. The fake overprint fails to do this correctly.
  4. The “tail” on the genuine overprint starts more to the left (in comparison with the fake one) and the bends more and ends in the distinct shape.

There are more differences in the 100r part but not as clear to see. The second “0” shape is wrong, also the foot of the “1”. The latter one could also be due to the ink being so fluid.

PPS: I add a comparison of the overprint of the multiple. If you see the HH overprint remember it is made from two Armenian characters laid one over the other. When following the lines of each character (red and blue) you can easily see where the forger failed. There are even gaps in the character lines.


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.