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The Penny Black on our
masthead above is a "Virtual Forgery". As you can see it was scanned directly from a
genuine South African stamp commemorating National Stamp day! It is a Virtual Stamp
"Forgery" because it is a scanned image of an
image of a stamp. So you see, some forgeries will be extremely
difficult to detect ... but who is going to go to all the trouble when Virtual
Stamps can never command the premium prices some of their illustrious ancestors do.
The intrinsic value of Virtual Stamps is determined by the forces
of supply and demand. It may be seen as a fair return for time
and effort invested in scanning and collecting images for the benefit of
Virtual Stamp Collectors who would otherwise invest similar time, effort and expenditure in
creating their own Virtual Stamps. And so the "Virtual Forger" can't even hope
to get his money back! Spotting the odd "forgery" could, however, provide
another fascinating avenue of recreation for collectors. Virtual Stamp Collectors have the
advantage of the most amazing computer imaging techniques at their fingertips. Truly rare
or unobtainable stamps are the most likely candidates for "Forgers" and that's
why CyberStamp Club S.A. certifies its own Virtual Stamp Products as 1st generation images of the real thing. i.e.
bona fide Virtual Stamps.
But who really cares! CyberStamps are like Clipart images. MAY THEY ABOUND. Their
usefulness comes in their application as an aid to a rewarding COMPUTER HOBBY which has
everything to do with the appreciation of postage stamps and not much to do with rules.
This "forged" stamp was to be part of the 150th Anniversary of the Bible
Society on 19th November 1987. It was withdrawn two days before its official release owing
to religious objection and a fear that the Name of God depicted on it in Hebrew would be
defaced, cancelled or disposed of.
Like most collectors, a good "forgery" might be the closest you'll ever
get to owning one of these!
"Used" Virtual Stamps bring back the charm of
examining items that have experienced long, often bumpy rides through the mail ...
the sometimes indifferent handling by busy post office personnel, not to mention the old
postman or the dogs that pursued him. They have survived all these ordeals to bring with
them messages of hope and joy, tears and hardship, love and happiness to millions of anxious
addressees in most countries for over 150 years. Sometimes the scars or stains they bear
speak volumes under the microscope of modern PC imaging techniques. Used Virtual Stamps
are thus the most authentic category to collect.
"Mint" Virtual Stamps are much prettier - if
that's what turns you on! They are more easily "forged" from look-alike print
Some Virtual Forgeries
to look out for are:
Published photographs of stamps in Stamp Books or magazines
High quality print reproduction
...or the real thing
Images of stamps
that are not genuine
||But some prefer
to collect interesting
Black & White scans are
not very representative