Registration for Summer Seminar begins on January 4, 2022 at 8 a.m. ET.

Forensic Philately

A Course Presented by Garfield Portch

Wednesday-Thursday June 22- 23, 2022

What is a VSC6000? What is a VSC8000? How do they differ? The Video Spectral Comparator is used by the American Philatelic Society, Royal Philatelic Society, Smithsonian National Postal Museum, and the Greene Foundation to examine philatelic material. Its use has changed the world of authentication.

Course Description:

The VSC6000 is one of the most comprehensive forensic tools available outside of scientific laboratories.  Through a generous donation, the APS now has its own VSC6000 and students in this course will be able to use it.  Additionally, Foster+Freeman will be providing a VSC8000, with an Applications Specialist, Allyce McWhorter, just for Summer Seminar!

Develop your forensic philatelic observation abilities and strengthen your analytical skills while using illumination, magnification, overlay techniques, and spectral analysis.

Through discussion and hands-on experiences, learn the expertizing techniques employed by the Expertizing Committee at the Vincent Graves Greene Philatelic Research Foundation in Toronto for identifying genuine, altered, faked, and forged items.

Meet the Instructor

Garfield Portch

Garfield Portch is the Chairman of the Vincent Graves Greene Philatelic Research Foundation and serves as the forensic examiner on the VGG Expert Committee.  He has been an active philatelist for 50+ years and is a member of several societies including: The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (Fellow); British North America Philatelic Society (Emeritus); Canadian Philatelic Society of Great Britain; American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors; Philatelic Specialists Society of Canada and the West Toronto Stamp Club.

This accomplished philatelic exhibitor, has earned Gold medals for various exhibits of the Small Queens of Canada (1870 to 1897) and for postal history in Toronto between 1793 and 1901.

Portch has also been heavily involved in the management of several stamp shows, including STAMPEX 2003, 2004, 2005; Ameristamp Expo 2006; ROYAL * 2007* ROYALE and, most recently ROYAL * 2019 * ROYALE.

About Summer Seminar 2022

Important Information

Distinguished Philatelist

Distinguished Philatelist

Distinguished Philatelist

Dennis Gilson

The Summer Seminar Distinguished Philatelist award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated dedication, leadership, and commitment to the hobby. 

Dennis Gilson will be recognized as the 2022 Summer Seminar Distinguished Philatelist during a reception and dinner in his honor on Wednesday, June 22, 2022.

Dennis Gilson has been a member of the American Philatelic Society since January 1977 and was recognized by the APS as the 2016 Luff Award winner for Outstanding Service to the Society. As a long-time member of the American Philatelic Expertizing Service (APEX), Dennis regularly puts his expertise in the U.S. Washington-Franklin issues to good use. Gilson also volunteers regularly at the American Philatelic Center and is an esteemed Summer Seminar Instructor. Gilson also holds memberships in the American First Day Cover Society, American Topical Association, and Mount Nittany Philatelic Society. He is especially proud to have received a Century Award Plaque for sponsoring more than 100 new APS members.

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