From time to time APS receives reports of fakes or altered expertizing certificates. These are most commonly seen on eBay but we were recently contacted by a European auction house who received a consignment of material with fake or altered expertizing certificates from several firms. In the most recent case the top portion of the certificate with the opinion was cut off and a new opinion entered below the image.
APEX certificates are 8.5 inches high by 5.5 inches wide and should have American Philatelic Society Expert Committee Report at the top. Our opinion should be typed above the image of the stamp. Since 2004 the image should be printed directly on the form. Prior to that photos were pasted on to the form. The certificate number, two signatures and date of opinion should be below the item image. A raised seal should also be applied overlapping the lower right of the image.
APS expertizing opinions issued since July 2004 may also be verified on the APS online certificate. Opinions of nearly 100,000 certificates may be viewed. Opinions can be found by certificate number. Searches are also possible by country, catalog number, condition, and opinion date.
American Philatelic Society
The American Philatelic Society is the largest nonprofit stamp collecting organization in the world, with members in more than 110 countries. Become a member today: stamps.org/Join.
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