Saturday, 4 January 2014
I have long known about the 24p forgery that appeared in 1993, but I've never had a used copy. I saw the pair pictured above on eBay. Since the "stamps" totaled 50p, which is the current second-class rate, I figured it was a contemporary usage. I bought it.
I was right. It may not be visible here, but the cancel is September 4, 2013.
I asked the seller if he knew how the stamps came to be used recently. He said that he had purchased a very large batch of British Commonwealth stamps, and he found that it included several full sheets of the 24p forgery. He said that “a friend” used a few stamps on mail, and some got through and others didn’t. I didn’t ask him if Royal Mail contacted his friend. Other than that, he’s been selling the mint copies very profitably on eBay.
Royal Mail has plenty of problems with forgeries of the gold first-class Machin, but it still has these 24p fakes from 20 years ago to worry about as well.