Ten suggestions before you bid on Internet auctions.
1- Be aware that a stamp offered "as is" is a forgery .
2- Do not bid on stamps whose picture is less than 250 pixels on the smaller side. Pictures are shown in small format with the purpose to make impossible a correct identification. Remember when in ebay the formats of the photos were huge and now with less material offered are minimal ?
3- Do not bid on stamps of the Roman States 2nd and 3rd issues if the dividing lines are somehow hidden at their crossing. Auctions are full of Roman States stamps with corners showing enough issues to cover what you want to see.
4- Do not trust completely stamps signed. Signatures can be falsified.
5- For stamps of the 3rd Roman States issue always count the horizontal teeth number. Their number must be between 16 and 17. That correspond to a perforation 13 or 13 and 1/4.
6- Be aware that forgeries of the Roman States 1st issue are rare. Copies of the reprints of the 2nd and 3rd issues are instead very common and technically, with the exception of Usigli, are forgeries too.
7- Comparison with originals and forgeries of this site library will cut down to few percent the possibility to bid unwillingly on a forgery. The only forgeries not caught by this site are the forgeries that require special tools to their detection (like lighting for engraved details).
8- As general rules, internet sellers do not mislead intentionally. They just miss the necessary competence to correctly qualify these stamps, specially if not italian sellers. This is the reason why this site appears first in English.
9- Again on the 2nd and 3rd issues of Roman States stamps. If you feel to see on surface what is called a "lattice" of small shapes that stamp is most probably a reprint (forgery). This is not an easy path for detection. It takes time and practice to feel more confortable in the method of forgery identification.
10- Not all the Fournier forgeries have the label "FAUX" in front or "FAXSIMILE" on the back or both. All the forgeries in circulation before his death are without such identification labels.
Disclaimer This program shows a list of gross forgeries. These ARE NOT THE ONLY forgeries for the Old Italian States but only the part of them that are the most often seen in Web sites of antique stamps. DO NOT take any financial nor commercial decision based on the info of this program. We strongly and fully decline any responsibility for direct and/or indirect financial consequences on decisions based on this program.