This book was produced to help beginning and intermediate collectors of Philippine stamps to determine the validity of overprinted stamps in their collections. The definition of some terms used are: 

  • COUNTERFEIT: an entirely fabricated item.
  • FORGERY: a genuine item that has been altered, either by addition, subtraction or change.
  • SURCHARGE: printed words and figures added to a stamp that changes its denomination.
  • OVERPRINT: printed words and figures added to a stamp that do not change its denomination.
  • HANDSTAMP: the same as overprint except that it is not printed.

Because of the abrupt termination of an issue, overprinted "PHILIPPINES" or the limited production of an issue, The MADRID-MANILA overprints or the "VICTORY" handstamps, quite a few overprinted issues of the American Administration were not available in sufficient quantity to meet the needs of collectors. To meet this demand, accommodating persons from Europe, the United Stated and the Philippines produced forgeries and sold them to collectors. The 1932 surcharged issue was not forged as were the overprinted issued. The forging of an overprint did not constitute a fraud against the government, so the practice was penalty free.

With the exception of the $ denominations of the "PHILIPPINES" overprints and a few rare items in the MADRID - MANILA overprints and "VICTORY" handstamps, most of the overprinted stamps have a catalog value or sale price which, although high, is not considered cost effective for obtaining an expert certificate, therefore the reason for this book.

Rather than create a rarity list for the genuine stamps, the annexes have tables of the number of each stamp issued and destroyed. There are some disparities between the Bandholtz list and the Palmer list, I will leave it up to each collector to reconcile these lists.

The stamps of the Spanish Dominion were also counterfeited and forged. An excellent book on identifying Spanish Philippines fakes is "The Postage Stamps of the Philippines" by Bartels, Foster and Palmer, published in 1904.

John M. Hunt
Olongapo City, Philippines

Several images in the original compilation that John privately published in July 1999 replaced in this presentation. The advancement in scanning technology has made it possible to described with a higher degree of accurancy the distinct differences between a genuine and forged overprint. 

As always, your comments will be most appreciated. 

Manila, Philippines
December 20, 2004

This Collection: 17 Pages  91 Images