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What we collect!
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The OFFIcIEL handstamps of Iran 1887-1889

A quick learning guide

by Lee Coen
18th of October 2017

Recently I purchased a stamp on ebay. I knew it was fake but thought what a wonderful way to quickly show others how to tell the difference, learn about another country and save some money. Often at the stamp club I am asked to look at Iran stamps. Many of them are fakes. Let’s look at one.

Here is my stamp:

Ebay fake stamp
Scott# 66

Note: The handstamp as well as the stamp itself are both fakes.

How do I get the info needed to identify Fake stamps and fake handstamps to save myself lots of money and headaches?

Simple, The Iran Classic Philatelic Reference book by M. Sadri.

All photos shown are from this book and for the good of the hobby I am sharing the info with fellow collectors all across the globe. I purchased it many years ago at a cost of $200.00usd. It can be found at www.persi.com.


The Iran stamp ‘bible’ if you collect Iran stamps.

In 1893 Fredrich Schuller noted in his book that there were six handstamps utilized. No title given. All are horizontal only. None are angled. See below:


These are the valid hand stamps of Iran stamps on Scott# 68-72 as shown by M. Sadri in his book.



Fake handstamps/angled.


Here are examples of fake handstamps. These are found on page 43 of the reference manual. Notice the angle?

Having the knowledge of what the real ones look like can save lots of time and money. While neat to look at, the value is purely educational.

In closing, most handstamps on early Iran stamps that are at an angle, upside down or with varied colors are suspect. There are some angled handstamps on earlier Iran stamps that can be confusing, but remember: Is the stamp valid? Then if the stamp is valid worry about the handstamp. If your stamp is fake and your handstamp is fake its trash. Most importantly, when buying a car I look at year make and model and how many miles are on the car/stamp. I do the same with Iran stamps. Year, find it in the cat. Make: what value is my stamp? 30kr, 10kr, 5ch etc. Model-is it fake? Are there examples of fakes? I check a reference guide for info/pictures. Miles: if it’s a beat up stamp am I going to put a new starter in it and try to sell it? Hope this helps just a little bit and this is only the very tip of the many overprints, handstamps, surcharges, fees applied to Iran stamps in the 1880’s.

A special thank you to M. Sadri, www.persi.com for taking up so much space in my head with these dang Iran stamps.

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