All the stamps of this issue are very scarce, and I do not think they have been extensively forged. At present I have only come across counterfeits of the 5c. and 10c.
5 c. Genuine
Lithographed, on white wove paper; imperforated. The letters MB of COLOMBIA touch each other at the bottom. The top stroke of the 5, at the bottom of the stamp, points obliquely upwards, towards the A of ANTIOQUIA. The curved scroll below the condor is very distinct. The neck of the condor is set on properly, in the centre of the body. There is no dot above the E of DE in the lower half of the oval.
5 c. Forged
The bottoms of the letters MB do not touch each other. The top stroke of the 5, at the bottom of the stamp, points almost straight to the right. The curved scroll below the condor is hardly visible at all. The neck of the condor is set on too much to the left of the centre of the body of the bird. There is a distinct dot to be seen above the E of DE in the lower half of the oval.
10 c. Genuine
Paper, etc., as in the 5 c. There is a stop after CORREOS, and a stop also under the S of Cs
10 c. Forged
There is no stop after CORREOS, and no stop under the S of Cs
These were rather common about fifteen years ago, but I have not seen any for many years now. The 2b, 10 c., and 1 peso were reprinted from new lithographic transfers, made from the old matrices. These matrices, when they became obsolete, had been defaced by scoring diagonal lines across them. The reprinter tried to remove the lines, and did pretty well with the 10c., but they are easy enough to see on the 2 1/2c. and 1p. They are on bluish-white wove paper. The real 5c., like the illustration above, was never reprinted.
For the 5c. value, a bogus reprint was made from the 2 1/2c of the annexed design, by altering the value to “5,” and adding a “5” in each of the upper spandrels. This is, therefore, a forgery pure and simple.
Genuine.—I have never seen any cancellation beyond a written word.
Forged.—Uncancelled, or with a written word, in imitation of the genuine.
Issue of 1869. 2 1/2, 5, 10 & 20 Centavos.
These stamps are lithographs; but they are very fairly done, and will bear a pretty close inspection. All the forgeries, except the second forgery of the 20c, have a woolly, misty look, which condemns them at once; though I should fancy that specimens adorn the albums of a good many of our schoolboy friends.
Lithographed, on rather thin, soft, white wove paper. I will first give a description of the points common to all the values, and then take each value separately. The Q of ANTIOQUIA has a distinct tail. The condor in the arms, or rather above the shield, is a condor, and the ring of feathers at the base of its neck is very distinct. The c of COLOMBIA comes just between the RR of CORREOS ; that is to say, a line drawn down between the two R’s would cut through the C. Now for each value separately.
2 1/2c. Genuine
There is a stop after C O R R E O S , another after COLOMBIA, and another after ANTIOQUIA. Each large figure 2 has its tail perfectly straight. The inner outline of the oval containing the name is very slightly curved inwards, just at the top, the bottom, and the middle of each side ; but I think this would hardly be noticed, unless it were expressly looked for.
5 c. Genuine
There is a stop after each of the letters E. and S. in the words E. s. D E ANTIOQUIA. There is also a very distinct white spot in the dark ground of the ornamental spandrel to the left of the aforesaid E, and another to the right of the last A in ANTIOQUIA. In most copies, the words CORREOS and CINCO CEN are so large as to almost entirely fill up the labels containing them ; but there appears to be more than one type of this stamp, and some have the letters a little smaller than others ; still, all the copies have the said letters of a good size.
10 c. Genuine
There is a stop after each of the words CORREOS, ANTIOQUIA, and COLOMBIA. The band containing the name is divided at the sides, and immediately opposite to the division on each side there is a white dot in the dark spandrel, to the left of the left-hand division, and to the right of the right-hand division. Each of the little roses in the top corners has a white spot in its centre.
20 c. Genuine
There is a stop after each of the words ANTIOQUIA, COLOMBIA, and CENT. The name is written, “Es. Us. DE COLOMBIA and there is a sort of guiding-line running almost all round the tops of these letters. The condor has a flat head and a hooked beak, and seems to be looking obliquely upwards, towards the U of Us. The neck is thin and long. The stars above its head are asterisks, formed in this way (*). Each petal of the roses in the top corners has an inner line of shading at the broad end, and no other shading. In the centre of each rose there is a round white ball, shaded by a semicircular line. There are no dark rays proceeding from either ball. There is a distinct double line, separating the top compartment of the shield from the middle one, and a similar double line separating the middle compartment from the bottom one. The upper sea in the bottom compartment is very large, the lower sea very small, and the centre of the isthmus is a mere thread. There is a round, colored stop after COLOMBIA, a large, square colored stop after ANTIOQUIA, and a faint white stop after CENT. There is also a small colored stop after the 20 in each lower corner.
The following description holds good for all the forged values except the second forgery of the 20c. Lithographed, on thick, white wove paper. There is no indication of a tail to the Q of name, which thus appears to be ANTIOOUIA. The bird above the shield seems to be an eagle. There is no ring of feathers to be seen on its neck.
2 1/2c. Forged
There is no stop after either of the words CORREOS, COLOMBIA, or ANTIOOUIA. The tail of each large figure 2 has its end curled up. The s. of Es. is absurdly slanted away from the E. The inner outline of the band containing the name is bulged very much towards the centre, at the top, at the bottom, and in the middle of each side; so much so that anyone looking at the stamp would notice it immediately. The C of COLOMBIA comes just under the second R of CORREOS.
5 c. Forged
There is no stop after the letters E and S of E s DE ANTIOOUIA. There are no white spots in the spandrels, at the places named in the description of the genuine 5c. The words CORREOS and CINCO CEN are in short and rather thin letters, which do not nearly fill up the bands containing them. The C of COLOMBIA comes just under the second R of CORREOS.
10 c. Forged
There is no stop after CORREOS or ANTIOOUIA. There are no white spots in the dark spandrels, opposite to where the name-label is divided. The little roses in the top corners have dark spots in their centers, though the one on the left seems to have some little attempt at shading. The C of COLOMBIA comes just under the first R of CORREOS.
20 c. First Forgery
Stop after COLOMBIA only. The name is written, “E U DE COLOMBIA.;” and these letters do not show any marks of the guiding-line at their tops. The roses in the top corners have dark spots in their centers, though the one on the left seems to have some little attempt at shading. The C of COLOMBIA comes just under thefirst R of CORREOS.
20 c. Second Forgery
I first saw this in 1902. It looks infinitely better than the first forgery, and, in some respects, it is better than the genuine in appearance. Typographed (my single specimen is in a brownish pink), on thick, hard white wove paper. The condor has a round head, like a pigeon, with a round eye, instead of the long eye of the genuine, and it appears to be looking rather down, towards the E of Es. The beak is that of a pigeon. The neck is thick and short. The stars above its head are real stars, with six rays, though one or two have only five rays. There is no line of shading following the outlines of the petals of the roses, but there are a number of colored rays surrounding the white balls in the centers of the said roses. There is no line of shading in either ball. There is a single line separating the top compartment of the shield from the centre one, and a similar single line separating the central compartment from the bottom one. The two seas in the bottom compartment are of about equal size, so that the upper one is too small, and the lower one too large; and the isthmus makes a good broad band between them. There is no stop after COLOMBIA, the stop after ANTIOQUIA is very small and round, and the white stop after CENT is too large and prominent. There is no stop after the 20 in either corner.
Genuine.—None of my copies are cancelled with anything but a word, or letter, written in pen and ink, so I cannot say what is the regular handstamp used for this purpose.
Forged.—All the forgeries just described are cancelled with 37 (without numerals), except the second forgery of the 20c., which is uncancelled.
As the originals are lithographs, and I have not been able to procure whole sheets of each value, it is quite possible that some of the copies of each value may vary slightly from my descriptions. For instance, 1 have a copy of the 10c. which is labelled quite distinctly “CORHEOS,” instead of CORREOS . However, I think my tests, taken from several copies of each value, will be sufficient.
From: ‘Album Weeds’, 3rd edition by R. B. Eareé. 1906