Arías Counterfeits

These are a very common counterfeit. Most Arías sold online are counterfeits falsely described as genuine. There was an interval between 1898 and 1908 when these stamps were in high demand. The counterfeiters met the demand. Then in 1908 the government flooded the market with mint remainders and phony BH70 black precancels.

There are at least four different systems published to label these counterfeits and more are being added to the pile. Each has a different label for the same counterfeit! This serves to complicate something that is so very, very simple. Their system One counterfeit type "2" is the same as another system type "1" which is the same as a system type "B." Oh my! See the problem here?

Anderson Catalog of Honduran Counterfeits

Why not label each forgery with a simple, unique and perfectly obvious charctertistic that any child could recognize. There are four distinct forgeries and all are so easy to spot. Every known fraud, yes every one, will fall into one of these four groups. Even a child can spot them.

So we introduced the Anderson Catalog of Honduran Counterfeits in 2016 and are encouraged that their usage is slowly spreading. But be warned. Ignore suggestions like "the cogwheel is larger" or "the S is wider." These suggestions come from people that take pride in making the simple more complicated. whiteface forgery

In this counterfeit Arías appears anemic and much younger than on the genuine stamp. The paper is a very clear, bright white. There are other minor differences but the ghost-like face and beady eyes are perfectly obvious and easy to spot.

These are all perf 12.5 instead of the 11.5 of the genuine. There are eight values all without gum. This counterfeit has two counterfeit cancels.

white face cancels

droopy eye

The droopy eye is so obvious that it seems silly to point out other minor differences drawn from the references listed at the end.

This forgery was produced in Italy about 1902 and was first seen for sale in Il Facsimile of N. Imperato in 1920. It was not produced by Fournier but it was probably distributed by him. It was produced perf 11 always on soft, gummed paper. The printed image of the stamp is slightly larger the the genuine stamp and the perforated size is variable.

droopy eye cancels


This appears to be a post WW2 printing from Europe. It was printed in sheets of 50 (5 rows of 10 stamps) without gum. It is perf 11.5 like the originals, alway on soft paper. Notice the super clear and heavy stripes in the background behind Arías and continuing to the heavy, vertical stripes in the lower right hand scroll. Again, the counterfeit is so obvious that pointing out consistant and unique minor differences seems pedantic --like the circles around UPU and 1896 are much too large or that not one color correctly matches the shades of the originals or the ten centavo value is missing an enclosing circle. Forged cancels of the Stripes Forgery are unknown.

If the stamp you are evaluating is not a white face, droopy eye or stripes is it genuine? Yes...if it is a 10c or higher in value. If not there is one more thing to look at.


This forgery is still a mystery but it was likely produced before WW2. It was printed on glueless paper with perf 14.5 or imperforate. It was probably produced with individual cliches since the margins are huge and blocks of stamp have not been seen. It is known only in the 1c, 2c and 5c values and is the least common of the counterfeits. The tiny perfs are the giveaway here. No perfs? Bogus for sure. In this counterfeit it appears that Arías has a monacle is his right eye. Eyes look fine and on thin paper? It is a Ghizzoli pilfered reject. See REGULAR ISSUES


Anderson Catalog of Honduras Counterfeits by Craig Anderson © 2016
Honduras Report by Richard Washburn. The Oxcart, winter 1991.
Honduras Report by Richard Washburn. The Oxcart, spring 1992.
Honduras Report by Richard Washburn. The Oxcart, winter 1992.
Honduras 1896 Arías Issue: a study of the Forgeries by Brian Moorhouse. Mainsheet, October 1979.