Specimen Stamps
(Published: May, 2013, Volume 13, Number 2, Issue #34) (Table Of Contents)
(Author: Larry Fillion)


I received a request for information on the Ghana stamps below for why they were hole punched. The stamps are perfins. A perfin is a stamp that has had initials or a name perforated across it to discourage theft. The name is a contraction of perforated initials or perforated insignia. They are also sometimes called SPIFS (Stamps Perforated with Initials of Firms and Societies).

The following definition of a Specimen stamp is from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specimen_stamp: A specimen stamp is a postage stamp or postal stationery indicium sent to postmasters and postal administrations so that they are able to identify valid stamps and to avoid forgeries. The usual method of invalidating the stamps is either overprinting in ink or perforating the word Specimen across the stamp and where English is not the common language, the words Muestra (Spanish), Monster (Dutch), Muster (German) have been used instead.

The Ghana Specimen stamps below were perfinned with the word Specimen to denote their status.
Ghana Scott 128
Specimen
Ghana Scott 128<br />Specimen
Ghana Scott 129
Specimen
Ghana Scott 129<br />Specimen
Ghana Scott 130
Specimen
Ghana Scott 130<br />Specimen
Ghana Scott 131
Specimen
Ghana Scott 131<br />Specimen
Ghana Scott 128
Specimen
Back Side
Ghana Scott 128<br />Specimen<br />Back Side
Ghana Scott 129
Specimen
Back Side
Ghana Scott 129<br />Specimen<br />Back Side
Ghana Scott 130
Specimen
Back Side
Ghana Scott 130<br />Specimen<br />Back Side
Ghana Scott 131
Specimen
Back Side
Ghana Scott 131<br />Specimen<br />Back Side


Cyprus overprinted the stamps with the word "Specimen".
Cyprus Scott 204
Specimen
Cyprus Scott 204<br />Specimen
Cyprus Scott 205
Specimen
Cyprus Scott 205<br />Specimen


China used 2 black lines on top of the denomination instead of the word "Specimen"
China Scott 1342
Specimen
China Scott 1342<br />Specimen
China Scott 1343
Specimen
China Scott 1343<br />Specimen


W.H.O. Office - New York Meter Cancellation - Slogan 1 - Pitney Bowes Specimen
Pitney Bowes Specimen - Front
Pitney Bowes Specimen - Front
Pitney Bowes Specimen - Back
Pitney Bowes Specimen - Back