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Real Or Not Real?

For more than 85 years, the controversy has been raging: Are Hawaiian missionary stamps and a cover first reported and then sold by George H. Grinnell in 1919 real or fake? Are the stamps on the cover real but the postmarks fake?

New York stamp dealer John Klemann paid $65,000 in 1919 for the stamps and cover.

But almost immediately, the accusations that the items were fake began, first going to trial in 1922.

The stamps have never been examined by U.S. expertisers, but now the Royal Philatelic Society, London, has determined that they are fakes. Mystic Stamp Company, as the agent for the Arrigo family, which owns the stamps, plans to exhibit them at Washington 2006.

All of which raises more questions: Are they real or fake? Why were they expertised by British experts, not American? And how will Mystic and Washington 2006 handle their display?

Read (and participate) in our discussion.

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