Postmark Could Help Prove Rare Stamps Are Authentic

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Two philatelic experts have announced a discovery that seems likely to renew one of the longest-running controversies among stamp collectors.

Ken Lawrence and Richard C. Celler, both respected for their expertise in 19th-century stamps, have found evidence that a group of stamps long held to be fakes may be genuine and potentially worth as much as $10 million.

“This is one of the most exciting stamp stories of the last 100 years,” said Donald Sundman, president of the Mystic Stamp Company, which is holding the stamps on behalf of the owners and will put them on exhibit this month at a philatelic convention in Chicago.

The discovery concerns one of the early Hawaiian stamps known as the Missionaries, printed by the islands’ nascent postal service in 1851 largely for correspondence from missionary settlers to the United States.

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