A Handbook for the Recognition & Identification of


It is not the intent of this work to identify every non-authentic item and variant ever produced, a task which would be impossible. Rather, it is designed to alert collectors to the presence of such items, even in the most remote of places, and techniques which can be utilized to avoid being deceived by altered insulators. The thorough review of the information in this and other books and articles on related subjects, and consultation with trusted experts in the hobby, are the best methods to protect oneself from a costly mistake as well as to identify any person who may be in violation of the standards of ethical conduct identified at the beginning of this document. There are most certainly other alteration techniques which have been tried but are not documented herein and certainly some which have yet to be attempted. There must be no mistake, there is no substitute for knowledge when dealing in the realm of fake, altered and reproduced items in any hobby and ours is no different. As I am fond of saying: "A question is always cheaper than a mistake". Most experts in the hobby are delighted to help with your questions.

I would like to extend a special thanks to all those who have contributed information and/or specimens to make this site informative. Your commitment to the education of the hobby is commendable.

Happy Collecting!

Mike Guthrie

Section 4
Section 5
Appendix 1