RPSL Expert Committee explained

On Feb. 9, the work of The Royal Philatelic Society London’s (RPSL) Expert Committee was explained to members of the society by committee chair Chris Harman.

Harman told his audience the committee of nine volunteers examines between 2,500 and 3,000 “patients” a year, and all nine members examining every item. The work is eased by using sophisticated equipment, such as the Video Spectral Comparator (VSC) 6000, which can view items under a wide range of light sources; allows the image of one stamp to be overlaid on another to permit accurate comparison; and enables extremely accurate measurements to be made of features on a stamp.


Each certificate issued gives the opinion of the committee; however, it’s not a guarantee. It’s an opinion based on considerable knowledge and experience coupled with access to reference material and other specialist knowledge, if appropriate. The presentation included examples of stamps that have been seen by the committee over the years, explaining the great lengths that are undertaken to answer the question posed by the person submitting an item for an opinion.

Considerable time can be spent with a single “patient,” even if the outcome is the committee cannot confirm the enquirer’s expectations.

Those wishing to visit The RPSL at 41 Devonshire Pl., London, or to be a guest at one of its meetings, are asked to contact the administrative office at secretary@rpsl.org.uk.

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