CSA AUTHENTICATION SERVICE
The CSA Authentication Service was founded on October 1, 1945 as the CSA Authentication Committee. In 2006, the name was changed to the CSA Authentication Service.
The purpose of the Authentication Service is to determine the authenticity of Confederate stamps and covers as well as the validity of Civil War period postal usages that passed through the Confederate mails.
Postal forgeries of Confederate material date back to the 1860s and are still being produced today. Some can be quite deceptive, thus authentication continues to be an important service, particularly for higher priced items.
Members of the Authentication Service have extensive knowledge of Confederate material and in depth knowledge of many specialized areas. The Authentication Service also calls upon several consultants with expertise in specialty areas.
Each item submitted for authentication receives a certificate with a color image on security paper. The certificate is signed by the Chairman of the Authentication Service and embossed with the seal of the Confederate Stamp Alliance.
Use of this service is available to both CSA members and non-members.
All certificates issued without a photograph are considered void because there is no way a specific item can be tied to a specific certificate. Almost all of these types of certificates were issued prior to 1969.
The Authentication Service does not render opinions on printing stones or plate stamps. These are time consuming procedures that require very specialized knowledge and detailed references. If you have need of such services, we can recommend a source.
Current members of the Authentication Service are:
L. Kimbrough, M.D., Chairman
Stefan T. Jaronski, Recording Secretary
Kevin P. Andersen
A. Eugene Lightfoot
Richard F. Murphy
Randolph P. Smith
Francis J. Crown, Jr.
Partricia A. Kaufmann
Peter W. W. Powell
The Authentication Process
It normally takes 60 to 90 days to complete the authentication process. This may appear to be a lengthy process but it insures that the item is thoroughly examined with the full resources of each examining member of the Authentication Service.
Non-members must pay in advance. CSA members are billed. Click here for the Fee Schedule
On receipt each item is assigned a patient number, scanned and an acknowledgement of receipt is sent to the applicant. A description of the item is prepared, background information gathered and an opinion worksheet prepared. Patients are then placed in a group and forwarded to individual members of the Service. All patients are covered by private insurance while in the hands of the Service.
Each patient ends its circuit with the Chairman who reviews the individual opinions. If there is consensus a certificate is prepared and returned with the patient to the applicant. If there is no consensus the patient may be sent to other members of the Service or one or more consultants for additional opinions. The Chairman will review the original and additional opinions to determine if a consensus was reached. If so a certificate is prepared and returned with the patient to the applicant. If no consensus is reached a “no opinion” certificate is issued. A digital record is maintained of all certificates issued.
New York Counterfeit
Tips to Speed the Process
If you have done any research on or have other examples of the use represented by your item include copies. If your item is a cover with an enclosure include the enclosure. Note: All supplemental information submitted should be copies as it will not be returned. Only the item and any enclosure will be returned with a certificate.
Click here for the CSA authentication application
Rapid Scan ID
If you do not need a formal authentication certificate for your item the Authentication Service offers a simpler and less expensive solution – Rapid Scan ID. For details on this service click here