June 20, 2008 - Just recently, a new batch of fake relics has shown up on eBay. As they seem to originate in the Lombardy and Tuscany areas we have decided to call them the Bergamo Fakes. We have no doubt that these will soon appear elsewhere in Europe - so beware. Tuscany has been, in recent years, the area we suspect as being the prime region for the production of fake relics. From Tuscany the relics spread out to other areas of Italy and then, eventually, to western Europe.
Typically, these relics are always of the True Coss or of important saints that would be very desirable to the faithful and command a higher price. The thecas are of Zamak metal alloy and are of recent manufacture and of the "daisy" design. The theca labels appear to have been printed using an inkjet printer. These printers did not make an appearance until the mid 1990s. That would date of the sealing of the thecas to the 1995-2008 span.
Next, let's take a look at the wax seal. The design of the wax seal gives the impression that the seal of a cardinal was used. A thorough search of the records of all cardinals who have served in the last few decades turns up no match. Therefore, the seal is a fantasy of some counterfeiters imagination.
Of course, there are no authentication documents to accompany the relics, a bad sign in itself. Any relics of such recent manufacture would surely have documentation.
Photos of some of the fakes are shown on this page along with examples of the wax seals.
Let's keep this junk in Bergamo and let the counterfeiter know we will not tolerate this sacrilege.