This story revolves around older American collectors and their desire to own rare or exotic foreign plates. I have a photo of one of them in a plate shop in Pakistan in the 1980s surrounded by lots of brand new Pakistan plates from the 1947 series with some in Urdu. I would guess that he bought about half the shop from the ones that have turned up in collections since. All these plates were/are genuine in that they were made the correct way in Pakistan.
There is always a big debate about whether such a plate should be considered real or not. Mostly there is no problem with them when the registration is correct and some people do like mint plates. All very well and good. There is a problem however when the original buyer of such plates decides to ‚cash in‘ and have multiple copies made of the same plate.
Back in the days when only snail mail existed there was little chance you would be caught out by having 5 or 6 of the same rare or exotic plate made and a tidy profit or a favourable trade could be had many times over.
This is a batch of such plates from the royal family in Swat, Pakistan.
It turns out there are at least 5 different mint copies of this royal plate and I would guarantee that the Amir of Swat never had one of them on his car. There is no proof that any of his vehicles ever had a registration as high as SWT 112. I would doubt it as even the biggest royal families in British India rarely got above 2 digits and Swat was quite a small principality. I bet there is at least one more of these to match the one with gold coloured digits.
I can assure you each of these plates is slightly different – holes in different places, alignment of numerals or red part being crooked on the backing. The plates are still in their respective collections also.
Mint plates are all very well but they may have the wrong registration or there may be multiple copies of the same plate. You should not buy mint plates.