While it's all quiet at the Olympics, with no gold medals for GB yet today, here is some news for Machin collectors.
Back in February we reported, then retracted, that the colour of the 50p definitive would be changed to rust in the spring when the tariff change stamps were issued. We don't know why Royal Mail changed their mind then; maybe they have large stocks of grey 50p stamps, given that there have been no reprints since they were first changed to the security version in 2009.
But it is reported that new colours will be introduced in the course of 2013 starting with the following on 3 January 2013:
• The basic 1st Class and 1st Class Large stamps will not revert to gold but change to red - and in case of any doubt, I think this will be Royal Mail (or Post Office) red, not flame!
• The colours for the 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p values will stay the same but will have an iridescent overprint.
• The 50p and £1 will be allocated new colours - which we can assume will be rust for the 50p. The £1 in ruby may be too close to the red which will be used for the 1st class, which is probably what has triggered that change.
In addition to the counter sheets, products affected by the change will be:
• 1st Class and 1st Class Large Business Sheets.
• 6 x 1st, 12 x 1st and 4 x 1st Large Stamp Books.
• 1st Class Business Rolls of 10,000
This last suggests that there will be no 1st class red rolls of 500 or 1000 (just as there have been no Diamond Blue rolls.