Royal Mail no longer publicises the number of stamps printed or sold, which is a pity, because those details would help us to understand the relative scarcity of some modern stamps.
For the Olympic Gold Medal winners stamps, six regional printers added the medalists' images to the base sheets. It is probable that different quantities were printed by each printer, with the greatest number being printed in Swindon for the national Post Office Supplies Depot to distribute to branches nationwide, while the 518 'next-day' branches received their supplies from the regional printers.
We now know that the Attleborough printer, serving the eastern region from mid-Lincolnshire, south to the London Area, west into the east Midlands, and the whole of East Anglia produced 126,720 of each of the Olympic stamps, being 1,320 press sheets for each medalist. The press sheets contained 4 A4 sheets each containing 4 miniature sheets of 6 stamps.
Because of the overnight and standby working - printers were working late every night to take account of medals won up to 10pm - the cost to Royal Mail for the 'next day' offices was higher than for regular stamp issues.
Treasure-Hunting Heaven - By Deborah Fisher and Kellen Diamanti Editor’s note: The National Postal Museum is happy to host two guest bloggers – Deborah Fisher and Kellen Diamanti – ...