The March issue of Stamp Magazine reports that a 9 December 2016 printing of the 1st class counter sheet stamp is not only on backing paper with a security print (the first time for a counter sheet), but that it follows the described pattern. So this is two 'firsts': the first De La Rue counter sheet with security backing paper, and the first with the alternate inverted printing. The year code is M16L - it also appears to be in the new dark shade. If this proves to be the case these M16L stamps may be in short supply, in the light of other news below.
We also understand that there is a new
UPDATE (later same day): the 2nd class counter sheet and business sheet have also been reported on new backing paper. The counter sheet may be the same 04/01/17 printing referred to above, but this has not been confirmed. The business sheet has M16L and a printing date of 15/12/16.
UPDATE 8 Feb: The 2nd class M17L counter sheet is on plain backing paper. (Thanks RL)
UPDATE 9 FEB: As suggested by the para below the images, we don't have stock of ANY of these yet, only reports from readers. When we have them I'll list them in our webshop and provide a link and photos here.
Click on images to see a larger version.
UPDATE 10 FEB: I now have some stamps from the 2nd business sheet with SBP2. These and others will be added to the webshop after Stampex - that way all the news stamps will be added at the same time, and customers won't be tempted to order one and then another on separate orders.
Earlier on I repeated that the with new printing the paper could be re-rolled as it 'would always be the right way up'. Not quite true, which I should have realised with a little more thought. As you will know the text is printed in two sizes, Large (L) and Small (S). On SBP the lines are alternated, ie L/S/L/S. On the new paper the pattern is different if inverted. Using additional abbreviations for upright adn inverted, we now know that the format is:
SU - LU - SI - LI - SU - LU - SI - LI
So if the paper is inverted it will appear as
SI - LU - SU - LI - SI - LU - SU - LI
Obviously this can be manipulated for any individual stamps, but it will be interested to see if any booklets, business sheets or counter sheets turn out to be on inverted paper!
More information and pictures as soon as we have them ! And if you find them first, contact details for your pictures are at the top right.