Sunday 8 May 2011

Almost a week of silence

The blog has been quiet because at last all the 2011 Security Machin stamps are in stock, and I have spent several days preparing customer orders, all of which are different!

Some people want 1, others want 2 or 3 of each; some people have already found some of the variations but not those from, for example, business sheets.

Of course one should never say that the collection is 'complete'.  What is complete for this year are the 2011 versions of the 2nd & 1st class basic and Large Letter stamps from counter sheets, business sheets, and all the booklets.  In this round we have also finished the 2010 versions of these. 

But the arrival of the 2010 Recorded Signed For stamps reminds us that the valued stamps from 50p to £5 have not yet appeared with a 2010/MA10 or 2011/M11L code, and the Special Delivery NVIs only exist with MA10 so far.

So it is quite possible that 2010 or 2011 versions of the 50p & £1 workhorses will appear, and if usage of the Special Delivery stamps has been better than anticipated they may need a reprint as well before the end of this year.

And then there is innovation.  There have been suggestions that forthcoming mixed retail booklets may have an innovation in the security overprint, possibly to indicate from which edition they come. So will we see 'THOMAS' or 'OLYMPIC' in the overprint?  Remember the original purpose of the source code was to assist Royal Mail Production should there be any operational problems when the stamps were used.

Innovation such as that described would provide a more precise identification of the source of the stamps.  But one might wonder if the move would be to target the pockets of collectors?  If there is such a change, then in order to pitch the stamps to collectors Royal Mail would have to reveal the 'secret code'.  When I spoke to the Head of Special Stamps at London 2010 she was adamant that information about when each of the new versions became available could not to be revealed because it was part of the security process.   We have an interesting 7 months ahead of us for the rest of 2011.


  1. I have a 2nd class Christmas Stamp purchased at the local PO at Christmas time. It is of a mother & child with no KJB reference on it as the others have. What is this? The second class Christmas stamp is supposed to picture the angel appearing to Joseph.

    1. That will be one of the two Madonna stamps (1st & 2nd) provided every year as an alternative to the secular or other religious set - see


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