Monday 2 July 2012

While we were out......

Several items of news cropped up while we were away, and while we've been sorting out emails and post more has arrived, so here is a summary.

The Pre-Olympic 'Venues' Generic Smiler sheet has appeared, looking quite unlike the publicity images.  Here's the sheet

UPDATE: At the time of writing this is not on the Royal Mail shop website, nor is it mentioned in either the Olympic or regular Summer Collection brochures issued late last month.  So for those who want to buy it direct,

The Stock Code is AT072 and the price from Royal Mail is £15.22
Email or phone +44 (0) 131 316 7483

Further update:  
following concerted action via twitter, the sheet is now on RM's shop site!

See the original blog message, now updated, here.

For the 'Welcome to the Olympics' issue on 27 July there will be a miniature sheet and a prestige stamp book - see our webpage.  Two weeks ago no details had been announced and we didn't know whether the definitive pane would be Machins or Olympics or a mixture, and we expected that some of the stamps from (or the whole) miniature sheet would be included.

We now have the pictures - but no technical specification - and it's all Olympic definitives and no miniature sheet stamps!

As I said, no technical details so we don't know whether the definitives are gummed* (which would make them new) or self-adhesive.  If the book is printed by Cartor in toto then the definitives will be from a new printer; if the definitives are self-adhesive by Walsall then the 20g will be new but the 1st class were issued in booklets printed by Walsall.
The 'sports' stamps on the other three panes were originally printed by Cartor in sheet form so, again, if the PSB is printed by Cartor these are not prima facie new stamps - but the phosphor may be different - heck, the perforation could be different as well!

UPDATE 10 July: The panes (but not the book) are now to hand.
All panes are gummed.  The definitive pane has darker 1st class stamps than the pale orange shown, close to the sheet and booklet self-adhesive stamps but slightly paler.  The 20g airmail stamps are a good match.
The Sports stamps on the other three panes look very similar to the stamps issued previously in sheets and have the same perforation as before, with all-over phosphor.  The shade differences are minor, and the micro-printed years remain the same as on the original stamps. The se-tenant combinations are, of course, new.  


  1. It is interesting that the commemoratives are now in panes of 2, and that there are only two stamps in the whole book that have a higher denomination than 1st. It would seem to suggest that the substantial rises in postal rates in recent years (particularly this year)are giving Royal Mail difficulties in producing prestige books at a price that does not cause collectors to scream and then defect in droves. Could it be that the large postal rate rises have caused the beginning of the end for prestige books?

  2. It is indeed welcome news that the face value of this will be under £10 - which means that it will be sold for £10.71. Also welcome, for many, will be the absence of Machin definitives!

  3. Hmmm ... Speak for yourself. No Machins!!!! Shock, horror. I shan't be buying it.

  4. They had the opportunity to put a 'rare' Machin in this booklet and make it a worthwhile purchase so I too will opt out of buying.


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