Wednesday 28 November 2012

ALERT! London 2012 stamp products going off sale in a month

According to the November Philatelic Bulletin from Royal Mail, 31 December 2012 will see the withdrawal of all London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games products, except those in the annual packages.

This isn't something we've had from our official sources (and the Bulletin has been known to be wrong before) but if you are missing anything from the huge output, be sure to get it soon!

As a guide, Stanley Gibbons GB Concise Catalogue will list the Gold Medal stamps as individual stamps and as 'sheetlets' (Gibbons' description). Here are a few items you might want to fill gaps in next the album supplements issued next spring:

a. From the Keeping the Flame Alive PSB (Royal Mail stock code YB049)

- three panes of special Olympic sports stamps
        2982a pane Archery and Dressage pair
        2983a pane Football and track Athletics pair
        2984a pane Aquatics and field Athletics pair
- a pane of gummed Olympic/Paralympic definitives

b. Six retail booklets of 6  x 1st class stamps including 4 definitives and 2 Sports stamps

c. Generic (Smilers) Sheet - Olympic Venues
This contains self-adhesive Olympic/Paralympic definitives but printed in litho by Cartor, the only source of these stamps.

d.  Three miniature sheets
- Welcome to the Olympics
- Welcome to the Paralympics
- Memories of London 2012

One of the cheapest products, although it won't get catalogue listing, is the pack which contains facsimiles of the 1948 Olympic stamps, se-tenant, at £5.95.

All these are still available from Royal Mail online or by post.  But if you want single Gold Medal stamps rather than sheetlets, or stamps from the PSB, then you'll need to ask your favourite dealer!

UPDATE:  One of our readers reports that he was told by Tallents House that the sale had to stop at the end of the year "as that is when Royal Mail licence from LOCOG runs out ". 
"This has to be the shortest time Royal Mail have had items on sale for and am sure a lot of collectors will get caught out. Watch this space in 2 months time when the complaints start rolling in."

Indeed.  Dealers can still continue to sell these without a licence from LOCOG but the primary producer arranged things so that instead of 12 months some of their products will be on sale for only 3 months (the Memories of London 2012 sheet).

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