Friday 23 November 2012

Changes to Machin Definitive Stamps from 3 January 2013 - update

The new Royal Mail red colour to be used for 1st class stamps in 2013 is not as red as we expected - certainly not as red as the booklet covers!  Although these are not issued until 2013 the year codes are M12L and MA12 (Large stamps).

The new stamps use cylinders D1 and the stamps are in guttered sheets of 50 with two panes of 25.  Dates of printing known so far are

19/09/12 and 20/09/12 for the small 1st red, and (updated 15 Jan)
24/09/12 for the 1st class Large.

The 1p - 20p stamps have been printed with an iridescent overprint for the first time.  The cylinder numbers used are D2 for the colour, and D1 for the phosphor and iridescent overprint.  The sheets are of 25 (5x5) as before.  In this new printing all the stamps appear to be printed in all 12 grid positions on the cylinder.

Printing dates seen (and there may be others) are:
1p              17/09/12
2p & 5p     12/09/12
10p & 20p 13/09/12


The 50p and £1 stamps are also in sheets of 25, with 12 grid positions for each.  Cylinder numbers are D1 x3.  Colours in these pictures are darker than the stamps appear to me (the 50p shown here looks very blue).  The £1 is very close to the colour of the engraved £5.
Printing dates are 18/09/12 for both values.

The booklets are very similar to the previous versions with security codes MSIL for the book of 6, MTIL for the book of 12, and MFIL for the book of 4 Large.

Booklet of 4 x 1st Large - cylinders W2 W1 W1

Booklet of 12 x 1st - cylinders W5 W2(p) W1(i) - correction

Booklet of 6 x 1st - no cylinder booklets received yet.

12.12.12 Richard has found some cylinder booklets showing red cylinder W6 (cylinders for phosphor and iridescent not yet confirmed).  Note that the cylinder numbers on these booklets is obscured by the front cover, being printed further to the left than on the other two booklets.


BUSINESS SHEETS and COILS - not yet received

UPDATE:  for those who have asked, here is a comparison between the original 1st class flame and the new Royal Mail red>


  1. WOW! No the wonder that they are running late with so many items if they are still satisfying Olympics orders AND printing all of this lot!

    I see from this month's Philatelic Bulletin that all Olympic product is to be withdrawn on 31/12/2012 - at the current rate I am only likely to receive part of my order after it has been withdrawn!!!!!

    1. Is that the November Bulletin? Wonder where mine is.

      You must contact the bureau urgently if you are still waiting for Gold Medal material. The handover covers have now been delivered, and as you see they are preparing the 3 January issues to send out to regular customers.

  2. It seems strange to still be classifying the 50p definitive as a "High Value" stamp when it only covers the cost of a second class letter - an probably only for a few more months at that!

    1. He He! To be fair, that's my description, not Royal Mail's !

  3. " codes MSND for the book of 6, MTND for the book of 12, and MFIL..."

    Are you sure the overprints say 'diamond', Ian?!

    1. Thank you John - duly edited! MSIL, MTIL as in the originals.

  4. It also seems strange they are bothering to print 50p stamps this year when that rate is already satisfied by the 2nd class rate. Normally they don't duplicate values like this.

  5. Suggest that the 50p is required as a make up value when sending items overseas. Not sure but the 2nd NVI can get confused as a 2p value. I've certainly experienced this when sending such letters. I'm not sure what the recommendation (or directive) is in respect of using NVIs on overseas mail
    Doug (Enfield)

    1. I've never heard of the 2nd class being mistaken for a 2p (or vice versa). All stamps can be used on all mail. Thus 1st & 2nd can be sent overseas and the armail stamps can be used inland at the relevant rate.

      The reason that the 50p is 2 bands still, of course, is that by the end of March 2013 the 2nd class rate will have increased from 50p to (say) 55p !

  6. In Australia you can't use their international stamps on domestic mail - something to do with international stamps not incuring (the equivalent of) VAT. So you have to over compensate if you want to use international stamps.

    Not sure if its the same in UK for using an overseas NVI stamp on domestic mail. Maybe there is no VAT on stamps at all? I don't know lol.

    1. No restrictions here Steve. All stamps available for all purposes, so internationals can be used on inland services, and all - including RSF & SD - can be used on international, though I think RM would rather they were used only for the services described.


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