Thursday 30 May 2013

After 10 months, how many Machin stamps so far this year?

Write your guess down before you read further!  It isn't a competition, only with yourself.  

So....  in January the 1st class stamp turned red, but had 2012 codes because they were contracted last year.  Some 2013 reprints have appeared.  Then there were new postage rates, with 3 of the 5 stamps printed by two printers, and some rates were unchanged and the relevant stamps have also been reprinted.  And we've had three prestige stamp books with Machin definitives in.

I've been a bit slack in keeping this updated, so additions in blue are since the last update.

Ok here's the list, with links to either our website or where they were reported on this blog:

3 January 2013 **
1. 1st class red - counter sheets - M12L MAIL
2. 1st class red - business sheets - M12L MBIL
3. 1st class red - boooklet of 12 - M12L MTIL
4. 1st class red - booklet of 6 - M12L MSIL
5. 1st class Large red - counter sheet - MA12 MAIL
6. 1st class Large red - business sheet - MA12 MBIL
7. 1st class Large red - booklet of 4 - MA12 MFIL
8. 1p maroon - counter sheets - M12L MAIL
9. 2p dark green - counter sheets - M12L MAIL
10. 5p ash pink - counter sheets - M12L MAIL
11. 10p orange-brown - counter sheets - M12L MAIL
12. 20p emerald green  - counter sheets - M12L MAIL
13. 50p slate-grey - counter sheets - M12L MAIL
14. £1 wood brown - counter sheets - M12L MAIL

9 Janaury 2013  London Underground
15. 1st class red - mixed retail booklet of 6 - M12L MCIL

12 February 2013 blog
16. 1st class red - booklet of 6 - M13L MSIL

2 March 2013 blog
17. 2nd class blue  - booklet of 12 - M13L MTIL

26 March 2013 - Dr Who PSB
18.  5p ash pink - M12L MPIL
19. 10p orange-brown - M12L MPIL
20. 20p emerald green - M12L MPIL
21. 87p orange - M12L MPIL

27 March 2013 - new postage rates (see also blog entry at 9 April below)
22. 78p Walsall SP printing M13L
23. 88p Walsall SP printing M13L
24. £1.88 Walsall SP printing M13L
25. 1st Royal Mail Signed For De La Rue printing MA13
26. 1st Large Royal Mail Signed For De La Rue printing MA13

9 April 2013 blog
27. 78p new postage rates De La Rue printing MA13 (* only in presentation packs and FDCs) - now available in sheets.
28. 88p new postage rates De La Rue printing MA13
29. £1.88 new postage rates De La Rue printing MA13

15 April 2013 blog
30. 2nd class blue business sheet M13L MBIL; (now available)
31. £1.28 green (2012 postage rate continued) De La Rue sheet MA13 MAIL

30 April 2013 blog
32. £2.00 blue-green De La Rue MA13 MAIL (first reprint since 2009)

9 May 2013 - Football Heroes
33. 1p maroon - PSB - M13L MPIL
34. 2p dark green - PSB - M13L MPIL
35. 5p ash pink - PSB - M13L MPIL
36. 10p orange-brown - PSB - M13L MPIL
37. 1st class red - PSB - M13L MPIL
38. 1st class red - mixed retail booklet - M13L MCIL

Also available
39. 1st class red - retail booklet of 12 - M13L MTIL
40. 1st class red - business sheet - M13L MBIL

Thanks Ken G for reminding me that on 3 January Royal Mail also made available the
41. 1st class red - self-adhesive coil - MA12 MRIL

Update 21 June
42.  2nd class Large counter sheet by De La Rue MA13 MAIL reported on eBay

17 July
88p and £1.88p available by De La Rue with printing date and sheet numbers.

Update 29 July
43.  20p counter sheets MA13 MAIL by De La Rue - now in stock

Update 12 August
44.  1st class Large retail booklet MA13 MFIL

Update 24 August
45.  1st class GOLD coil MA12/MRIL
46.  2nd class Large retail booklet MA13 MFIL

47.  2nd Large MA13 business sheet

13 September
48.  10p counter sheet MA13

Available at Stampex 18/19 September
49.  1st class MA13 counter sheet
50.  1st class Large MA13 counter sheet
51.  5p MPIL gummed with inverted perfs from Merchant Navy PSB
52.  50p MPIL gummed with inverted perfs from Merchant Navy PSB

53.   2nd class MA13 counter sheet

54.   1st Large MA13 business sheet

Now 54 Machin definitives this year!  How close was your guess?

Other possibilities before the end of the year, or early next year depending on demand and original print-runs:
1p, 2p, 5p, 50p, £1 counter sheet with MA13 code
£1.50, £3, £5 counter sheet with MA13 code

And maybe the first 2014 PSB (at Spring Stampex) will have 2013 year codes?


  1. 40 machins. Impressive!

    The one from the 2nd March has code T(not S) from a book of 12 (not 6).

    1. The perils of cut and paste.
      The 2nd class does not, of course, exist in booklets of 6. Thanks!

  2. Hi,
    I think the additional coil stamp you have added should be MA12 and not M12L. Also sheets of the M13L business sheets have been found so used copy needs to change to mint.

  3. Of course there are many more for those of us who collect the irodine shifts to all points of the compass.

  4. P.S Opps! I forgot all those Short Bands Top and Bottom.

    1. They don't count! My list is the basic one; although some won't be listed by Gibbons in the Concise (eg the M13L red stamps) there should be places for them all in the illustrated albums, so now is the time to buy them!

  5. So, Ian I hope you will have a complete pack available.

    1. All there to buy at the link in paragraph 1 - buy now while stocks last!

  6. Regarding the new-value 78p, 88p and £1.88 Machin stamps issued on March 27: I live in the United States and I was quite surprised to find that the SINGLES Tallents House sent me as part of my standing order (which arrived on or just after 27 March) were the 'MA13' De La Rue stamps, not the 'M13L' Walsall stamps. So (assuming I was not a unique case) at least some collectors received De La Rue singles in their standing orders. Examination of these stamps under a digital microscope persuaded me the direction of printing was either inverted or upright (probably the former), but two dealers I have discussed the De La Rue stamps with reckon the stamps they had on FDCs were sideways-printed.

    As you mentioned, the De La Rue stamps were also in the presentation pack ‒ I don't have a standing order for FDCs ‒ but the remainder of my standing order (cylinder blocks, date blocks and colour blocks) were all Walsall stamps. Accordingly, I had to go to my GB dealer here to get Walsall singles!

    1. Correct -- you are not a unique case. I, too, received the 3 DLR MA13 singles by direct purchase from Tallents House (And I am also in the US, but doubt that's a factor). And, like you, I also went to my stateside GB dealer to get the Walsall M13L varieties.

      I am in the process of re-designing my album pages, so all this is making it more fun (or nerve-racking, depending on one's perspective!).

      -- Dennis

    2. Apologies to Christian and Dennis, I should also have put in a link to another blog entry ( Here we described the De La Rue stamps as found, and the situation you describe was uncovered in comments made at that time.

      As you say - fun and/or nerve-racking, and not helped by the sudden appearance of the £2 and £1.28!

    3. The most frustrating part for me is keeping track of the Stanley Gibbons and Scott catalogue numbers for all of these, as I like to include them in all my album pages. Scott is typically easier, as they do not appear to worry with minor variations. For example, with the new Red 1st stamps, I'm expecting only three numbers: 1st self adhesive, 1st large self adhesive and 1st gummed (from the PSB). The only trouble with Scott is they will naturally take longer to provide the numbers.

      SG, while providing numbers sooner, is a constant challenge of renumbering in every new issue of GSM!

      -- Dennis

    4. Yes, catalogue numbers are a problem, which is why - from the outset - with Gibbons deciding to separate only those with and those without a year code, I adopted an easy decimal system to cater for all subsequent years (or at least 9 years!).

      I acknowledge that it makes it more difficult for everybody with a lot of different numbering systems, but I have had to change very few. After 2009 the first instance of a value has no decimal (eg 2914 for the 1st class red from counter sheets M12L) but subsequent versions have that year's code, thus 2914.3 for the same stamp with M13L.

      I'll publish some cross reference lists soon.

  7. I too reside in the USA but do not have a standing order account with Royal Mail. Instead, every few months I submit an one-off order. In the past, whenever I ordered single Machin stamps from the counter sheets, Royal Mail would send stamps that were cut from the panes (which I presume are intended for presentation packs but I'm uncertain of this as I do not collect these). Since my preference is for stamps torn along the roulette slits, this time I ordered pairs of the 78p, 88p and £1.88. Forcing Royal Mail's hand into physically removing stamps from panes instead of sending already prepared stock, I was sent the Walsall M13L printings. Cylinder blocks sent were also M13L.

  8. A comment from Macarooni has not been accepted because I intend to provide a better list which includes Royal Mail numbers soon.

    Macarooni, please email me, as I cannot reply to unpublished comments - thanks.

  9. Wouldn't life be so much easier if the Philatelic Bureau would just provide these under a standing order!

    1. I've discussed that with the bureau management. Part of the problem lies with those customers who would prefer the simplified collection, of only having (for example) one 1st class gold security stamp rather than 20!

      From a business point of view, apart from actually identifying the different stamps, they would need to set up a separate storage area for each year, and separate product code for the computer system and stock list. And of course they still wouldn't sell the singles from business sheets or booklets separately. Those you buy as a unit.

    2. To me that sounds like a bit of a cop out. The Bureau already offers a range of standing order options to cater to different levels of collecting. This would just be one more addition to their so-called "service"!
      Anyhoo, enough of that! I found your list above extremely helpful and has even prompted me to place an order with you for some of my missing items - a quick check on Ebay showed that you are cheaper! Any chance you will be keeping the list updated please?

    3. We certainly aim to keep it up to date.

      This month's Stamp Magazine reports more, including the 10p and Large booklets, but I am surprised to read of these as none of our informants and contributors has mentioned these.

  10. It appears that the MA13 version of the 2nd class large letter is in circulation (eBay 400514348901)

  11. De la Rue MA13 88p and the £1.28p are both available over the counter at central London (Trafalgar Square) Post Office.
    Doug (Enfield)

  12. It would appear that the books of 4x 1st Class large are in circulation, ebay item 121157484751

  13. Anybody seen these yet? : 1p, 2p, 5p, 50p, £1 counter sheet with MA13 code?

  14. true forgery or mis-description?

    1. I'd say that's a true forgery. Looks like the 'Wembley Red'. Red forgeries from at least 5 locations are known -

      Wembley (MTIL M13L),

      Middleton (MTIL M13L 'Y' missing behind neck)

      Wolverhamtpon (MTIL M12L with coookie-cutter perf and iridescent layer over portrait is in straight lines),

      Warrington (MTIL M13L pointed perfs) and

      Glasgow (MSIL with rough perfs).


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