Wednesday 28 October 2015

You thought it was all over, but it isn't - Another 2012 Gold Medal Surprise !

Since Great Britain hotsed the 2012 Olympics and overnight produced stamps for each British Gold Medal Winner, there have been a number of surprising 'errors' and possible misprints, reported here.

As regular readers will remember, the stamps were issued in miniature sheets of 6, printed on an A4 sheet of 4x MS, (and these were printed in press sheets of 4x A4).

So this came as a bit of a surprise today:

(To show the perforations as they did not show well)

On eBay from seller 4chonts this is a roll of 1000 miniature sheets, each of 6 stamps, which are listed at £3,200 or 53p each compared with the 60p original price and current 63p value.

The stamp shown was the 10th in the series and one of the 6 issued on 5 August 2012.

I suspect this is a roll that would have been printed for machine application to Royal Mail first day covers. Such coils are common, for self-adhesive definitives (which are printed in one multi-value coil, with sideways printing rather than N-S), and commemoratives including post and go issues.

Royal Mail do not publicise this sort of printing and the stamps are not available to collectors or dealers (with one exception) but the system is well known.

However, there was never any evidence that the Gold Medal stamps were produced in this way as well as by the 6 regional printers contracted to achieve rush-digitally-printed overnight delivery to Post Offices for sale the next day.

So many questions !

Was this done for each medal, and for the paralympics?

Were these coils supplied to Handstamp Centres, which normally carry small stocks of stamps in order to replace damaged or wrongly cancelled FDCs/cards?

How many printers were involved? Was it any of the 6, or a different printer entirely?

Where has this one been for the last three years?

Are there any other gold medal coils ? !


  1. Erm, I'm having trouble seeing it just MY eyes ?

    1. They are perforated; remember the selvedge isn't removed. For some reason the images can't be enlarged by clicking. I'll add a portion showing the perfs.

  2. From memory, I’ve seen three listed on eBay before now the only ones I can find is Victoria Pendleton - Bay item number: 321899318547 and Katherine Copeland & Sophie Hosking - eBay item number: 201411898465 (back in August). I'n ve included this one, although a duplicate of the roll pictured, it shows that there is more than one roll in the public realm.

  3. How could these be legitimately in the public domain? Surely no-one other than Royal Mail had lawful access to these ( the idea that a first day cover dealer would be able to service 600 covers,have the customers for- and have the time to do it at such tight deadlines,beggars belief ) and how could they have been leaked other than by illegal acts by an RM employee ? Methinks that the fraud department should be involved (if they are not already - do Royal Mail routinely look on e-bay for irregularities ?)

  4. "if they are not already - do Royal Mail routinely look on e-bay for irregularities ?"

    Yes, and some of them read this blog.


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