Thursday 15 December 2016

Details of first 2017 stamp issues now revealed

Royal Mail's Philatelic Bulletin has now confirmed that the 2017 programme will be revealed in its January issue - as my December issue has only just arrived this may be between any time between January 1 - 31!

Details of the first issue have already been published, and as soon as I have time I will produce a set of pages on our website with the usual details.  Meanwhile here is an outline of what we know.

17 January - Ancient Britain
Headlined 'Biography of Britain' in the Bulletin this may be the first of many sets charting Britain's history from early times through the Dark Ages to those which have been partly covered already.  This new set of 8 has se-tenant pairs in each of 1st class, £1.05, £1.33 and £1.52 which at least means we get international postcard rate stamps from the outset.  The subjects, in the same value order are:
  • Battersea Shield, London c350-50 BC
  • Skara Brae Village, Orkney c3100-2500 BC
  • Star Carr Headdress, Yorkshire, c 9000 BC
  • Maiden Castle Hill Fort, Dorset, c400 BC
  • Avebury Stone Circle, Wiltshire, c2500 BC
  • Drumbest Horns, County Antrim, c300 BC
  • Grime's Graves, Norfolk, c2500 BC
  • Mold Cape, Flintshire, c1900-1600 BC
6 February - 65th Anniversary of the Accession of Queen Elizabeth II
Listed in the Bulletin's 'issues and withdrawals calendar' is a new large Machin with a face value of
£5 in Sapphire Blue.  Post Office branches no longer use stamps with such a high face value, which begs the question as to why a more useful stamp wasn't issued.  I guess it is because they didn't want a set of 6 or miniature sheet but did want to get more than pennies for this event.  It's described as a definitive, but although in the Machin definitive design, it won't be widely used as a definitive so that categorisation is dubious
      However, if you think that is bad, be thankful that you don't collect the stamps of the British Virgin Islands.  Their similar commemoration consists of two stamps priced at $10 and $90.  If those dollars traded at 20 to the pound it would as 'reasonable' as the British issue.  But the BVI stamps are priced in United States dollars - making this set one of the most expensive and least justifiable ever at pennies under £80 or €95 - see, there's always somebody worse off than you!  More on this on the very useful Commonwealth Stamps Opinion.

15 February - Post and Go Mail Heritage: Mail by Rail
We showed and described these stamps earlier when the Postal Museum announced their version.

On the same day, coinciding with Spring Stampex, the Windsor Castle stamps will be issued, consisting of
  • 3 stamps each 1st class and £1.52 - just one of the 1st class is marked Europa
  • Miniature sheet of 2 x 1st class, 2 x £1.33
  • ditto - Limited Edition Stampex Exhibition MS
  • Press Sheet of 16 miniature sheets (does anybody buy these now?)
  • Retail Booklet
  • Prestige Stamp Book
  • Presentation Pack
  • Stamp Cards
  • Medal Cover


  1. Ian do you know yet if that £5 stamp will be issued as part of regular orders from Tallents House?

    1. I can't think of any reason why Tallents House would not sent this special stamp to their standing order customers - after all, it's a way of getting £5 out of them.

  2. Be interesting to see if RM remember the 50th Anniversary of the Arnold Machin design ...

    1. I think you can be assured that they will not let this pass unnoticed. £££££

  3. The reminder of the stamp programme for 2017 has been revealed its on the back of the new Bulletin catalogue which I received today, the list looks pretty impressive, I let Ian Norvic to reveal at some point, I don't think its my place.

  4. A small correction to the Ancient Britain Drumbest Horns line above - 800 BC rather than 300 BC.

  5. Since when has a 65th Anniversary been relevant? Only in RM la la land, it seems.

  6. She will be the only Monarch to ever reign for 65 yrs. Is that not relevant considering her age, or maybe a money making exercise by RM?


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