Wednesday 28 November 2018

Warning - separate Walsall printings with care!

Since the printing of counter sheet stamps switched from De La Rue to ISP Walsall, there has been a marked change in some of the backing paper used, and the effect of the die-cut perforations.

I believe the backing paper used by Walsall may be thinner - certainly than that used five years ago by De La Rue.  The die-cutting may be deeper, or it may be the same.  But the effect is to make separation of the stamps on some sheets quite difficult, as this picture shows:

I bought this sheet of 10p stamps and immediately noticed that one stamp was coming clear of the sheet, because the die-cuts around the perforations had gone right through the backing paper. (I've put a piece of booklet cover through the gap.)

As I couldn't sell the date block with this fault, I started to split the sheet to store in the stockbook and - even though I had double folded the sheet along the rouletting - it separated down the perforations as shown at the right.  I'll use these for postage, as they can't be sold either.

The first sheet I noticed this on was the 100g Special Delivery, which is an expensive sheet to mess up!  Fortunately I was able to use some of the unsaleable stamps on international tracked orders, so those customers had a bonus of a my using a brand new high value stamp on their postage.

So the word is, take care!

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