Wednesday 13 March 2019

The real new tariff stamps, colours as expected

Now that we have our own supplies of the new tariff stamps previously mentioned here, I can show the actual stamps compared with the pre-issue publicity image supplied by Royal Mail, and the last use of the same colours, rescanned for comparison purposes.

£1.35 orchid mauve (previously used for £1.52)
£1.60 amber yellow (previously used for £1.33)
£2.30 gooseberry green (previously used for £1.05)


£2.80 spruce green (previously used for £2.45)
£3.45 dark pine green (previously used for £1.40)
£3.60 bright orange (the 87p was just 'orange')

So, as predicted, the £2.30 and £2.80 stamps are nothing like the publicity pictures which makes you wonder why Royal Mail can't be bothered to get it right.  Who are they producing these pictures for? Not for the general press which really can't see past 1st & 2nd class rises (which is what their readers are really concerned about).  

So it must be for the philatelic media and trade, in which case what is provided is useless for that target audience.  As a philatelic service, Royal Mail really don't come up to scratch, not for collectors who are consistently short-changed as to what they can and can't buy from the part of the organisation previously referred to as the Philatelic Bureau.  And not for dealers who get a better service, and publishers, who both deserve to have accurate information and correctly coloured pictures.  

What the actual stamps do show is that the colours of all but the £2.30 and £3.45 are actually pleasantly bright.

All are printed by ISP Walsall on SBP2 paper with small text above Large, known by some as SBP2i.  The phosphor is blue (I'll need darkness to tell how bright) and there is no yellow fluorescence.  Last year we had reprints in February and further reprints for some values as needed.  Many of these produced different variants which we hope, for the sake of collectors' pockets, is not repeated this year!

First printing dates are confirmed as
£1.35 07/01/19
£1.60 07/01/19
£2.30 08/01/19
£2.80 09/01/19
£3.45 09/01/19
£3.60 09/01/19
These are counter sheets of 25 on each primary sheet for each value, meaning a grid of 2 columns of 4 rows.  As you can see the Queen's head is, as last year, the wishy-washy flat version lacking the detail shown in the publicity pictures and on earlier stamps.

The stamps will be issued at Post Office branches and from Royal Mail on Tuesday 19th March for the new rates commencing Monday 25th March.  So for variety you could use some of the lower values to send airmail letters at the old rates, for example the new £1.35 + 20p to make up the European over 20g rate.


  1. The price increase is from Monday 25th March not the 26th.

  2. What also shows Royal Mail's lack of attention to detail is that ever since the new Machins were available to order on their web site they have been shown as "in Stock" with a delivery of 3-5 days. Clearly we're an inconvenience that gets in the way of them selling highly-priced items to Star Wars, Game of Thrones and Marvel fans. I don't object to them selling these items to fans - I'd just like to feel like less of a second-class customer.

  3. Local Post Office refused to sell new stamps today - they are convinced they go on sale next Monday. An organisation that was once the backbone of Britain reduced to this... We ARE an inconvenience to them

  4. Galleries Post Office in Bristol (now moved to WH Smith in same complex) hadn't received their delivery yesterday at 10 am when I popped in to acquire the new regionals. The person behind the counter did seem to know what I was asking for which was encouraging!


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