Sunday 6 October 2019

Always look carefully before you bin it!

I was recently asked to dispose of somebody's incoming papers securely - shredding, burning etc.  Not a problem, and something most of us do.  Included were some of the original envelopes, so of course I did look closely at the stamps.

This one was a nice surprise, and I had to double check in our own Checklist to find out whether it was 'new' or previously recorded - there are so many Machins now that I can't remember which ones we've had (ie most of the counter sheets, business sheets and booklets) and which we haven't (eg the coils). 

It's ordinary commercial mail, until you look closely.  The address is actually not written as it appears (even more so when you can see all of it), but ink-jet printed.  And this is the 1st class stamp.

And of course we have had the vermillion M13L MRIL coil stamp before.  It was first found by us on mail from the Equiniti Share Administration Service (who handle, amongst other things employee, holdings in Royal Mail shares). 

Although not philatelic, that one was closely linked to Royal Mail, so it was nice to find this one from a totally different source.   This is believed to have been posted on behalf of Magdalen College School in Oxford, although we don't know whether a direct mail house was involved (seems likely), or whether they bought the stamps direct from Royal Mail.

Unusually, although produced in coils of 10,000, this was available to collectors and others from Royal Mail from 31 July 2014.  This and the 2nd class were printed by ISP Walsall with numbers on the back of every fifth stamp.

So remember - look before you clip or tear the stamps to dump into kiloware.  The first one sold on eBay raised £51, and these first class coil stamps will always be scarce on commercial cover.  And if you have any other examples that you would like to share, please send them to me at the email address above (right).

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