Wednesday 22 January 2020

American Magazine Linn's Reveals Royal Mail plans for London 2020 stamp issues

The US weekly stamp magazine, Linn's Stamp News, has published details from a Royal Mail press release about stamp issues related to the London 2020 International Exhibition, to be held at Islington's Business Design Centre from 2-9 May.

The only product pictured will be very familiar to collectors.  This is a miniature sheet to be issued in a limited numbered edition of 15,000. 

Remember this?

This was a pane in the Royal Mail 500 Prestige Stamp Book issued in 2016.  So we don't think that there are any new collectable stamps there, although collectors may want the miniature sheet itself.

We're already aware, from reader reports based on the latest RM Stock List, that there will be an Exhibition Sheet (the usual 20 self-adhesive 'Hello' stamps) and Linn's reveal that the labels will show images of Mail Rail.

The Linn's article also mentions the retails booklet containing six self-adhesive stamps, to be issued well in advance of the show on 10 March.  This contains one of each of the three stamps.  A booklet issued in 2016 contained 6 x 1d reds, and one in 2015 contained 6 x 1d blacks, so these are probably the same - but this is the first appearance of the self-adhesive 2d blue, except in the 2015 Smilers Sheet.

Linn's reports that

- "The remaining four panes will be issued 'for the exhibition', according to the Press Release, but no specific issue dates were revealed."  I've no idea what this means, but it sounds like an unannounced prestige stamp book.

- "A pane of 25 of the first-class Penny Black stamp will be issued for the exhibition."  This sounds like a counter sheet, so maybe the 1d black will replace - or be sold alongside - standard 1st class Machins.

- Two souvenir sheets with the modified classic stamp designs will have limited printings. Both will feature two of the Penny Black stamps, and three each of the Two-Penny Blue and Penny Red designs.  The first is detailed above.

"The second sheet will only be sold at the exhibition, Royal Mail advises. Celebrating the 150th anniversary of the first British postal card, the 1870 ½d violet, the souvenir sheet label reproduces the imprinted stamp design from that postal card, and the sheet includes relevant anniversary text.
That second souvenir sheet will be available in a numbered edition of 7,500."

I understand that Royal Mail have not yet finalised sales arrangements for the exclusive-at-the-exhibition sheet, but I expect it to be available - as before - for the duration of the exhibition despite its 7,500 print run.  This may involve a degree of rationing.

As soon as we have more information from Royal Mail, we will be able to provide more accurate and exact details.


  1. I think an accusation of lack of imagination would be fair.

    With so much to choose from, from the Victorian era, Edward VII, George V, George VI and Elizabeth II, it a bit disappointing, they could have at least changed the letters in the corners (which they don’t appear to have) but no. I suspect the attitude was we go that, lets reuse something were already don, it will save money in designing something different. They could have used the half penny stamps with a myriad of plate numbers.

  2. Just spoke to RM at TH about this issue, according to them both products, mini sheet & retail book will only be available at the exhibition and not sent to regular account holders.

    1. Well that's nonsense Pete because the retail booklet will be issued on March 10th, so two months before the exhibition!

  3. A limited edition of 15,000 miniature sheets doesn't sound that limited to me especially as the stamps are the same as the earlier prestige stamp book.

  4. Yes Ian I don't know why I bother to call them, they know nothing :-)

  5. If the retail book will not be sent to regular account holders then why is there an image of it on the back page of the January stocklist ? The issue date of 10th March is puzzling, is there an error here and the correct date will be 10th May, the day after the exhibition closes. This could be a form of 'commemoration' perhaps. I would not be interested in the limited edition sheets, but there is no mention anywhere that the retail booklet will be limited. I hope that it will be generally available.

    1. 1. The retail booklet will be sent to those who have them on their SO, and will be available for anybody else to buy. It will also be supplied to POs though RM may not insist on its early distribution.

      2. As with London 2010 the booklet will be issued in advance to provide publicity. 10 March is the date.

  6. Ian, Many thanks for the retail book information. It's good to know I will get a copy on my SO.
    The booklet is a 'gem'.


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