Thursday 1 April 2021

New definitive stamps reported.

Thank you to the readers who have mentioned the existence on a well-known auction site of the 1st class book of 12 (MTIL) with year code M21L.  This is in the same format as usual: no barcodes on this one.  

M21L stamps issued so far:

Business Sheet
2nd class with datamatrix code
1st class without DMX code (MBIL - I thought I had seen this online but couldn't see any when I checked).

1st class from mixed booklet (MCIL)
1st class from book of 12 (MTIL)

Counter sheets
£1.70 (23 December 2020)

1st class book of 12 M21L MTIL with red cylinder W7 (above)
Single from booklet (below)

Our checklist will be updated in due course.  But we are waiting on clarification from Royal Mail on a souvenir cover they advertised on their website today, yes 1 April.  But this looks realistsic, and would they make up a Royal spoof when they know they will get pre-orders for it?

Launched 1 April and to be issued on 21 April, the 95th birthday of Her Majesty the Queen, this cover has a pane of stamps bearing all the hallmarks of a prestige stamp book pane.  (We've only had one so far this year.)

A limited edition Coin Cover featuring the new £5 coin released by The Royal Mint, plus a unique pane of eight Definitive and Country Definitive stamps.

Pane of 4 x 1st class Machin definitive and 1st class country definitives from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all with revised font.

If this is genuine and a new pane, then it could well have a year code of M21L. So how do we get it in mint condition?

If, on the other hand, this is an April Fool's joke (a) it isn't very practical as jokes go, and (b) it is still available to order well into the night, and such japes normally end at noon.  Oh, and it costs £20.

Thanks to DH for reminding me of something which I have previously mentioned.  The earliest draft programme sent to dealers included a TBA in June.  The Queen's official birthday is in June, Prince Philips 100th birthday is two days earlier on 10th.

UPDATE 7 April.  Royal Mail have confirmed that this is a cover produced in collaboration with The Royal Mint.  As there are (for Royal Mail) no new stamps, and to keep the cost of new mint stamps to collectors down, this will not made available to collectors, although it may be made available to any other cover producers who wish to mark the occasion with this pane of stamps.

There is the possibility that the Machin definitive has a year code of M21L, so that would make it new for collectors.  However, I understand that there will be another PSB later in the year which may contain a 1st class Machin so that will be the opportunity for a M21L code printing.

UPDATE 8 April.  GONJ (see comments) has provided these pictures which show that these gummed stamps are coded M21L and MAIL.  

More from Royal Mail next week.  I can see them being available on eBay mint, although they shouldn't be as they will be 'only for covers'.  They could be available used, either as a pane or as singles, but the cost would have to cover the country definitives, and getting them cancelled.  If at an SHC that would mean sending them away. 

How much interest would there be in having a pane or single on that basis instead of with a £5 coin for £20?

UPDATED REPORT - we have published a re-written report on this product so no further comments will be posted on this product here.


  1. This item is still on the Royal Mail shop website on Friday morning at 8.30am and looks to be genuine. I remember way back in 1981 when the Post Office issued a coil strip for a large direct mail firm but did not make it available at first to the collector. How many remember that?

    1. I remember having an exchange of letters (!) with John Deering when the Post Office finally made these coils available over the counter. In those days, of course, you couldn't rely on blogs to keep you informed about the latest news.

      Incidentally, the MBPC reports that the 1st MBIL M21L is also "out there", though I've not yet spotted it.


    2. Yes, 1st MBIL M21L has been on Ebay. The listings seem to have finished now, but I think that you may still be able to find a competed listing such as 333933932852.

  2. I'm sure it must be genuine, and I don't think they would issue just a single used pane. Part of a PSB surely?

  3. It looks like a re-hash of the definitive pane from the Queen's 90th Birthday Prestige Book. That had the 4 country stamps plus 2 red and 2 amethyst 1st class stamps in a slightly different layout. Hopefully another Machin for the collection 😁

    1. Yes, not much imagination - but at least if it is a new Machin it will be a M21L MPIL and not a whole range in a new colour, so not too much cost.

    2. I'm not too sure about the cost. I had a look on the Royal Mail shop and it only lists the coin cover at £19.99, limited to 10,000 covers. Will this be the only source of this stamp pane?

  4. Hi Ian,
    One more for the checklist: the 12x2nd booklet with M21L is available.


  5. M21L MAIL They arrived today.

    1. Do you mean these are from counter sheets? If so, what denominations? Thanks.

    2. With the M21L MAIL codes on the Machin makes this a totally new 1st class stamp which will not be available anywhere else. Counter sheets will be self adhesive so not the same. Another missed opportunity by Royal Mail to make more from the collectors. I'm sure there are many single collectors who would buy this.

    3. Thanks Brian M, I didn't realise that GONJ's comment referred to the Queens's 95th pane. Agree with your comments regarding non-availability of the 1st class. I wonder if SG will catalogue the sheet in someway. Hopefully RM might see this and make the pane unused available to collectors.

  6. They are in the format of a 'reduced' FD Machin Pane as used on Royal FDC . I assume as not for a PSB no point in MPIL designation. MPIL MBIL etc they are all just designated references it does not mean they have to be used Royal Mail does what it likes! Will send a photo

  7. Apparently the £5.00 coin used on this cover can be cashed in at a bank so this would reduce the cost of the cover to £14.99 if this helps. I guess once carefully removed from the cover it could sold to a coin collector who did want the stamps. This might even cover the total cost of the £19.99