Postage rate changes which are effective from 7 April will require several new stamps. This seemingly straightforward situation was made complicated by the recent changes in the security printing industry which saw De La Rue take over Questa in 2004. Consolidating their production facilities in 2004 meant that definitive stamps were printed on a variety of different papers and with different phosphor bands during that year. Further consolidation meant an interruption to production in early 2005, so alternative printers were used for some values, as explained below.
The inland 1st class rate increased from 28p to 30p - this continues to be served by the '1st class' gold stamp. The 2nd class rate will remain at 21p (2nd class blue stamp).
A new 9p stamp in orange printed by De La Rue replaced the 7p, representing the difference between the 1st & 2nd class basic rate. (This is NOT the colour last used for the 1st class stamp but is a completely new colour.) Images updated 4 April 2005 - the Machins shown are actual stamps.
At the same time, a new 35p stamp in lime green (similar to the colour previously used for the 6p stamp) was issued with one phosphor band for the 100gr 2nd class rate (printed by Enschede), and a new 46p stamp (in old gold & with two phosphor bands) will be issued for the 100gr 1st class rate (printed by DLR). In the publicity pictures this looks very similar to the current 10p stamp: in fact it is the same colour as the most recent 8p stamp.
The rate for 20gr European letters will increase from 40p to 42p and this means new 42p country stamps for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, in the same designs and colours as the present 40p stamps, printed by Walsall SP in gravure or litho (N Ireland). The existing (2002) 42p Machin stamp will be used nationally.
Royal Mail also announced that "most low value stamps will have one phosphor band in future", but they have now backtracked from this, and have now explained:
"As De La Rue were moving to new printing works at Dunstable, they were unable to print the initial supplies of the 35p green and 42p country stamps."
The DLR-printed stamps will have philatelic release dates of:
Although stamps are sometimes available in POs before their 'philatelic release date' this has not happened with these reprints as far as we know. The country stamps were printed by DLR on 18-20 April 2005.
We will produce FDCs for these reprints: no official FD postmarks will be available so for the 35p Machin and the England stamp we will use the Windsor Castle postmark shown below, and similar ones for Edinburgh and Cardiff for the Scotland and Wales stamps. To order, or for more details, please email us using the link below.
All the reprints seen are easily identified as there are obvious differences - once you know what to look for they can be seen with the naked eye. There shouled be space for both printings in pre-printed albums, and even the basic catalogues should list both stamps.
Click here to see magnified images of key elements of the stamps for easy identification.
Norvic Philatelics will service Post Office first day covers for these stamps on 5 April and all subsequent changes.
Mint stamps: Set of 3 Machins - £1.40, country stamps 65p each.
Postage and packing is extra in all cases.
These special postmarks are available on the day of issue; more will be shown here as they are announced:
|Ref FD527 - Bureau 'Scottish Coat of Arms' postmark||Ref FD528 - Windsor 'English Coat of Arms' postmark||Ref E4680 - Windsor Castle, Royal Mail permanent handstamp||Ref FD528p - Windsor plain FDI postmark||Ref M9497 - Stoke-on-Trent Machin Definitives|
|Ref FD529 - official FDI London postmark||Ref FD530 - official FDI Edinburgh postmark||Ref FD531 - official FDI Cardiff postmark||Ref FD532 - official FDI Belfast postmark||Ref S9499 - Country Definitives, Macduff|
|Additionally, any postmarks available on this date may also be applied to FDCs - see Permanent postmarks and Other one-day postmarks|
|Ref FD529 - official non-pictorial FDI London postmark||Ref FD530 - official non-pictorial FDI Edinburgh postmark||Ref FD531 - official non-pictorial FDI Cardiff postmark||Ref FD532 - official non-pictorial FDI Belfast postmark|
If you wish to order, please e-mail us.
This page updated 3 June 2005
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