Norvic Philatelics

Diamond Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II - 6 February,  27 March / 25 April, 1 October 2012

The iconic and official imagery of Her Majesty the Queen is brought together in six new stamps to mark the 60th anniversary of the accession.

A Miniature Sheet brings together six portraits of the Queen taken from stamps, coinage and banknotes issued during her reign, including a brand new 1st Class diamond blue Definitive which will replace
the gold Definitive in Post Offices during Jubilee Year, and will also be available in counter sheets, stamp books and business sheets.  1st class Large versions will be issued in March or April when the new tariff stamps are issued.

The Diamond Jubilee ‘Machin’ features Arnold Machin’s iconic image on a blue background that highlights the words ‘Diamond Jubilee’ in iridescent ink. Since it first appeared in 1967 this timeless image has been reproduced on more than 220 billion British Definitive stamps. As well as the Machin image, the sheet also features a special Diamond Jubilee edition of the first stamp of Her Majesty’s reign, featuring the iconic photograph by Dorothy Wildling, first used in 1952.

The Diamond Jubilee Miniature Sheet also creates another philatelic first: bringing together the most iconic portraits of the Queen as she appears on coins and banknotes, as well as stamps. Since the Penny black, Royal Mail Definitive stamps have featured an image of the monarch facing to our left. Royal Mint has a different convention as succeeding monarch’s alternate the direction in which they face. Her Majesty the Queen faces to our right on coins. This is why the two Definitive stamps featuring the coin imagery will be the only Definitive stamps where the monarch faces this direction. It's probably also the only occasion when two different Machin portraits have appeared in the same miniature sheet.

Scan of actual sheet & booklet
Diamond Jubilee miniature sheet of 6 stamps.
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Gummed Miniature sheet

1st class stamps with designs taken from:
Dorothy Wilding Definitive Stamp (1952)
Robert Austin Banknote portrait
Harry Eccleston Banknote portrait
Mary Gillick Coinage portrait
Arnold Machin Coinage portrait
Diamond Jubilee Machin

Booklet of 12 x 1st jubilee Machin definitives.

Diamond Jubilee Stamp booklet cover.
Jubilee Definitive
1st class self-adhesive book of 12.

Enlargement of Jubilee definitive stamp.
Scan of actual used stamp, showing text MOND behind the head.

See more detail on the blog.
Diamond Jubilee definitive from counter sheets. Diamond Jubilee definitive from business sheets. Diamond Jubilee definitive from retail booklets.

Close-up images of the variations:

1. Counter sheets - MOND

2. Business sheets - MBND

3. Retail book of 12 - MTND

All original stamp and postmark images are copyright 2011/2, Royal Mail.

Enlargement images (by various contributors) copyright 2012 Norvic Philatelics.
Retail booklet of 6 x 1st (code MSND) was issued 1 October.  Distribution to Bureau customers was delayed, and post offices and other outlets will be supplied as they replenish after exhausting or returning 6 x 1st Olympic booklets.

Retail booklet og 6 x 1st class jubilee definitives issued 1 October 2012.

Close-up of MSND Machin definitive. Close-up of MSND Machin definitive stamp.
No special postmarks were announced for the 1 October booklet.

The booklet is printed by Walsall, with cylinder numbers W1 blue, phosphor, and iridescent in that order.  The source code is MSND to the right of the Queen's head.  The edge strip reads
The Diamond Jubilee 2012

The inscription on the label reads:

I shall always work to advance the happiness and prosperity of my peoples
Queen Ekizabeth II
8 February 1952

All original stamp and postmark images are copyright 2011/2, Royal Mail.

Enlargement images (by various contributors) copyright 2012 Norvic Philatelics.

Background on the stamps in the miniature sheet

Dorothy Wilding Definitive
The first stamp on the Miniature Sheet has been inspired by the Wilding Definitives first issued in 1952, featuring a photograph taken by Dorothy Wilding and a decorative frame design, inspired by the early frame designs by Edmund Dulac.

Robert Austin Banknote Portrait
Austin designed the first Bank of England notes to bear the monarch’s head. The engraving was based on a pencil sketch taken from a photographic portrait. The first note, £1, appeared in 1960. Queen Elizabeth II was the first monarch to be depicted on Bank of England notes.

Harry Eccleston Banknote Portrait
A new series of notes, designed by Harry Eccleston, began to appear in 1971. His portrait of the Queen on the £5 note showed her wearing the robes of the Order of the Garter, as on the subsequent £1 in 1978.

Mary Gillick Coinage Portrait
Coins with Mary Gillick’s design were first issued in 1953. This image is still used on Maundy Money to this day.

Arnold Machin Coinage Portrait
First issued in 1968, Machin’s design was created for the new decimal currency, and subsequently provided the basis for the stamp image. The Machin coin image is printed next to the Machin stamp image
in the sheet.

Diamond Jubilee Machin
The classic Definitive portrait by Arnold Machin issued in a new colour specifically for the Diamond Jubilee Year. It features iridescent ink highlighting the words ‘Diamond Jubilee’.

Technical details:
Designed by Sedley Place with coin photography by David Burton, the 146 x 74mm miniature sheet is printed by Walsall Security Printing in gravure "with special techniques".

The counter sheet stamps are printed in gravure by De La Rue in sheets of 50.  Initial supplies of the Business Sheet were printed by De La Rue but Walsall have also printed both the standard and Large Letter stamps in this form.  Booklets are printed by Walsall Security Print.  There are several ways of distinguishing printings but the easiest is by the FSC certificate code as reported in our blog.

From 6 February 2012 this new Diamond Jubilee Definitive 12 x 1st Class book will be available and remain so throughout the Queen’s jubilee year thereby replacing the gold Definitive. There are rumours that flame or PO red stamp will replace the Jubilee stamps.

The Large Letter stamp saga.

As we originally wrote here: On 27 March the 4 x 1st Large book, 1st Large Counter sheet and the 50 x 1st Large Business sheets will be issued.  At the same time the colour of the 50p stamp will change from pale grey to rust.  The change to rust has been postponed until at least 2013.  No explanation has been given either for the new colour nor the postponement.

The date of 27 March was always intended by Royal Mail to be the date when the Machin and Country definitives for new postage rates were issued.  But delays in approving the increase meant the postponement of the official issue date of the Tariff Change stamps (FDC & Presentation Packs) to 25 April.  However, a breakdown in communication between Royal Mail and Post Office Ltd resulted in some PO branches selling the Large Letter counter sheet stamp as early as 8 March.  The Walsall-printed Business Sheet was available from 16 March,  By 22nd March the booklet had appeared.

1st class Large Letter Diamond Jubilee Counter Sheet stamp.  1st class large letter diamond jubilee stamp from business sheets. 1st class large letter diamond jubilee stamp from retail booklet.

From left to right: counter sheet (code LEE), business sheet (code LBE), and booklet (code LFE) behind head of The Queen.  Images copyright Norvic Philatelics. Note that when these were added to the page Royal Mail had not supplied our stock of these stamps: these pictures came from people who have bought the stamps at Post Offices.

Adding to the confusion, at about the same time that Royal Mail Edinburgh told us that the early release of the stamps was unofficial and unauthorised, Post Office Ltd confirmed that they would be sold from all branches on 27 March.  The next day branches were instructed not to sell the stamps, and if they didn't have any gold ones, to make the rate up another way - even if the customer wanted a Business Sheet of 50!

As Post Office Ltd authorised the sale of these in their branches on 27 March 2012 that seems to be the most appropriate date for a first day cover.  Anything before that is a pre-release.  Any covers dated 25 April are official or simply somebody bowing to Royal Mail's warped view of how stamps can be 'officially' issued again a month after their first 'official' issue!  (We don't have any of these for sale.)

First day cover with 3 different Large Letter Diamond Jubilee stamps.

The official FDC will be dated 25 April 2012:

Definitive First day cover 25 April 2012.

Note that the Large Letter stamp is in it's numerically future position of 90p, rather than before the 87p at its selling price on the day of 75p.

Products available - we are supplying the miniature sheet, the stamps from that and the stamps from other sources.  Also (after 6 Feb) first day covers of the Jubilee Machin definitive. 

Miniature sheet
Press Sheet of 12 uncut miniature sheets
First Day Cover
Set of 7 Stamp Cards - only sold as a set
Presentation Pack

Jubilee definitives: counter sheet of 50, retail booklet of 12, business sheet of 100. The stamp will also appear in a mixed retail booklet and prestige stamp book on 31 May 2012,  and a booklet of 6 x 1st later in the year.    

Large Letter Jubilee: counter sheet of 50, retail booklet of 4, business sheet of 50.

Special Postmarks available on the day of this issue are be shown here.  These postmarks cannot be obtained after the date of issue.  These images are not be to scale.

Additional images for 25 April are shown on the tariff change page for anybody who wants to create FDCs - I suggest only the Tariff change stamps as the Large Jubilee was clearly issued a month earlier.
Tallents House Postmark with text as below. London SW1 postmark with text as below. London SW1 non-pictorial official postmark. Windsor postmark showing crown.. London postmark showing Union flags.
Ref FD1207
Official Bureau postmark
Ref FD1208
London SW1 official first day of issue postmark
Ref FD104NP
Happy Valley, Malvern, non-pictorial official first day of issue postmark
Ref L12396 -Windsor Ref L12399
Queen Elizabeth Street, London SE1
Sandringham postmark with text as below. Postmark showing EIIR, lion & unicorn. postmark showing a national emblems. Postmark showing Buckingham Palace. Postmark showing Windsor Castle.
Ref L12397 Sandringham, Norfolk
Ref L12398
Jubilee Place, London SW3
Ref M12402 Jubilee Road, Rednal, Birmingham Ref L4666
Buckingham Palace, London SW
Ref L4680 Windsor Castle
Postmark showing lions and crown.

Postmark with text as below.
Postmark showing Royal Cypher. Postmark showing Royal Coat of Arms.

Postmark showing Diamond Jubilee logo?
Ref L12117 London SW1 (multi-date postmark - date added below design)
Ref L12408 The Queen's Diamond Jubilee 2012
London SW
Ref L12407 Diamond Jubilee EIIR London SW1
Ref L12409 The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Windsor Ref L12410 Diamond Jubilee of the Accession, Sandringham, Norfolk
Postmark showing crown supported by lions.


Ref L12411
London EC
Postmark showing Diamond Jubilee Emblem.


Ref L12412
Official Diamond Jubilee Logo, London

See also 'Jubilee Britain' postmarks on the permanent postmarks page

If you wish to be told when this page is updated, please use the ChangeDetection panel alongside the stamps.
If you have any questions about these stamps or wish to purchase any, please email us.

This page updated 19 October 2012

2012 stamp issues

5 Olympic & Paralympic Definitives
10 Roald Dahl (author)
20 Year of the Dragon Smilers
2 House of Windsor & Saxe-Coburg
6 Diamond Jubilee MS & definitive
23 Britons of Distinction
24 Pictorial Faststamps - Sheep
8 Classic Locomotives of Scotland MS
20 World of Comics
10 A-Z of the United Kingdom part 2, M-Z
10 RMS Titanic Commemorative Sheet
24 Pictorial Faststamps - Pigs
25 Machin & Country Defins
25 Diamond Jubilee Defins 2
1 James Bond Commem sheet
15 Design Classics, Great British Fashion
24 Union Flag Pictorial Faststamp
31 HM The Queen Diamond Jubilee
18 Exhibition Generic Sheet
19 Charles Dickens
27 Olympic Games Generic Smiler
27 Scotland 1st & 2nd reprint
27 Welcome to the London 2012 Olympic Games
From 27 Olympic Gold Medals

29 Welcome to the London 2012 Paralympic Games
31 Paralympic Gold Medal stamps
27 Memories of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games
27 Railways of Scotland booklet
28 Pictorial Faststamps - Cattle
Retail booklet 6 x 1st Definitives
The Last Goon Show Commemorative Sheet
 -- World of Dinosaurs ->2013
16 Space Science
23 Lest We Forget Poppy

6 Christmas
8 Notts County FC Commemorative Sheet


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Norvic Philatelics, PO Box 119, Dereham, NR20 3YN, GB. -- UK Phone: 08450 090939 -- Skype:ian.billings-norvic

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