Royal Mail produced a special coin cover, available from 16 January 2007, to mark the 300th anniversary of the union of the English and Scottish Parliaments in 1707. The date is the anniversary of the ratification in Scotland, which became effective on 1 May 1707.
This cover contains a special £2 coin, and bears six Union Flag greetings stamps (definitive size) and was priced at £15.50. This stamp was issued in the 2005 Greetings booklet at which time it was made available for personalisation in the Smilers series.
Coil strips of these stamps have been made available on eBay during late March & early April, and some of our customers have asked what we know about these.
The coil strips were printed by Walsall Security Printers, who also produced the booklets, so that the stamps could be affixed to the special covers by Royal Mail machinery. The coils were also made available to Royal Mail's contracted dealers for use on covers only and under the contract terms dealers were not permitted to sell them to collectors as mint strips or singles.
Although the stamps are printed by the same printer, the two printings were over year apart and not surprisingly there are some differences, as shown here. The Queen's head in both cases is grey, rather than silver, but seems less solid on the coil. Comparison of the flag is made difficult by inaccurate colour registration on both stamps, with the booklet stamp having magenta high, and the coil stamp having the cyan to the right (or possibly magenta to the left), but I think the obvious shading differences on the fluttering flag would be apparent even with perfect registration.
The perforation is the same on both stamps, with no interrupted perfs, but the phosphor bands are quite different on the stamps seen, which would make the coil stamps easy to identify in the unlikely event that you found one in kiloware! The phosphor bands on the coil are similar to those on the Smilers stamps, which were printed by Cartor of France, a WSP subsidiary.
If you do find one in kiloware or used for postage, please email us.
© 2007 Norvic Philatelics
This page created 21 April 2007