March 27, 2021

Only Fool & Horses and some more 20 code varieties

2p paler dark green M20L MAIL

1st Royal Mail red pale head M21L MCIL
Fools & Horses 4+2 book

2nd pale bright blue M20L MTIL

2nd Large bright blue M20L MFIL

And from the Only fools & Horses Prestige book, all M20L MPIL:


March 23, 2021

2nd Class stamps - yours will be unique, 1 in 20 million


A surprise in the post this morning - this new 2nd Class stamp. I had noticed a bill for a new 2nd Class stamp issued by the Philatelic Bureau some time ago and, whilst wondering just what was in store, I concluded that it might just be some minor change. Instead there is is this much larger item.

The label comprises two images, the traditional 'stamp' and a type of QR code matrix. To preserve the impression of the 'stamp' being a 'stamp' there is a wavy line incorporated in the design to make a printed 'perforation' between the two main images. I have to say that this looks odd and will only fool those applying the label to a blue envelope. But never mind. So what on Earth is this all about?

It seems a little OTT for just security but I understand that the code for every stamp is unique, with the QR code revealing (to anyone with a QR reader app on their phone) a string of digits which only that item will have. This will certainly make forgery less effective as the idea is that equipment at sorting offices will record the use of the string of digits and reject any further use through some form of intercommunication across the nation. I hadn't appreciated how much money must be being lost through forgery for such a lot of extra security printing measures to be justified. My guess is that the string of digits might be used in future to track an item's progress or, more mundanely, provide detailed data of items source and destinations for Royal Mail.

The backing sheet also contains the wavy lines of text in a similar style to that used across the self-adhesive range.

The stamp image has the same security features as we are familiar with, with an M21L MBIL code indicating that this one is from a Business Sheet which, I imagine, is the code used in most forgeries. Perhaps we will also see this available at counters and in booklets, together, naturally, with 1st Class items in similar vein to be seen before long.

A new page required in the album. That was not expected. I thought there might be development of a picture theme to replace the Machin head and it is interesting to note that the separation of the main code element from the stamp design does leave it quite possible for other designs of the 'stamp' to be substituted. I cannot see this device being rolled out to other than the NVI issues, however.

I would tell you more but I have not received a Philatelic Bulletin for some time, where I would imagine details have been provided. I had to turn to Norvic's Philatelic Blog for help and there you will find chapter and verse in fine style.

January 04, 2021

New values, an odd Wales 1st and the first 21 codes

1st Large Royal Mail red M20L MFIL





Regionals December 2020 with revised value tablets.

1st Royal mail red M21L MCIL

2nd Large bright blue M20L MBIL

1st Royal Mail red M21L MCIL

2nd Deep bright blue, pale head M20L MAIL

Cartor reprint of Wales 1st Dragon but with sans serif vale tablet August 2020


November 28, 2020

Star Trek and a few more 20 codes


From mid-late November 2020, a few items I missed and now catch up with:

The prestige booklet celebrating Star Trek featured 2nd Class brt blue, 2p dark green and 50p greenish grey slate by Cartor, all M20L MPIL

1st dull Royal mail red M20L MBIL dull fluor

1st dull Royal Mail red M20L MCIL pale Queen's head

1st large bright Royal Mail red M20L MBIL

1st Large Royal Mail red M20L MFIL

2nd Large deep bright blue M20L MAIL

November 04, 2020

More 20 codes


1st Large Royal Mail red M20L MBIL
I am not sure why this is different to the stamp featured in the last article. Maybe the backing paper has the text reversed, which I don't list separately, and it has come by mistake.

The £2.42 value now has the very bright fluor that has been appearing a lot recently and is very noticeable with a UV torch but not without so if this doesn't concern you that's probably another you needn't buy.

You will need this one, finally getting its M20L MAIL code.

And this, the first appearance of M20L MSIL

And this, the first appearance of M20L MBIL

October 20, 2020

More 20 Codes and shades


Quite an expensive month with the issue of M20L code for the current top values in the shape of Special Delivery stamps for the <100g and <500g rates, the latter now getting a paler Queen's head and brighter fluor than an earlier issue. To be honest, the difference seems very minimal to me

Going back to 2019, here is an M19L edition of the 5p but in a deeper red shade of brownish-pink. again you may have trouble seeing much of a difference but the illustration at the foot of this post may help a little.

And then we have a few more 20 codes. The 1st Large Signed For is supposed to be a paler shade of flame red than last time. Once more, I am having a lot of trouble seeing these shade differences. It looks the same as the last one to me.

The next three are new 20 codes with no obvious further differences, although my new 99p UV torch does show how bright the backing paper is for the 2nd Class stamp!

Below are the new 5p (left) in the reddish shade and the previous browner shade.

September 02, 2020

More 20 codes and some thin paper

 Here we have a few more 20 year codes and a couple of variations for the 1st Class red shade and its thinning backing paper.

M20L MTIL Much thinner backing paper

M20L MCIL Deeper red Queen's head from Sherlock book, also thin backing paper with very bright fluorescence

2p Dark Green with M20L MAIL

20p Bright green with M20L MAIL

M20L MBIL very bright fluor with a yellow tint