May 29, 2017

Heads or Tails? Our Children's Children Won't Give A Toss.

In my previous article, I looked at what I might start calling Heads and Tails - stamps printed on the new security backing paper with text in either direction - suggesting that we could have all sorts of problems if people simply unpeeled mint stamps and stuck them back on the backing paper the other way up.

I couldn't figure out whether this would actually make any difference or not so have just tried it with a 5p that I had lying around.

This is the wrong way up - and would be described by one dealer as Small-Large.

This is how it should have been. It would be described as Large-Small.

So, yes, this simple switch does make a difference and we need all to be aware and not splash out on supposedly 'rare' variations. Personally, I think it could even be a bit of a waste of money to collect the genuine heads or tails issues as they're so easy to create that I don't see our children's children getting at all excited about finding these in the collections they inherit in years to come.

Security Backing Paper Up and Down.

The 20p and 5p have now appeared with M17L MAIL codes, being the De La Rue counter sheet issues.

From Walsall we also have M17L MBIL from Business sheets

and a Walsall 1st red with M17l MTIL from books of twelve.


Two more '16' codes here for the Walsall 1st red M16L MBIL and 2nd blue M16L MTIL

Lastly, something nice and confusing for us all! If you look at the 2nd Class above and 1st Class below you'll see that the security backing text looks a bit different from one to the other. I think that's because one has the text printed upside down in comparison to the other. Because the lines of text are now not only large-small-large but also normal-inverted-normal but either the large or small can be one or the other. So if the paper is printed in one direction it will appear different to that printed in the other. Now, so far, I gather that only one issue has been produced in both ways. That's the Walsall 1st red M16L MSIL from books of six.

One dealer is distinguishing these by asking us to look at the first line of text that is upright and below an inverted line. This will either be large or small text and will be followed by another upright line in either small or large text respectively. So you look down the left edge and the first two lines of upright text will determine the type. This one above is Large-Small. Because the Walsall M16L MSIL first appeared with the older style backing text, where each line was upright, this is even more confusing than I first thought. In fact, I don't seem to have an example of the Small-Large at all so assume that the dealer sent me this one as simply an example of the new security backing paper for the M16L MSIL issue and not, as I had thought, the second type of the new security backing paper.

Before looking through my previous items and finally getting my head around how to detect the difference I had already written to the dealer to say that I really couldn't get excited about this and so please exclude these inverted but not really inverted small-large or large-small things from my standing order. It now looks like they hadn't actually sent me both types anyway. So they'll be thinking I am a bit stupid.

To be honest, I think it is entirely reasonable to be a bit stupid about this. For a start, we're talking about something that really is not easy to detect unless you have a nice fat margin of paper around a mint stamp, and which is not part of the stamp at all but some printing on the paper it is attached to and will, occasionally, be detached from.

How long before someone peels off the stamps and then replaces them the other way up? That would achieve the same result, I think, and be virtually impossible to detect. Yes, the more I think about this, it is nothing like paper types, watermarks, stars printed on the back and all the previous variations we've had to consider and which have been worth collecting. I'm quite glad to have excluded them. For all I know, all the new SBP issues could be found with this alternative text. As it is there's a risk of more year codes for all of them and this could effectively double the numbers again!

I shall consider that a close call.

May 02, 2017

New 17 codes and security backing paper issues

The DLR Special Delivery 100g stamp must be popular as it now gets an M17L code.

So too is the DLR 1st Large Signed For.

The DLR 1st and 2nd Large issues have M17L codes and the new type of backing paper showing a darker print and large -small text.

The Walsall 1st M16L MTIL booklet stamp with the new security backing paper.

DLR 1st and 2nd M17L counter sheet issues with the new sceurity backing paper.

Several of the recently issued new values also have now appeared with the new security backing paper.
The long-lived 10p from DLR now has an M17L code for the counter issue but no printed security backing paper.