Norvic Philatelics

New Machin definitive & Country stamps - 17 February & 31 March 2009

From February 2009 1st and 2nd class Machin Definitives and higher-priced 'make-up' values at 50p and 1 will be produced as self-adhesive Stamps with enhanced security features including semi-circular slits and an irridescent overprint.

These initiatives are part of the on-going development of security features for Stamps. The slits are designed to inhibit the removal of these Stamps for fraudulent sale and re-use. The overprint features the words 'Royal Mail' in a pattern reminiscent of security features on banknotes.

UPDATE:  Royal Mail have announced that (a) the coil stamps detailed below will not be produced at this stage, (b) the Booklets and Business Sheets will have 'an official first day of availability' of 31 March 2009.   

UPDATE 17 March: We understood that the booklets and business sheets had been delayed.  It now seems that due to uncertainty over delivery dates for all the different products, Royal Mail decided to postpone philatelic distribution until 31 March, with normal retail distribution going ahead as planned.  Thus small retail outlets were selling the 1st class x 6 booklet as early as 9 March, and 1st class and 2nd class (small) Business Sheets were distributed by Royal Mail Direct around 13 March.  See more news below.

new Machin low-value definitive stamps with security features issued 17 February 2009.

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Images above and below are now actual stamps. 
new Machin high-value definitive stamps with security features issued 17 February 2009.
Digitally enhanced image of actual 2nd class stamp to show security prints.  Click on image to see more on Norvic Blog.
new Machin 2nd class Large definitive stamp with security features issued 17 February 2009.

Since this change was first announced additional stamps have been added to the list, making a total of 10 if collected on a simplified basis.

Originally just the 1st & 2nd class basic letter and Large letter stamps were changing; then the 50p grey & 1 ruby were added. Most recently the high values - 1.50, 2, 3, & 5 - have been added.

Currently sheets of Machin stamps used at PO counters contain 200 stamps (Large Letters, sheets of 100). The new self-adhesive printings will be in sheets of 50.

The full range of products is:

1st & 2nd Standard in 'counter' sheets,
1st & 2nd Large Machins in 'counter' sheets,
50p, 1, 1.50, 2, 3, 5 Standard Machins in 'counter' sheets

Retail Books - 31 March 2009
6 x 1st (2.16)
12 x 1st (4.32)
12 x 2nd (3.24)
4 x L1st (2.08)
4 x L2nd (1.68)

Business Sheets - 31 March 2009

100 x 1st (36)
100 x 2nd (27)
50 x L1st (26)
50 x L2nd (21)
Stamp Rolls*
500 x 2nd (135)
500 x 1st (180)
1000 x 2nd (270)
1000 x 1st (360)

* Some announcements have stated that the rolls are conventionally gummed, some have not referred to this, with the implication that all the new stamps are self-adhesive.

Technical information

All the stamps are self-adhesive die-cut.  The printed (Sheet Stamps) & Business Sheets are printed by De La Rue Security Print, and Walsall Security Printers print the Retail Books.  All the stamps are printed in gravure.  *Business Sheets were previously produced by Walsall SP.   The booklets have the Walsall name on the back cover; the business sheets no longer show the name of the printer (it was previously adjacent to the barcode).   

Detailed examination of the stamps contained in the Business Sheets and booklets has revealed that there are two security slits on the De La Rue printings but four on the Walsall printings. Furthermore the small gap at the apex of the curve on the Walsall printings is wider on some versions than on others.  The Design Classics retail booklet (the first source of the 1st class Walsall) has diffeernt perforations to the other retail booklets.   For details and enlarged illsutrations visit our blog - security slit and perforation differences & comparison of DLR and WSP security slits.

Update:  much has happened since this page was last updated, including the unannounced arrival of coil stamps.  These are only available in coils of 10,000 and Royal Mail are not selling to individual collectors - unless you can afford 6,900 for the two rolls of stamps, 1st & 2nd class.   The coil stamp was only discovered when somebody checked his incoming mail to find out the source of the stamp - booklets, business sheet etc - and found it was different again.

Security Codes:  full details of the different codes built into the security overprint can be found on our blog, together with all the other information (so far) on the Security Machins.  Suddenly basic 1st & 2nd class stamps are not so boring after all!   Click here for more detail.  (Note blogs should be read from the bottom up; earliest information is at the end.)

First Day Covers and other products

first day covers for Security-featured definitive stamps.

As in the past there will be some differences between the various printings (especially the coil stamps): booklet, coil and business sheet stamps will not be included on Royal Mail's standard FDCs.   We will produce FDCs on 17 February, and for both the 4 business sheet stamps and the 5 retail booklet stamps on 31 March.  Please ask for details of FDC availability and prices for those not shown below.

Two new presentation packs will be sold, one with the top 4 values, and the other with the 6 lower values. The stamps in the high-value packs are not die-cut through the backing paper and are torn from conventional sheets. More information will be added here when it is available.

Low value stamps (6) - price - 3.95
High value stamps (4) - price - 12.50
Basic set of 10 mint stamps - price - 15.75
Low value stamps on Royal Mail FDC - price - 4.95
High value stamps on Royal Mail FDC - price - 12.95
Basic set of 10 stamps on Royal Mail FDC - price 17.95
Low value stamps on Cotswold FDC - price - 5.75
High value stamps on Cotswold FDC - price - 13.95
Low value presentation pack - price 4.20
High value presentation pack - price 12.95

Please ask for details of availability and prices for those not shown above.  Singles from booklets and business sheets are available.

Special postmarks will be available on the day of issue. These images are not to scale - more may be added later.

postmark showing Scottish Arms of Royal Mail. postmark showing English Arms of Royal Mail. Postmark showing Machin head of Queen Elizabeth. Windsor Castle postmark.
Ref FD831 - official Bureau first day postmark Ref FD832 - official Windsor first day postmark Ref M11255 Queen Elizabeth Rd Birmingham Ref E4680 - Windsor Castle, Royal Mail permanent handstamp
Postmark showing Buckingham Palace. Postmark showing Windsor Castle. Postmark showing unidentified building. Permanent postmarks in use on this day may also be used.
Other one-day postmarks shown here may also be used.
Ref L11259
London SW1 (shows Buckingham Palace)
Ref L11252 Windsor (shows Castle) Ref L11251 London SE1 (shows The Lion and Unicorn Pavilion, Festival of Britain.)

31 March 2009 - Booklets, Business sheets
Postmarks available on 31 March are shown on the new tariff stamps page. Note, those captioned 'First Day of Issue' cannot be used on the booklet and business sheet stamps.

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 13 August 2009

2007 - 2008
2009 stamp issues
Visit our online shop!
Design Classics
22 Robert Burns
Charles Darwin
17 Machin Definitives with Security Features I
26 Dathlu Cymru - Celebrating Wales
2 Design Classics Concorde Smiler Sheet
10 Pioneers of the Industrial Revolution
10 Design Classics Retail Booklet - Phone & Bus
17 Northern Ireland Castles Smilers Sheet
31 Machin Definitives with Security Features II
31 New Rate Machin & Country Definitives

Kings & Queens II (Tudors)
21 Design Classics Retail Booklet - Mini-car
23 Castles of England Smilers Sheet
30 Smilers for Kids II

Endangered Plants & Kew Gardens MS
21 Flowers retail booklet

Mythical Creatures

? Possible pre-Olympics Issue
21 40th ann of Moon Landing Commemorative Sheet
3 Thaipex Smilers Sheet
18 Wall Mounted Post Boxes MS & Smilers Sheet
18 Treasures of the Archive PSB
18 Design Classics Retail Booklet - Concorde
1 Fire Service
17 British Military Uniforms (III - Royal Navy)
17 Design Classics Retail Booklet - Mini-skirt/Quant
18 Commemorative Sheet - Big Ben 150th Anniversary
7 Commemorative Sheet - Cambridge University 800th anniversary
8 Eminent Britons (Europa)
21 Italia 2009 Smilers Sheet
30 Castles of Scotland Smilers Sheet

4 MonacoPhil 2009 Expo Smilers Sheet


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