Norvic Philatelics

New Machin definitive & Country stamps - 27 March 2013

Royal Mail announced its annual stamp price rises in early March and they take effect from 2 April 2013.   The rate for 1st class stamps is no longer subject to control by the official government regulator (Ofcom) and Royal Mail have been allowed to raise the price of 2nd class mail well above the rate of inflation.

Following the huge rises in 2012, Royal Mail have announced that he price of 1st and 2nd class letters will remain unchanged at  60p and 50p;  the price of Large Letters also remains unchanged at all weight-steps.  The inland 'Signed For' fee rises from 95p to £1.10 and two new stamps will be issued branded ROYAL MAIL SIGNED FOR instead of Recorded Signed For.  

The current 87p airmail rate for worldwide postcards, 10g letters Worldwide and 20g letters to Europe increases to 88p with a new Machin definitive and new Country definitive stamps.

The current £1.28 rate for Europe to 40g and Worldwide 20g letters remains unchanged.

The Worldwide 40g letter rate is reduced from £1.90 to £1.88 (so a new stamp).

The category previously known as Small Packets up to 100g is now referred to as Small Parcels up to 100g.  The prices increase from £2.70 to £3 Europe and from £3.30 to £3.50 rest of the World.

Airmail rates over 100g are reduced to 8 steps of 250g, replacing 21 steps. This means some complicated changes, some up some down.  Whilst the current rates to Europe are £2.93 (150g), £3.16 (200g) & £3.39 (250g) these all rise to £3.50 for 250g.

More details can be found on our blog.

Royal Mail Tallents House have told subscribers that these stamps will not be delivered until 12 April, and that FDCs may be sent to handstamp centres until 24 April.  We understand that supplies of all relevant stamps will be in Post Office Branches on the issue date, but that there may not be any presentation packs or stamp cards at that time.

Pre-issue images of the new stamps for 2013

78p Machin definitive stamp. 88p Machin definitive stamp. Machin definitive stamp 188p.
1st class Signed For Machin stamp. 1st Large Signed For stamp.
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Official colours of the new stamps:

78p Orchid Mauve
88p Amber Yellow
£1.88 Sapphire Blue

The NVIs are Flame with a Yellow Flash.  This is a surprise as we expected that they would change to Royal Mail Red, the same as the ordinary 1st class definitives.

England 88p definitive stamp.    Northern Ireland 88p definitive stamp.
Scotland 88p definitive stamp.    Wales 88p definitive stamp.

We've been told unofficially that these are printed by Cartor on one primary sheet of eight grid positions, five grid positions for England, one each for Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales in sheets of 25.

Technical information

Preliminary information was that all the new Machin definitive stamps are be self-adhesive, printed by De La Rue in gravure in sheets of 25, with 12 sheets of 25 per cylinder. They will have security cuts and the irridescent overprint. 

However, a week before the stamps are due to be issued we still haven't received our supplies.  As reported last year, De La Rue are in the process of moving their stamp production facilities from Dunstable to Gateshead and we understand that production of the new stamps has been shared between Walsall Security Printers, Cartor Security Printing, and Joh Enschede.  As far as we know Cartor have no gravure facilities and we understand that the Signed For stamps are being printed by them in litho.  Unfortunately Royal Mail have been unable to confirm any details, even though the stamps are in many post office branches already.

The Country definitives will be litho printed on ordinary gummed paper by Cartor Security Print also in sheets of 25.  They will have no security features.

Special postmarks available on the day of issue will be shown here.

Postmarks in use this year are the same design as 2012, but with the date 27.3.2013

FDI postmark 25-4-12.Windsor FDI postmark 25-4-12.Windsor FDI postmark.
London FDI postmark 25-4-12.Edinburgh FDI postmark 25-4-12.Cardiff FDI postmark 25-4-12.Belfast FDI postmark 25-4-12.
London FDI.Edinburgh FDI.Cardiff fdi.Belfast FDI.                  

Ref FD1303TH - official pictorial FDI Windsor postmark

Ref FD1303PL - official pictorial FDI Tallents House postmark

Ref FD1303NP - official pictorial FDI London postmark

Ref FD1307PL - official pictorial FDI London postmark

Ref FD13078PL- official pictorial FDI Edinburgh postmark

Ref FD1309PL - official pictorial FDI Cardiff postmark

Ref FD1310PL - official pictorial FDI Belfast postmark

And co-located non-pictorial postmarks for all except Tallents House, same
reference numbers with suffix 'NP'
Belfast cds postmark. Cardiff cds postmark. Edinburgh cds postmark. Glasgow 2 cds postmark. Glasgow 10 cds postmark. Birmingham postmark showing national floral emblems.
Ref S6039 - Belfast operational cds postmark Ref W6038 - Cardiff operational cds postmark Ref S6040 - Edinburgh operational cds postmark Ref S6041 - Glasgow 2
operational cds postmark
Ref S6042 - Glasgow 10
operational cds postmark
Ref M12825 Union Street Birmingham
(dated 27th March 2013)
Cardiff postmark. Edinburgh postmark. Belfast permanent postmark. Windsor Castle postmark. Additionally, any postmarks available on this date may also be applied to FDCs
- see Permanent postmarks and Other one-day postmarks
Postmark showing Windsor Castle.
Ref W5097 - Cardiff permanent handstamp. Ref S4653 - Edinburgh permanent handstamp. Ref S4641 - Belfast permanent handstamp. Ref E4680 - Windsor Castle, Royal Mail permanent handstamp Ref M12824
Windsor View, Birmingham
(dated 27th March 2013)

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This page created 22 March 2013

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