Friday, 7 March 2008

The Reincarnated 9p

As I mentioned previously, the 9p orange Machin is being returned to general circulation for use as a make-up rate stamp with the new rates taking effect on April 7. It can be used in combination with a second-class stamp (valued at 27p) to make the first-class rate (36p).

Royal Mail has confirmed that a new cylinder was made to reprint the 9p, but it will have the cylinder number D1, the same number as the previous cylinder.

If Royal Mail is allowing or requiring De La Rue to use number D1 for all cylinders of the same denomination/colour, why bother with a cylinder number at all? Is it just put there so collectors will continue to buy cylinder blocks, just like the new color name?

Speaking of color name, this new cylinder will have ORANGE in the upper left margin, continuing the practice started last year.

The previous cylinder was not a colour-specific, or colour-tied, cylinder, but this new one is. Royal Mail says this new one has a darker orange background and lighter portrait, which I think will make for a more attractive stamp.

We don't yet know if the value is placed in a slightly different location on this cylinder, a characteristic that will make this stamp easier to differentiate from its predecessor. Such a difference happened when the 46p was reincarnated last year. (By the way, the 46p was the first time that De La Rue reused the number D1 for a new cylinder.)

--Larry

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