Monday, 6 April 2009

De La Rue Security Cylinder Blocks (update)

If you collect cylinder blocks and like completeness be warned that it may get a bit expensive with these new self adhesive security printings.

Catalogue compilers intend to list all of the values in all available cylinder block formats from the primary sheets.

For the standard sized cylinder panes the identification box,s give 6 different combinations of cylinder blocks.

These are to be known as

Upper left
Upper centre
Upper right
Lower left
Lower centre
Lower right

Large 1st class and large 2nd class NVI cylinder panes giving 4 x identification box combinations

These are to known as

Upper left

Upper right

Lower left

Lower Right
That is a lot of cylinder blocks folks. The question now is how many will continue to collect them?
As I like to eat every now again and keep a roof over my head I have already opted out!


robert said...

As soon as news began to break several months ago of Royal Mail's plans for the new self-adhesive sheets, I pointed out that it seemed obvious that it was their intention to incite collectors to buy cylinder blocks from each of the six (or four) positions. What one might permit on the 2nd class stamp is really out of the question for the £5! Why else would they place the grid within the cylinder block when previously, on the past two year's Christmas stamps which were effectively an experimentation of this style of issue, it was felt sufficient to place the grid further up the selvedge "out of harm's way"?

But when it comes down to it, what is the point of collecting all six (or four) positions? They are all printed from the same cylinder, after all! All that is different is the position of that block within the original sheet of 300 (or 200) stamps - a little dot in a box. If there was a cylinder number for every pane of 25 stamps would we really buy 12 (or 8) of them? One cylinder block per value is quite enough in my opinion. There aren't even the differences we used to have (and still do to some extent) on the conventionally gummed sheets of 200, such as the colour registration line or different perforation styles. Even with Dot and No Dot blocks these both came from the SAME cylinder!

Who wants to pay literally hundreds of pounds for stamps that may even drop off their backing paper all by themselves in a decade or two, if some self-adhesive products serve as examples?

Machin Man said...

I agree with Robert. Stamp collecting is becoming a joke.

These (and the booklets) should have been issued on Aril fools day.

Also We now have two types of security slits to collect.

At this time these slits are to be known as Type 1 and Type 2. Will we have a Type 3 soon?

GBStamps said...

Stamp collecting is becoming a joke because stamp issuing has become a joke.

Whether or not there is an operational need for the position grid in the margins - and placed so that they remain in the margin of the post office pane - it is up to collectors to realize that there's no point in collecting all positions, as Robert so ably notes.

It is becoming more and more important that collectors be informed buyers, but unfortunately there will always be those who want to make a quick buck/pound/euro or who are taken in by postal administration marketing schemes. (At least Bernie Madoff wasn't a stamp dealer!)

Regarding the Type 1 and 2 slits, I suspect this is more a result of a lack of quality control than a nefarious scheme to separate us collectors from our hard-earned money...but I could be wrong!


robert said...

One wonders if this might not have been an opportune moment to reduce a self-adhesive cylinder block to FOUR stamps, the cylinder numbers being printed one row lower down than on conventionally gummed sheets? Just what purpose do the top two stamps have in the block except to increase the price by over 33%?

Some will argue that it is traditional to collect cylinders in 2 x 3 blocks, but these definitives are a total breakaway in all but the basic design - they're not even physically attached to each other so why insist on blocks at all? A vertical strip of two would really be enough. The same goes for the 'colour' designation at the top of the sheets - I can see no point in paying for a block of four or, worse still, eight stamps for this! A set of singles with the colour name in the margin are a lot cheaper and look just as attractive into the bargain.

We collect stamps because it brings us pleasure and enjoyment - it's fun. Or at least it was. Now it's beginning to be just a qusetion of paying out larger and larger sums to keep up with the plethora of issues. Each collector should have the confidence to decide for himself what he wants to collect and in what quantities, and not feel forced to buy in oversized blocks just because a catalogue editor or someone tells him this is the norm. Otherwise, it might be time to stop altogether.

Adrian said...

Now that we don't even have the printer's logo incorporated in the design anymore, we might as well collect these and many other Machins as cylinder singles. That would save us collectors a lot of money indeed!
I must admit that all these new issues (especially those high values which haven't been for sale in most post offices since 2003 and are therefore as bad as all issues from Myanmar and what have you) do tend to dilute my fun in Machin collecting no end, even to the point that I'm wondering why I'm bothering at all. In fact, I haven't seriously bothered for some 2 years now, and I don't think I care to ever pick up where I left off. The much hailed colour Matthews scheme does not, I'm afraid, either make for interesting new issues anymore, it's just the same old predictable thing with a new value. And that' such a shame, for the overall design is such a beauty. Maybe I'll just stick to collecting up to pre-Matthews days, so I can still enjoy the myriad of colours and different heads, the spice of a Machin collection! Well, in my humble opinion anyway!

Ian - Norvic said...

"At this time these slits are to be known as Type 1 and Type 2. Will we have a Type 3 soon?"

If not type 3, then types 2A and 2B. The second type (four slits) exist with large or small gaps on the curve*, so that makes 3 types.

* I hadn't thought to look at the gap between the upper and lower semi-circles yet :-( Anybody done this?

cfmickey said...

Machine blocks should be included in the collection only to certify some combination paper/gum/printer that is difficult to determine at naked eye. A single stamp of each type is enough to determine the completeness of the collection. Singles and booklet panes.