I used to say that "nothing in the world of collecting Machin definitives surprises me anymore." Over the years we have seen many changes, to design and make up of this definitive. Excluding errors, new varieties of existing stamps still seem to turn up with nearly every new issue.
It is no wander there are now thousands of philatelists devoting their time to study and collect this type of material. Over the years more and more people have caught the Machin collecting bug, and each month many many more are joining the fold .
In the year 2009 alone, new varities have enabled specialists to write several new chapters to the ongoing saga re: the development of this popular (classic) modern definitive. The latest chapter to be recorded is now in draft form and it seems it will continue further into the year of 2010. This new chapter I refer to will be written about that of a change from the Jeffery Matthews font.
A lot of collectors have all expressed concern about the increasing amount of Prestige Booklets issued per year , these are steadily increasing, from four in 2009 to (reportedly) six in 2010.
A question being asked by many is "why the change to the font?" Perhaps a ploy by Royal Mail to encourage us to purchase these. This can not be the reason , can it?
To continue with the news.
It has been noted that the change of font has been incorporated to the the 5p values and the 54p values in the the two mixed panes from the Classic Album Covers Prestige Booklet. The booklet due to be released 7 January 2010 is printed by Cartor in Litho.
This new Machin discovery was spotted by a keen eyed collector in Australia, and was first reported to GB collectors via the Norvic Philatelic Blog written by Ian Billings.
Both of stamp values,on two separate panes (5p and 54p) carry a new font, and are totally different to any of the regular sheet or booklet stamps produced previously.
The 54p definitive shows a double alteration and has in fact both of figures of the numeral dramatically changed from the norm.
Looking at Royal Mails publicity images for future issues this change to the 54p value may be returned to the norm on the Prestige Mixed Machin Pane 4 x 22p + 4 x 54p to be issued for 350th Anniversary of the Royal Society on 25 February 2010.
Why do some people still insist that "Machins are boring? " I guess they do not read this or the Norvic column. Are they still waiting for a pay rise in order to be able to afford them? Either that or they are still in the process of being converted.