Monday, 20 October 2014

Keeping Track of the Myriad Machins


The new security features introduced in 2009 have spawned numerous specialized Machins, with varying source/date codes, slit varieties, etc. Since most new varieties are not announced by Royal Mail, keeping track of them all is a challenge.

Fortunately, we have many good-hearted souls who are willing to help us mere mortals do just that. The latest is Ian Billings - he of the well-known Norphil blog - who has created a checklist of Machins with the security features.

Ian includes his own numbering system, which he uses in his online store but which collectors can certainly use as well. He also cross-references the Stanley Gibbons numbers (with permission).

A snapshot provided by Ian is shown above. You can get the checklist by going to this blog post and clicking the link at the bottom.

There are two other web sites which also have information, though not as a downloadable document. They are Paul's GB Stamp Blog and Great Britain Machins (which comprehensively covers all Machins).

I'll mention two other well-known sources of information, though both require a modest investment.

The Modern British Philatelic Circle has an excellent newsletter, the Bookmark, and has a comprehensive web site. The site has some information for everyone, but most of it is restricted to members. That said, if you are willing to get all publications in pdf form by email, the yearly dues are only £6, one of the best bargains in philately.

From the web site, members can download a frequently updated list of the Machins with the new security features.

The web site has some great graphics, one of which I show above.

And, of course, there's the Deegam Handbook and the periodic free updates distributed by email. This needs no introduction for most of you, and more information is on Douglas Myall's web site.

--Larry

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