It has now been three days since these stamps were issued (17th February) and (as yet) I have not had the chance to attempt to remove a used one from a envelope to see what sort of condition the stamps once soaked and dried are in. Has anyone else tried? It will be interesting to see the various results as time goes by.
From one of the groups I belong to (S of GB) one of the members (Greg) has tried, here is his report . ( Thanks Greg)
"The gum appears to have the same effect as on many of the currently issued stamps from the countries above, ( American, Irish and Kiwi ) in that part of the backing paper is left on the stamp when you try to remove it. I normally roll this off gently with my thumb. I had a 50% success rate with the two UK definitives I tried - the little security tears make this a more difficult task to do, especially as they are so close to the edge of the stamp.
However the stamp paper itself doesn't appear to be as thin as some of the other stamps out there with this type of gum. Now for the bad news - having come back to the dried stamp, the gum is still present on the back of the stamp, to the extent that it would probably stick for at least part of a second journey through the postal system, and be very difficult to work with in stock books."
Greg continues "By the way, I tried with normal cold and luke-warm water, soaking a stamp in each for just over 15 minutes."
I have a theory that neat alcohol (the sort obtained from chemists) may remove this excess gum, anyway as Greg had a 50% success rate with just two stamps, It proves that with care they can be removed without damage to the actual stamps. If the alcohol does not work, am sure some bright spark will come up with a solution ( no pun intended) to the gum problem very soon.
I can now show you some of the formats these stamps are available in, starting with what appears to be and has been proclaimed as a gutter pair. What do you think should this be catalogued as?
Is it a gutter pair as such?
I personally do not think so, but that's just my opinion.
I also have a pic of the cylinder block of 6. It appears that only the no dot format is available from these De La Rue printings.
Presentation packs ( high and low values) and two different first day covers, high and low values are also on sale. I will post pictures of these two types of first day covers tomorrow.