Friday, June 09, 2006


The Beatrix definitives are printed with two cylinders (and two extra ones for the rest of the booklet/sheetlet or whatever you want to call it); a cylinder for the value and a cylinder for the portrait. Now, the value cylinder is obviously different for each value but the portrait cylinder is used for all values. This means that any varieties or flaws in that cylinder can be found on more than one value. And there have been quite a few flaws since Walsall started printing these self-adhesive definitives in 2001. Also, because there are 16 booklets of five printed from a cylinder, you will find that variety in every 80 stamps, and that's better odds than one in every say 200. So it's worth checking your (used) stamps to see if you've got any!

Now, admittedly, some of these flaws are really tiny and some don't even appear on the stamp itself. But an easy one to spot and one which has been recorded on quite a few values is the vertical scratch in the queen's hair, more or less above the right eye (when viewing the stamp). It's quite an obvious one which can be spotted without using a magnifier, so go and check your duplicates. You never know! And if you happen to have mint booklets lying around: the flaw appears on cylinder W2, so no need to check the other cylinders for this variety.



Anonymous said...

Greets to the webmaster of this wonderful site! Keep up the good work. Thanks.

Reinier said...

3 rows of 6 blocks makes 18 not 16!