Sunday 25 March 2012

Will These Be The Rarest Diamond Jubilee Stamps?

Further countries have announced that they are releasing stamps to commemorate the diamond jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II including three more of her "realms" - Antigua and Barbuda (4 stamps and a miniature sheet), Barbados (an excellent set of 4 stamps and one miniature sheet) and New Zealand which has not yet given the details of its issue but has published pictures which will be used in the designs of 2 of its stamps. Royal Mail also released a surprise issue (illustrated above) in the form of six "post and go" machine-printed stamps which were only available to those people who attended the Spring Stampex 2012 philatelic exhibition held at the Business Design Centre in Islington in London from 23rd to the 25th February. The stamps were printed by a Hytech machine. As these stamps were not available from any other source they must surely be the rarest of the stamps which have been, or will be, issued this year to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee and therefore are highly collectable for anyone forming a collection of issues which celebrate this historic occasion. Of course, with only 600 being produced, you might think of the Jersey real diamond miniature sheet as being another potential rarity but not surprisingly that item does not even get a mention in the catalogue listing which has been published in the latest (April) edition of Gibbons Stamp Monthly - the sheet is as relevant to postage stamps collecting as a celebratory mug would be (and some might say that mugs have bought them). Still, everyone is entitled to spend their money on whatever they want but I do hope that post offices around The Commonwealth will use the Diamond Jubilee as an occasion to honour Queen Elizabeth rather than as an opportunity to exploit stamps collectors.

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