The British Post Office, Royal Mail, has announced that it will not only issue probably over 20 miniature sheets, each of 6 stamps, to commemorate every British winner of a gold medal in the London Olympic Games which open on 27 July 2012 but the organisation now also intends that it will be "celebrating the Paralympic GB Gold Medal winners with a Miniature Sheet. This will contain six special stamps which will feature the gold medal winning athletes". This does not really make matters clear as to what Royal Mail's plans for this issue are exactly - the statement says "a Miniature Sheet" which suggests only 1 item will be issued but it also says that the issue will "feature the gold medal winning athletes" - since, as I pointed out in the 7 June 2012 blog, there were 42 British gold medals in the Beijing Paralympic Games, we must expect at least 40 winners this year, clearly 1 miniature sheet of 6 stamps will not accommodate all the gold medal winners. So does this ambiguous statement imply that there will be one miniature sheet of 6 stamps produced for every gold medal winner as is the plan for the Olympic Games gold medallists? Surely not, surely Royal Mail does not really mean to issue more than 60 miniature sheets, each of 6 stamps, over the course of the next 2 months (total cost to collectors equalling more than £400 for a basic collection of miniature sheets. Actually, I wonder if these items should even be called "miniature sheets" since they are really small sheetlets of 6 identical stamps with a decorative sheet margin. It makes perfect sense to collect just 1 stamp from a "sheetlet" of 6 but a "miniature sheet of 6" is really a single item in its own right - by calling them miniature sheets Royal Mail has put pressure on collectors to buy 6 stamps instead of one (at 6 times the cost and 6 times the profit for Royal Mail!) No doubt, all will become clear in the near future.
Meanwhile, The Turks and Caicos Islands have returned to issuing stamps, after a four year hiatus, and they have returned with a vengeance. Along with an issue to commemorate the birth bicentenary of Charles Dickens they have also issued stamps to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the return to earth of the US astronaut, John Glenn, whose capsule splashed down in the sea near The Turks and Caicos Islands.
In a way, therefore this space issue does have some relevance to the islands which is something which cannot be said about the sheetlet and 2 miniature sheets which Turks and Caicos has issued to commemorate the centenary of the sinking of RMS Titanic. I do not yet know the dates of issue of these items.
On 2 July 2012, the government of St. Kitts and Nevis approved the issue of a set of stamps to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. The proposed designs depict a collage of Commonwealth flags, a crown-haloed diamond with the pre- and post- independence national flags, a crown with "60" and the national colours, the national flag with the Union Jack and "60" and finally, a handshake and "60". The proposed date of issue is not yet known. For information about other diamond jubilee stamp issues see the blog of 6 June 2012.