Thursday 2 August 2012

Bahamas Diamond Jubilee Set and CASCO Loses Tristan Da Cunha and The British Virgin Islands.

Bahamas issued a set of 4 stamps in July 2012 to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. As part of the celebrations Bahamas was visited by the Queen's grandson, Prince Henry Of Wales, popularly known as Prince Harry, and this resulted in the commemorative set taking an unusual form in that 3 of the stamps depicted the prince to commemorate his visit along with the top value, the 70c, which featured a nice portrait of The Queen herself. These are excellent stamps - well designed, beautifully printed, sensibly priced, relevant to the country issuing the stamp (Elizabeth II is the Queen of Bahamas), interesting and attractive in content. They are typical in that respect of the stamps which are now being produced by Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd and handled by Pobjoy Mint which also handles the issues of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and The South Sandwich Islands and Ascension. We now have the news that Creative Direction and Pobjoy Mint will be responsible for the issues of British Virgin Islands from 1 August 2012 and Tristan Da Cunha from 1 November 2012. Both of these territories were previously handled by CASCO as were all the other territories mentioned above. The number of territories now being handled by CASCO has shrunk enormously since it allowed itself to be taken over by Harry Allen and began to produce stamps with increasing subject matter irrelevance to the territories which it handled (almost everything seemed to feature scenes from World War II or aircraft or British military history - who does suggest the subjects to be depicted on CASCO-originating stamps?). Pobjoy Mint and New Zealand Post really seem to understand what modern day new issue collectors want - reasonably-priced, attractive and relevant stamps which tell you something about the country whose name appears on the stamp and which gradually build up to a coherent and worthwhile collection.
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