20 March 2018 - Tariff change 2018 new definitives - First day cover of new stamps.
Royal Mail announced its annual stamp price rises in late February and they take effect from 26th March 2018. The officially produced first day covers have only the four new values as Royal Mail regard the £2.25 as issued in 2015 and this as just a reissue. The new stamps are printed by Walsall instead of De La Rue. Because all of the stamps have 2018 codes (M18L) we added the new £2.25 to the official FDC.
The Europe 20g and Worldwide 10g rate of £1.17 rises to £1.25
(an increase of 6.8% on top of last year's 11.5%) which means a new stamp*.
The Worldwide 20g rate rises from £1.40 to £1.45 which means a new stamp*.
The Europe 100g rate of £1.57 is reduced to £1.55 (new stamp)
The World 100g rate of £2.27 is reduced to £2.25 reissued stamp
The Large Letter 100g rate for Europe rises from £2.55 to £2.65
so another new stamp.It has been well known for many years that the definitive stamps applied to Royal Mail standing order FDCs are produced in mutli-value side-ways delivered coils, usually with a different direction of print (DOP), to those sold in sheets. This has been of interest mainly to extreme specialists who can see and therefore monitor and collect DOP differences.
The gaps in the U-shaped security slits on the four new values are quite enormous compared with anything else we have seen, and totally different to those sold in sheets. (See comparative image of £1.25). The £2.25 has a small gap as it comes from sheets. At this stage we do not know which company printed the stamps with the wide gaps.