As February makes its appearance, it is time to start sorting the pennies and tokens I have at my disposal. A busy and expensive time for the GB collector! In the next few days there is the House of Windsor issue - set of stamps and miniature sheet at a mere £6.90p. This is followed next week by the Diamond Jubilee sheet which by comparison is a snip at £2.76p, but sure to be a popular souvenir to be tucked away for the grandchildren. One would think that in celebrating 60 years on the throne, the stamps on the sheet might just show a hint of a smile from Her Majesty.
Although it is free admission to the exhibition, I still have to find my train fare to London (ticket prices just increased by an average 8%) for "Stampex". The second day of the event sees the release of more stamps in the Great Briton's series which comprises ten first class stamps, grand total £4.60p. The third day will see endless queues for the "post & go" machines dispensing the set of six sheep breeds labels - collectors strip of each value being £5.40p. I must be baaaa..rmy
One note of joy as we enter the Jubilee season. I recently bought a small collection of about 15 covers very cheaply on ebay (£1.70p including postage). I bid because the collection contained some early German covers and stationery cards which are one of my little passions at the moment. Amongst the covers was a registered item from New Zealand with some nice 1953 Coronation stamps cancelled with a commemorative postmark. Very attractive, even with the 2d stamp having a smudged postmark.
The reverse even had a London arrival postmark with a slogan "Long Live the Queen" (and to be true to the oath she has lived long!). The cover had been opened along the top and did not appear to have any letter or stiffener inside... but just to make sure... Surprise, surprise! tucked away in the corner of the envelope was an unmounted mint set of the GB 1953 Coronation issue - valued by Messrs Stanley Gibbons Ltd., at £16 sterling!
The lessons to be learnt from this tale are: (i) stamp collectors are strange and often forgetful folk and (ii) never judge a cover by what is placed on the outside.