Unboxing the Royal Mail 2019 special stamp yearbook
Philatelic Foreword by Jay Bigalke
Great Britain’s Royal Mail had quite the year of stamp issues in 2019, and its new yearbook, Along These Lines, reflects that.
The impressive 64-page book comes in a specially designed hinged box. Inside the box is a packet of 23 black stock cards, one for each of the commemorative stamp issues and souvenir sheets issued in 2019 (a face value of £151, according to Royal Mail). The stamps appear to have been thoughtfully handled and well protected.
Clear mounts were also placed in the book for the stamps to be transferred from the stock cards.
The two ICC (International Cricket Council) Cricket World Cup winners souvenir sheets issued in September are included in this product. However, unlike the other stamp issues that each have their own chapter in the yearbook, pages with mounts were produced separately on card stock and packaged with the book for these souvenir sheets. Because it is apparent that the yearbook was already off to press when the celebratory souvenir sheets were finalized, I think Royal Mail handled this situation well.
My favorite stamp issue of 2019 was the Stamp Classics souvenir sheet with six stamp-on-stamp designs, including the unisssued 2-penny Tyrian Plum of 1910. We highlighted the story of that stamp in our January 2019 Linn’s monthly issue.
The Royal Mail 2019 yearbook retails for £176 (approximately $230 in late January) and is available from its website. The total print run of the book is 5,000, and each book is numbered.
Royal Mail also is offering a packet with just the 2019 stamps and a protective folder for £156, only £5 over the face value.
For those who collect the commemorative stamps of Great Britain, the extra cost of the book is worth the price for the short stories recapping each issue.
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