Millennium

The Millennium Machin

The design of the Millennium Machin was adapted by the Chase design Group, notably the designer was Richard Scholey, who did a magnificent job in the transformation. It was issued from post offices across Britain and used for one year in the millennium year 2000 AD.

De La Rue,  Walsall &  Questa Printings: All can be distinguished by minor differences in the design. Although at first glance these seem to be identical they can be divided into three sub types. All are printed in : Gravure, Computer Engraved  (EME). The new head design is known to specialists as Head B5.

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Walsall printings: 

No sheets were printed by Walsall, Millennium Machins were only released in booklet form. The stamps from this printer are OFNP/PVA with a white gum. The phosphor bands are 9 mm wide  (DGA2B) and show a violet tint.  They have an afterglow under long wave UV light. The panes have 10 x 1st Millennium Machins. The panes exist with either a 6.5 mm  or 9 mm phosphor band in the margins. Cylinder numbers are W1 in row two

Three jewels shown at the back of the diadem. There is no dark mark between the top and right arms of the diadem. The head is positioned low against the background, it can be seen with the naked eye that the point of the diadem is low from the perforations. At the bottom of the stamp the fabric under the queens shoulder cut off by the perforations and is not visible.

The Treasury of Trees Prestige panes from Walsall are perforated 14 x 14 , whilst other prestige panes and counter booklets are perforated 15 x 14.

Postman Pat pane and Botanical Gardens panes have only 4 definitive per pane, these are attached to the commemorative label. the labels can be obtained with either torn or cut perfs.

Two different Millennium special issue (a separate pane of 2 x special issues)  mixed booklets were also issued in May 2000, these carry only 8 x 1st Millennium Machins , a cut down version of the original 10 x 1st Walsall booklet pane. The panes also exist with either a 6.5 mm  or 9 mm phosphor band in the margins. Cylinder numbers are found W1 or (W2 later printings) in row two.

The phosphor bands on The Queen Mother  prestige panes are 9.5mm wide. The phosphor also shows up very bright on these panes.

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De La Rue printings: 

OFNP/PVA gum with a bluish tint. The phosphor bands show a Turquoise tint. They have no afterglow under long wave UV light. (DGAB)

Definatives from the sheet stamps the jewels at the back are not present. A dark mark between the top and right arms of the diadem is visible.

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 As with the Walsall printing the fabric under the queens shoulder is not visible at the bottom of the stamps.

The value tablet is approx. 1.6mm from the bottom of the perforations and the phosphor bands are 9 mm wide.

The stamps from HM Miniature sheet Stamp Show 2000 (left)  are readily identifiable as the are on OFPP/PVA gum these have no phosphor bands.

It has been suggested that this paper type was left over from the printing of the Matthews miniature sheet which was also OFPP.

All stamps printed by  De La Rue are perforated 15 x 14.

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Questa printings:

 OFNP/PVA with a white gum. The phosphor bands show a deep violet tint. They have an afterglow under long wave UV light. (DGA2B). The panes (10 x 1st) exist with either Q1 in the top row or Q1 in the bottom row of the margins.

The jewels at the back of the crown not present on Questa printings, the earring also appears incomplete.  (Walsall and De La Rue stamps show it clearly). The portrait is positioned high on the stamps and the point of the diadem runs off the top of the perforations.

Many of these Millennium stamps have been discovered with minor phosphor shifts, giving new varieties including short at the top, short at bottom , inset left and inset right. They are also known with complete missing phosphor, missing left band and missing right band. These are very desirable additions to a collection and are highly sought after by specialists.

Many thanks to Denis Stevens Specialised QEII Definitive issues for permission to show the above images. You can jump onto a link to Denis,s site in our links section.

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