Scotland 1st class regional

The Virtual GB Album

Pictorial Regionals

Scotland 1st class regional
Page 5
White Borders Added 2003


Scotland E no border Scotland E border

On October 14, 2003, the 16 current pictorial regionals were reissued with the same designs but with standard white borders around the edges. This was the solution to a problem discovered with many of the stamps in the series.

All British low value stamps have one or two clear phosphor bands printed over the ink. These bands are read by automated mail handling equipment to locate the stamps and to separate second-class mail from other mail. Dark colored inks reduce the ability of the machines to sense the phosphor. By adding white borders to the designs, Royal Mail expects that the phosphor will be easier to sense.

All stamps except those paying the second-class rate have two vertical phosphor bands located at the left and right edges. The phosphor coats the right and left borders of these stamps, so the new stamps provide a large, light area to help the sensing equipment. Stamps paying the second-class rate, inscribed with the non-value indicator “2nd,” have a single vertical phosphor band down the middle of the stamp. Even though only a small portion of the top and bottom borders are coated with phosphor, this is probably enough to make the stamp easier to sense.

A few of the regionals had minor changes made to the designs, and those stamps are shown here. Above are the old and new versions of the Scotland “E” stamp that pays the airmail letter rate to Europe. Although the image area of the stamp was reduced to make room for the borders, the size of the thistle was not reduced. Therefore, it takes up porportionately more of the image area than before. This is easiest to notice at the top where the flower on the new stamp nearly touches the border and at the top right, where the leaf on the new stamp just about touches the Queen’s portrait.

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Wales 'E' Wales 'E' with border

The Welsh “E” stamp was also redesigned. The central daffodil is noticeably larger on the new stamp.

On all four Welsh stamps, the cameo of the Queen was changed from grey to white. No reason for this change was given.

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Last update: April 20, 2004 Copyright © 2004 by Larry Rosenblum Macintosh!