SAINT VINCENT BEQUIA 1985 85TH BIRTHDAY OF QUEEN ELIZABETH THE QUEEN MOTHER STAMP ISSUES
Information and Reference of What was Found in the Format Archive and Elsewhere
Varieties and Proofs
Would YOU store YOUR specialized 1985 85th Birthday of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother varieties this way?
THE SOUVENIR SHEET
Information on this series is changing as more information is being discovered. This page and associated pages
will be updated as more information is made available.
The 1985 85th Birthday of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother stamps issued for Saint Vincent Bequia are a beautiful set and very colorful.
The series was quite a production for the Format Security Printers with the numerous images portrayed on the individual stamps
and souvenir sheets of the series. Numerous errors and varieties exist for this series thus making it quite a diverse and challenging
project to complete.
There is no information on the actual quantities produced of varieties and such but we can pretty much assert that the practices
of production for other series including the Leaders of the World Automobiles and Locomotives and the Royal Wedding series should
coincide with this series as well. Due to the standard principles involved with production of stamps depicting royalty the practices
would be the same for this series.
In my recovery of the Saint Lucia and Tuvalu side of the police evidence stock I also received a portion of the progressive color
proofs for the souvenir sheets from all the countries involved in numerous series. With Saint Lucia a major portion. With the Tuvalu and
Islands what remained was very small. I fear now that most has been lost or destroyed very probably by terrible storage conditions.
In the recovery some were found in packets which moisture had penetrated and basically destroyed them all. Some were still wet! As if stored
in a cellar! Even moldy!
In the acquisitions of the Bileski estate I got several lots of panes of the missing color varieties, perforation varieties, watermark varieties and
gum varieties. These being found in the printers archive. Even some of these were torn, wrinkled and damaged in ways from storage in the archive.
I therefore submit to you that apparently some varieties because of these conditions have now become very limited as to what the collector can
obtain and thus have become increasingly of higher value. Try to find certain varieties of these on the market and you will find it nearly impossible to impossible
On this page I will try to break down what was produced, estimated quantities and valuation of the material.
I will use 2 sections to do this. First being the single stamp issues and secondly the souvenir sheets.
With the souvenir sheets section I will be tallying up both for the one issued in 1985 and the restricted printing set issued in late 1985.
Let's get started!
THE PERFORATED SINGLE STAMP VARIETIES
I will base the quantities produced on the standards used for other series mainly being the Leaders of the World Automobiles and Locomotives Series which obviously
were of the same style as this series. Over and over again in the documentation recovered from the trials and directly from the printer the quantities
produced for varieties is generally always the same.
Interestingly enough as I stated in the introduction page for this series the progressive color proof Presentation Folders were not allowed to be reprinted
due to the reprint agreement excluding this from happening. Therefore in my opinion the progressives were only printed once.
For Saint Vincent Bequia several varieties were retained which were not listed in the Urch Harris catalog imaged below.
This is an image of the advertisement made in the Urch Harris Commonwealth Stamp Catalog made back in 1987-88 for the 1985 Saint Vincent Bequia 85th
Birthday Stamps and Souvenir Sheets and varieties.
More varieties have been found since this ad but it gives you an idea of what was available and pricing at the time.
I note no "varieties" were listed at the time and this appears not to be the case. Please read on.
For the normal issue being a popular topic and highly collected the quantities produced for the normal issue was around 75,000 sets.
I base this on quantities produced for LOW trains and cars for Bequia.
Pricing should run at the stated catalog values.
I have not seen any uncut press sheets of this issue.
NORMAL PERFORATED "SPECIMEN" OVERPRINTED STAMPS
At this time I can find no examples different from the imaged set.
I note that with several other countries there were two versions of the overprint which shows evidence of reprinting.
For Bequia only the horizontal overprint seems to exist. If vertical overprints are discovered then these would be the reprints
following the status of the other countries.
Documentation and evidence show that:
Based on practices of the printer for other series 2,000 sets of specimen overprinted stamps were produced.
Pricing should run between $7-10.00 a set.
At present nothing is available on the market.
THE IMPERFORATE VARIETY
Standard print orders and practices were for 5,000 imperforate sets. Another 3,000 would be produced for the progressive color proofs.
As you can see the Urch Harris ad does not show anything for imperforates of the single stamp issues.
I cannot find availability of any other values anywhere.
Rushstamps does list all values as available on presentation cards at a steep price.
Pricing should run at $2-5.00 a pair if the stock is ever found.
Nothing available in the form of sheets.
PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOFS
At present I can find nothing available anywhere.
THE SOUVENIR SHEETS
Following is the rundown of what is known to exist in regards to the souvenir sheets.
THE PERFORATED ORIGINAL SOUVENIR SHEET
Documentation and evidence shows that:
At present at least 5,000 copies of this issue were produced. Probably more. This is based on the following evidence found in the St. Lucia holding.
1.) 3,000 copies have been found in the police evidence.
2.)These are for sale by numerous internet sellers and stamp dealers.
3.)One dealer of Format Material (mentioning no names) is selling bulk lots of 5 seeming to have many copies.
This is a popular series collected by many collectors and thematic collectors thus demand is higher.
Because of these factors pricing for this souvenir sheet should run at average Scott listed pricing of $3-5.00.
VARIETIES OF THIS SOUVENIR SHEET
Documentation and evidence shows that:
At present based on practices of the printer at the time 2,000 imperforate souvenir sheets were made.
Another 1,500 were produced with the progressive color proofs.
Nothing is available on the market for this souvenir sheet except for an offering by Rushstamps for the proof in presentation folder.
The quantity that still exists is unknown.
THE RESTRICTED PRINTING SOUVENIR SHEETS
The perforated $3.50 Restricted Printing Souvenir Sheet
The perforated $6.00 Restricted Printing Souvenir Sheet
The restricted printing souvenir sheets were asserted to be around 2000 being printed by Robson Lowe. They are readily available at numerous locations on the internet.
This shows that all were retained. I believe now that it was closer to the standard 5,000.
Accordingly pricing should be at $3-5.00 each unless evidence of a lower number being produced is found.
A NOTE The image below shows availability of the imperforate and specimen overprinted varieties for the restricted printing souvenir sheets.
THE RESTRICTED PRINTING IMPERFORATE SOUVENIR SHEETS
The limited numbers printed of the normal issue would make one believe that the imperforate varieties would fall under lower numbers.
I do not think this to be the case. Evidence is showing that standard practices were used for the varieties. Therefore I would estimate that at
least 3,000 to 4,000 were produced. Sorry to say but this makes the imperforates valued at regular issued values.
They are readily available on the market.
Accordingly pricing should be at $3-5.00 each unless evidence of an even lower number being produced is found.
THE RESTRICTED PRINTING SOUVENIR SHEETS WITH SPECIMEN OVERPRINT
Documentation and evidence show that:
At present based on practices of the printer at the time 1,000 perforated and 1,000 imperforate of each were made.
The Specimen overprinted sets are available (though not to often) in various locations and listed by Rushstamps. Also the imperforate
version is offered at Rushstamps for a few dollars more.
Accordingly pricing should be at $10-15.00 a set for either version.
THE PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOFS OF THE SOUVENIR SHEET
Again I can find no sets of these available anywhere on the internet.
Some were sold in the final sale of the archive though so they do exist.
THE MISSING SILVER OR GOLD BORDER AND INSCRIPTIONS ERRORS
This "error" is found on both the values of the restricted printing souvenir sheets for Saint Vincent Bequia. Standard practices of the printer were to produce 3,000 sets of missing color errors. I
believe this to also hold true for this type of error. It is sold through Stampdile showing they have been retained.
The reason I know? Because I have retained around 2,000 copies of the Saint Lucia variety via the police evidence. This is a made for collector error. It is an interesting novelty.
I have not seen any imperforate versions available.
Pricing should run at $5.00 each.
At this time there is no evidence that any other errors were made for this particular souvenir sheet.
This basically sums up the stamp varieties for the Saint Vincent Bequia 1985 85th Birthday of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Omnibus series.
As new information and evidence is found it will be added to this page.