THE FALKLAND ISLANDS 1986 60TH BIRTHDAY OF QUEEN ELIZABETH II STAMP ISSUE
Information and Reference of the Designing, Printing and Distribution of the Stamps Through the British Crown Agents Philatelic Services
Scott Catalog 441-5 Stanley Gibbons 522-6
In my acquisition of the documents used in the trials against the Format International Security Printers Ltd. and the associated companies
including the British Crown agents philatelic agency, I found 144 documents in reference to the creation and distribution of the 1986 60th Birthday of Queen Elizabeth II common design stamp issue.
These documents give a much clearer look at how stamps are created, produced and distributed to collectors around the world.
This group of documents gives us a basic idea of how all Falkland Island stamps were produced during the 1980's and 1990's and how varieties
were commonly requested by the philatelic agencies to promote collecting and increase revenues.
These documents were originally intended to prosecute the above mentioned companies for illegal intentional production of errors and varieties
where in the end of the trials it was proven they did nothing illegal and produced varieties of stamps legally and under contract to do so.
Anyone who contests the facts given can request a pdf file of all the documents for a fee.
On May 2 of 1985 the Sales and Marketing director, Mr. J.C. Smith contacted the Falkland Islands Philatelic Bureau inviting them to join
in on issuing a set of the omnibus 60th Birthday of Queen Elizabeth II stamp issue which would be released in 1986.
In reply on May 15, 1985 Mr. D.L. Clifton, manager of the Falkland Islands Philatelic Bureau responded with agreement that they should participate
but with reserved feelings. He stated they were committed not only for the financial return but that they liked to be associated with royal events.
He stated at this time there was concern that the royal series are becoming far too stereotyped and that to a degree they endorse the comments
made in the recent Philatelic Exporter magazine. The question being are they going to issue another omnibus on her 65, 70, 95 birthdays and likewise
for the Queen Mother? He stated as this can only be seen as exploiting a very special family.
On September 10, 1985 Mr. Smith formally requested the Falkland Islands to join under the stipulations that the Crown Agents would have complete
control over the issues design and production including the FDC designs.
On September 11, 1985 the Falkland Islands Philatelic Bureau agreed to join in producing issues for both the Falkland Islands and the Falkland Island
dependencies, namely the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands.
On October 7, 1985 the Crown Agents requested names of the national flowers for the Falkland Islands. In reply on October 10 Mr. Clifton stated
there are no national flowers for the Falklands and that to his knowledge there are no flowers on South Georgia at all!
On October 24, 1985 Mr. Clifton replied that since they have no national flower and had this same problem with the 1981 Royal Wedding issue
that they design a boquet with flower designs from the 1968 flower definitive issues.
The 60th Birthday Omnibus series is listed and defined in Scott Catalog as "Common Designs". A standard designed set made for the different
countries that would participate. For this series 23 British Commonwealth countries were involved.
There were rules placed for the designs for each country. They were:
1.) Five stamps and no souvenir sheets.
2.) All stamps to be the same size in sheets of 50 with decorative gutter.
3.) Face Value between £1.50 to £2.00 for the set depending on postal rates.
4.) Release date to be April 21, 1986 (actual date of birth).
5.) Stamp designs to be as follows with lowest value first.
a) Scenes in black and white of life of her majesty from birth to accession to throne (1952).
b) Scenes in color of life of her majesty from accession to current date.
c) Scene in color (if possible) of her majesty visiting the issuing country or if no visit made
photograph of her majesty in role of one of the orders of chivalry or head of armed forces.
d) Picture from a range of modern photographic portraits.
e) A special common photographic portrait which was to be arranged by the Crown Agents.
The queen never visited the Falkland Islands so the bureau left it up to the Crown Agents discretion.
The designing of the decorative gutters between the stamps was quite interesting. Each country issue has different
designs. There are five different vignette's. This means to collect them all you have to either buy the complete vertical
gutter strip or get five different sets of the gutter pairs with different vignette's.
The order of the vignette's are from top to bottom:
1.)Crest of the royal order of...
2.)One of the royal palaces
3.)Inscription reading, "60th Birthday Greetings HM Queen Elizabeth II"
4.)Badge of a royal military corp service
5.)Coat of Arms of the country of issue
For the Falkland islands the crest is the Royal Order of the Bath Star, Grand Cross. The palace is Kensington Palace.
The badge is the Royal Artillery and the Coat of Arms is the "Desire the Right" one.
For South Georgia the crest is the Royal Victorian Order Star, Knight Commander. The palace is Buckingham Palace.
The badge is the Royal Military Police and the Coat of Arms is the "Research and Discovery" one.
At the time of writing this I could not find any gutter strips available for the Falkland Islands 60th Birthday issue
nor any for the dependencies. This is an image of the gutter strips for the Tristan da Cunha issue.
Here is a set of gutter pairs from the Falkland Islands 60th Birthday issue.
The Quantities Produced
In my research on the printers and practices they followed it is little known by the majority of collectors and most "experts" just how massively
produced stamp issues really are. In many cases the quantities that a given country states were issued and what was actually produced and distributed to the market are extremely
different. This does not just hold true to the PDC, Format Printers and various companies who were put on trial. It holds true
with the majority of other philatelic agencies, bureau's and printing companies who were doing the same exact thing. The trials against the Format Printers
revealed these facts. What is being overlooked and or completely ignored is the fact that basically all of the printers followed orders
given to them by the philatelic agencies. This one case will show you the evidence that even the British Crown Agents stamp company
were ordering quantities and varieties in limited quantities just as the PDC (Philatelic Distribution Corp.) did.
The reason I state this is because these documents are based on orders given by the British Crown Agents who many argue would never do
such a thing!
On January 3, 1986 Mr. D.L. Clifton, manager of the Philatelic Bureau for the Falkland Islands, requested the following quantities:
10p 40,000 to Falkland Islands 20,000 for FID (Falkland Island Dependencies)
24p 80,000 to Falkland Islands 20,000 for FID
29p 100,000 to Falkland Islands 20,000 for FID
45p 30,000 to Falkland Islands 15,000 for FID
58p 40,000 to Falkland Islands 15,000 for FID
FDC 5,000 to Falkland Islands 4,000 for FID
The table below is another example where the philatelic agency (namely the Crown Agents) ordered extremely larger quantities of this issue.
Noting the exceptional quantities ordered for the two high values.
On February 3, 1986 the Crown Agents Stamp company ordered the Format International Security Printers to print the following quantities
and send them to the listed locations.
The Postal authority is of course the Falkland Islands Philatelic Bureau. CASB is the Crown Agents Stamp Bureau based in the U.K.
CAPC is the Crown Agents Philatelic Corporation which was based in the U.S.
This shows that the Crown Agents ordered large quantities of stamp issues in exactly the same way as Philatelists Ltd., PDC and many other
philatelic agencies did and are doing today! I do not have a specialized book on the Falkland Island stamps but I am fairly certain that the stated
quantities issued in most is far less than what was actually produced and exists today.
On February 10, 1986 the Crown Agents ordered these special varieties from the Falkland Islands Philatelic Bureau.
250 First Day Covers with 'FOX BAY' Cancel
4500 First Day Covers with 'PORT STANLEY' cancel
1800 Sets of Stamps 'Cancelled to Order'
150 First Day Covers with 'MOUNT PLEASANT' cancel
500 Gutter Pairs MINT (1000 sets)
Is there a difference in ordering these varieties from the Philatelic Bureau in the stated limited quantities or ordering imperforates,
Specimen overprinted or progressive color proofs in the same fashion from the printer? None whatsoever.
Many times CTO stamps are produced by the printer rather than the philatelic bureau. It only depends on whether the country
has invested the funds to purchase the special cancel equipment needed to run the panes through. Many times for many countries
who do not have this equipment 'cancelled to order' stamps are made by the printer instead.
On February 14, 1986 10,500 First Day Covers were ordered.
On the same day 8,000 FDC's were ordered for the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands issue.
This is double the numbers ordered by the Falkland Islands Philatelic Bureau.
Some documents are missing from the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands issue. It is because Format printed the Falkland Islands
set but The House of Questa printed the dependencies set. Therefore the documents showing quantities requested and produced from the printer
are not in the exhibit. Still there are documents showing costs. The total costs for Questa to print the dependencies issue were in the same range
as the total costs for Format to print the Falkland Island issue. Therefore, unless Questa printed the dependencies set for double or triple
the costs of what Format cost for the Falkland set, large quantities were ordered by the Crown Agents for this set as well.
We can see that because 8,000 FDC's for the dependencies set were ordered, that the same holds true with the stamps.
On April 2 three cancel dies were sent to the philatelic bureau in the Falkland Islands. They were for Fox Bay, Mount Pleasant and Port Stanley.
On April 7 delivery was confirmed of 11,500 liner cards for the FDC's.
On May 19, after the April 21 issue date, the Crown Agents acknowledged receipt on May 15 of:
4,500 x FDC Falkland Islands Port Stanley cancelled
Port Stanley Cancelled First Day Cover
Falkland Islands 1986 60th Birthday First Day Cover Liner Card
On June 4, after the April 21 issue date, the Crown Agents acknowledged receipt on May 29 of:
1800 Sets of CTO Stamps
500 Sets of Gutter Pairs (1000 Sets) Mint
On July 2, long after the April 21 issue date, the Crown Agents acknowledged receipt on June 26 of:
4,000 x FDC FID (South Georgia)
250 x FDC Falkland Islands Fox Bay cancelled
150 x FDC Falkland Islands Mt. Pleasant cancelled
Fox Bay Cancelled First Day Cover
Mount Pleasant Cancelled First Day Cover
On February 26, 1987 a company called UNICOVER Corp. posted a request that FDC cachets they sent to the Falkland Islands
Philatelic Bureau be cancelled with the First Day of Issue dated April 21, 1986. These were in addition to covers sent earlier.
Unicover was in fact Fleetwood a major U.S. based company that produced first day covers, commemorative covers, panels and many
other stamp related projects.
Fleetwood 1986 Falkland Islands 60th Birthday Unofficial First Day Cover
Fleetwood 1986 Falkland Islands 60th Birthday Unofficial First Day Cover Back
On March 26, 1987 the Falkland Islands Philatelic Bureau responded with confirmation that UNICOVER's package containing additional
first day covers of the Queens 60th Birthday, for cancellation had been processed and returned registered post today.
This is solid evidence of the bureau using the special First Day cancels long after the actual date of issue. It shows that this
practice of cancelling first day covers upon demand rather than only on or before the first day of issue is commonplace. It is solid evidence
that the majority of the unofficial Fleetwood first day covers were never cancelled on or before the first day of issue but
were cancelled for guaranteed profits from customer orders long after the first day of issue. Therefore unless proven otherwise
all Fleetwood First Day Covers are not First Day Covers at all! They are falsely advertised as First Day Covers, They are deceiving
collectors into thinking they are first day covers by printing that they are on the back as shown.
You can call them commemorative covers that were sold at the time and even today at much more than they will ever be worth. I am
sorry but this is just another example of seedy people that have infested the philatelic market. It should be illegal for
a philatelic bureau to use a first day cancel device after 24 hours of the day of issue. Any country and company that does not comply with
the rule should be shunned from the stamp market.
On May 5, 1988 The Falkland Islands Philatelic Bureau documented that upon withdrawal of the 60th Birthday issue FDC's that
they had a surplus of 149 FDC's and wanted authorization from the Crown Agents to destroy them. This was authorized on May 17 after
Crown Agents checked their stock and found "no shortages".
On May 23, 1988 the document shows the destruction of surplus FDC's at the CASB branch including Fox Bay and Mount Pleasant cancelled.
The actual destruction certificate is missing in the trial exhibit so the quantities destroyed are unknown.
On December 5, 1988 the document shows the destruction of surplus stamps at the CASB branch including CTO stamps.
The actual destruction certificate is in the trial exhibit so the quantities are known.
Close to 35,000 sets were destroyed. 931 CTO sets were destroyed.
The Rarities Produced
In my analysis of the trial documents my conclusions are:
The stamps in and of themselves are quite common. Around 95,000 sets exist.
Around 7-8,000 Official Stamp First Day Covers with Port Stanley cancels exist.
The rarer items are:
Only 500 sets of the gutter pairs exist if the Falkland Islands philatelic bureau did not save any.
Only around 200 Official Stamp First Day Covers with Fox Bay cancels exist.
Only around 100 Official Stamp First Day Covers with Mount Pleasant cancels exist.
Only around 900 CTO stamp sets exist.
Try finding the FDC's with either cancel and you will find it is difficult!
No errors appear to exist for either set.
It was stated in one document by the British Crown Agents philatelic agency when they were promoting contracts to various countries that it is inadvisable to
retain a philatelic agency that is a stamp dealer claiming the Crown Agents were not. One reason being that the dealer run agency would retain errors and varieties getting the"jump"
on other dealers thus hurting philatelic popularity of the country.
This section of documents and evidence shows that the Crown Agents were involved in creating limited varieties and ordering double to triple
quantities that were ordered by the Falkland Islands Philatelic Bureau. This is supposed to not happen according to their own standards and collectors beliefs.
This information has either been overlooked or ignored by collectors, dealers and "experts" alike. In most cases probably because of the
fear of devaluing the stamp issues and varieties they hold.
Instead of looking at the evidence presented in the trials against the Format Printers in the sense that all printers and agencies were
doing the same thing, they singled out one printer and their associates and ignored the others.
So the question is who is at fault?
The Falkland Islands Philatelic Bureau or the British Crown Agents Philatelic Agencies....or us for not delving deeper into what really goes
on behind closed doors of philatelic bureau's and agencies and the printers they use!?!
As for British Crown Agents Stamp Company not being a stamp dealer...well, what were they going to do with all those stamps....store and admire them?
I never saw anywhere that they were a "non-profit" organization. Have you?
This basically sums up the developement and production of the Falkland Islands 1986 60th Birthday of Queen Elizabeth II Omnibus Issue.
References taken from:
Stanley Gibbons Falkland Islands
Trial Exhibit #454