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SAINT VINCENT GRENADINES UNION ISLAND LEADERS OF THE WORLD AUTOMOBILES AND TRAINS PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOF STAMPS

The Cars and Trains Progressive Color Proof Stamps for Union Island Produced by the Format International Security Printers

A Specialized Study of the Varieties and Quantities Produced

Would YOU store YOUR specialized stamps this way?

Example of how the Police Evidence Stock was Stored
Marquee for Golowe's Reference Site on the Format International Security Printers

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. Arguments are welcome if you have the evidence to back it up!

In 1984 Saint Vincent Grenadines Union Island joined other commonwealth countries in the production and issuance of the Leaders of the World (LOW) Automobile and Locomotive series of stamps. Between 1984 and 1987 Union Island issued 4 sets of the Automobile series and 7 sets of the Locomotives series. This page will link to images of the existing Progressive Color Proof panes with enlarged images of the pairs in all stages so that collectors and dealers can define which progressive color proof belongs to which series and value.

As shown on the specialized pages the standard practices of the printer in most cases was to produce 3,000 sets of progressive color proofs for each value of a given series. For many series of the countries involved the progressives have either been lost or possibly never saved by the printer. One must understand that each value that was produced required 120 panes of 25 pairs (500 panes of 10 pairs of the later issues on the Saint Vincent Dependencies side) multiplied by the seven stages. That is a lot of panes! In other words 840 panes of 25 or 3500 panes of 10 just for one value!

Here is an image of the panes for just one value of Saint Lucia's 1985 Butterflies.
Stack of One Value of Progressive Color Proofs Produced by the Format International Security Printers

It measures around 9 inches by 13 inches by around 7 inches tall and weighs around 8 to 9 pounds! Now imagine storing around 500 of these somewhere. That would just be for the LOW Automobiles and Locomotives series! With the numbers of stamps produced you would need a warehouse of immense proportions to store just the progressives if the printers were so inclined to keep every value of every issue. Then think of adding imperforates, specimens, varieties on and on. Of course it was never done. Varieties and such were selectively saved. In many cases only a few press sheets were saved representing only a couple values of a given series. In many cases....nothing was saved. This is one of the many reasons that some series do not exist as progressives and why others may only have four of the eight values that exist as such and so forth.
Because of the difficulty of storing them many have been damaged over the years. Many have colors that were completely destroyed. Because of the stigma and misrepresentation by certain out of date "experts" and dealers who have placed upon them terms such as "wallpaper" and "junk" these rarities have been abused and mishandled over the years to the point of total destruction for many issues.

For the Union Island LOW Cars and Trains progressives most of the reprinted values that were saved were held in the police evidence stock taken in the raids against the printing company to be used against the owners and associated companies in the trials against them which ended up with not guilty verdicts on all charges. Sadly, the police are not stamp collectors and these varieties were literally thrown in police evidence bags, thrown into crates and stored under atrocious conditions until 2008 when they were released. All during the years having rumors spread by certain unknowing "experts" and dealers saying huge quantities of the issues would flood the market and devalue present day stocks of the issues. Not knowing nor realizing that what had in fact been confiscated under the impression of being "errors" was in fact only progressives, imperforates and specimen overprinted stamps which are not errors at all!

Looking at the quantities as a whole...yes millions. When looking at what was really there, proof that not one single issue was ever produced in the millions! A couple of these "experts" had a look at the crates in storage and with a quick glance assumed that the stamps were normal issues and imperforates. Probably the finals on top as was usually the case in the stacks. Without digging deeper they did not realize they were the progressives and such thus the rumors of "millions" of the LOW issues were in there. That stigma has remained in the minds of many collectors and dealers and needs to be changed. The vague references in the major catalogs need to be changed or ignored because they do not define correctly what exists. One of many reasons I have created these specialized pages.

On the Saint Vincent side (including Union Island) of the police evidence most of the progressive color proof packs for the Leaders of the World Automobiles and Locomotives series were in two crates. The two crates were purchased in auction soon after their release in 2008 by a stamp seller on eBay under the user names of CityCollectibles and StampsInternational2010. From what was told to me by sources I will not name and I cannot verify it that the crates were "sold for peanuts!". The crates with Saint Lucia, Tuvalu and other unknown countries (I am thinking probably British Virgin Islands for one) did not sell at that time and were returned to the original owner, Mr. Jonathan Feigenbaum, son of the late Clive Feigenbaum.

Some time in 2011 under the user name of CityCollectibles the buyer began sales of the progressive color proof panes on eBay. Because of the random way in which the British Metropolitan police just threw the packs into the evidence bags and into the crates the seller CC found it to be too difficult and time consuming to reunite the different color proofs to their perspective values. Instead they took a number of random packs and took one pane from each creating lots of 25 to 100 panes and gave them a price range of $25-60.00 for each lot! The lots sold like hotcakes!

To those "experts" and certain dealers who run private forums and such that want to call this material "wallpaper" and "junk" and state emphatically "nobody buys this junk!", according to the sales on eBay of which all of it is now sold and gone....perhaps a little rethinking is in order!

In my recovery of Format material I was lucky enough to catch on to the sales of the Saint Vincent side of the police evidence stock. I began purchasing one of each of the random lots and thus have accomplished reuniting at least one set of each value that was in the stock for Saint Vincent and the dependencies. There are certain series (almost all of the automobiles series)that were not in the stock. Certain series again only four of the six or eight values were in the stock. It is now positive that these were reprints.

I note here that now many of the panes are being cut and sold as individual stamp sets. Because of the random way they have been dispersed all over the world many sets will never be fully recovered and thus we now have a new rarity factor. Owning a full set of panes will be an extreme rarity in the not so far future! In the beginning 3,000 sets were produced. Now the number of complete sets for many of the values may be cut in half or even more!

Many collectors and dealers are having a difficult time defining certain stages of the color proofs. The yellow stage in many cases is difficult to define as some are very hard to see clearly. Other stages because there are no inscriptions to define them.

I have created tables for the pane sets below and give the Scott Catalog numbers, Stanley Gibbons numbers (when possible) and the number of the pane. The links will take you to a page showing each progressive color proof pane and a closeup image of each pair in each stage.
Series that there are no panes available or clearly defined images cannot be obtained will be imaged as a group to show they exist.

For the yellow stage of the progressives I have imaged a modified embossed image to clarify them. You can do the same thing by scanning and then using an image editor to create an embossed view of it. The embossing modification highlights parts of the image that cannot be seen clearly thus giving you a clearer image of what stamp the proof is for.

Hopefully the pages will help collectors and dealers organize and present their progressive color proofs with more ease.

Enjoy the show!

It appears at this time that the Stampdile network retained very little of the automobiles and locomotives progressive color proofs for Union Island, unlike with Bequia in which a majority of them were retained. It is with some certainty that the Union Island progressives from the police evidence stock are indeed reprints. However at this time I theorize that they were being reprinted because no older versions of the progressives were retained for the Union Island issues as is evident on the Stampdile website. The reprinting was halted in 1988 and thus I believe that the series that were in the police evidence stock may be the only progressive color proof sets (aside from the uncut press sheets which are extremely rare) left in existence!

1st Series Railway Locomotives issued August 9, 1984

All values of the 1st series trains progressive color proof sets were confiscated by the British Metropolitan Police for the trials against the printer and associated companies. They were retained until 2008 upon with their release the values were auctioned off in bulk. All values were sold on eBay in random bulk lots of 30-100 panes mixed with different series along with series from Saint Vincent, Saint Vincent Grenadines and Bequia in the year 2012 and sold out. They are now scattered across the world and many will never be reunited. Therefore the full intact pane sets are fast becoming exceedingly rare.
As shown on the main specialized page this set exists in five stage form from the press sheets. Very few press sheets were retained thus the 5-stage sets are extremely rare.

1984 Union Island Leaders of the World, Locomotives (1st series) Stamps

VIEW THE UNION ISLAND 1984 1ST SERIES LOCOMOTIVES 5-STAGE PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOF STAMPS HERE

1ST SERIES LOCOMOTIVES 7-STAGE PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOF PAGES
THE 5c VALUE 1813 Puffing Billy 0-4-0
THE 60c VALUE 1812 Prince Regent Cog
THE $1.00 VALUE 1936 D51 Class 2-8-2
THE $2.00 VALUE 1924 Class 01 4-6-2

2nd Series Railway Locomotives issued December 18, 1984

At present the location of the four low value 7-stage progressive proofs is unknown for the 2nd series automobiles. According to the list of requested reprinting shown on the introductory page at which time according to printing standards the progressive color proof panes were produced the four low value 2nd series progressives were created around December 9, 1988.
The four high values of the 2nd series trains progressive color proof sets were confiscated by the British Metropolitan Police for the trials against the printer and associated companies. They were retained until 2008 upon with their release the values were auctioned off in bulk. All values were sold on eBay in random bulk lots of 30-100 panes mixed with different series along with series from Saint Vincent, Saint Vincent Grenadines and Bequia in the year 2012 and sold out. They are now scattered across the world and many will never be reunited. Therefore the full intact pane sets are fast becoming a rarity.
As shown on the main specialized page this set exists in two varieties. A darker shaded variety and lighter shaded variety. Both having different paper and gum! This is at least true for the four high values. It is unknown about the four lower values.

The four low values exist in the six stage form from press sheets. They were not in either of the police evidence holdings. Therefore they can be considered quite rare as very few of the press sheets were saved.
An interesting note is that in my acquisition of the sets from press sheets none of the four high values were in the collection.

1984 Union Island Leaders of the World, Locomotives (2nd series) Stamps VIEW THE UNION ISLAND 1984 2ND SERIES LOCOMOTIVES 6-STAGE PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOF STAMPS HERE

2ND SERIES LOCOMOTIVES 7-STAGE PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOF PAGES
THE 75c VALUE 1938 C.R. Class C 4-6-0 (including color varieties)
THE $1.00 VALUE 1837 L.&B. Bury 2-2-0 (including color varieties)
THE $2.50 VALUE 1873 Hardwicke Precedent Class 2-4-0 (including color varieties)
THE $3.00 VALUE 1925 Class U1 2-8-0 + 0-8-2 (including color varieties)

1st Series Automobiles issued January 4, 1985

1985 Union Island Leaders of the World, Automobiles (1st series) Stamps

3rd Series Railway Locomotives issued March 25, 1985

All the values exist in the six stage form from press sheets. They were not in either of the police evidence holdings. Therefore they can be considered quite rare as very few of the press sheets were saved.

Evidence of the presentation cards shows us that 7-stage sets were created but at this time none are on the market.
Should they appear in the future, caution is advised should the seller ask for a large sum for them as the standard 3,000 sets were printed. The retail value being $5.00 for each value in 7-stage form unless it can be proven that all the panes but for a few were lost or destroyed which would be difficult to prove.

1985 Union Island Leaders of the World, Locomotives (3rd series) Stamps

VIEW THE UNION ISLAND 1985 3RD SERIES LOCOMOTIVES 6-STAGE PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOF STAMPS HERE

2nd Series Automobiles issued May 20, 1985

At present the location of the progressive proofs is unknown for the 2nd series automobiles. According to the list of requested reprinting shown on the introductory page at which time according to printing standards the progressive color proof panes were produced the 2nd series progressives were created around September 9, 1988.

1985 Union Island Leaders of the World, Automobiles (2nd series) Stamps

3rd Series Automobiles issued July 15, 1985

1985 Union Island Leaders of the World, Automobiles (3rd series) Stamps

4th Series Railway Locomotives issued January 31, 1986

At present the location of the four high value 7-stage progressive proof sets is unknown for the 4th series locomotives. According to the list of requested reprinting shown on the introductory page at which time according to printing standards the progressive color proof panes were produced the four high value 4th series progressives were created around September 2, 1988.
The four low values of the 4th series trains progressive color proof sets were confiscated by the British Metropolitan Police for the trials against the printer and associated companies. They were retained until 2008 upon with their release the values were auctioned off in bulk. All values were sold on eBay in random bulk lots of 30-100 panes mixed with different series along with series from Saint Vincent, Saint Vincent Grenadines and Bequia in the year 2012 and sold out. They are now scattered across the world and many will never be reunited. Therefore the full intact pane sets are fast becoming a rarity. All values exist in 7-stage form.

All the values exist in the six stage form from press sheets. They were not in either of the police evidence holdings.
There are two ways to define them. The easiest way to define the difference is by the larger selvage proving they came from the press sheets. The original printing can also be defined by the color variance. Originals have deeper and darker color than the reprints. It is very near impossible to define them this way without having both versions to compare with.
The six stage sets can be considered quite rare as very few of the press sheets were saved.

1986 Union Island Leaders of the World, Locomotives (4th series) Stamps VIEW THE UNION ISLAND 1986 4TH SERIES LOCOMOTIVES 6-STAGE PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOF STAMPS HERE

4TH SERIES LOCOMOTIVES 7-STAGE PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOF PAGES
THE 15c VALUE 1954 D.R.B. 2-8-4T Class 65.10
THE 30c VALUE 1976 BR Class 56 Co-Co
THE 45c VALUE 1888 Sir Theodore 0-4-2 Tram
THE 60c VALUE 1889 Elidir 0-4-0T

4th Series Automobiles issued July 30, 1986

At present the location of the progressive proofs is unknown for the 4th series automobiles. According to the list of requested reprinting shown on the introductory page at which time according to printing standards the progressive color proof panes were produced the 4th series progressives were created around September 16, 1988.

1986 Union Island Leaders of the World, Automobiles (4th series) Stamps

5th Series Railway Locomotives issued December 23, 1986

All the values of the 5th series trains progressive color proof sets were confiscated by the British Metropolitan Police for the trials against the printer and associated companies. They were retained until 2008 upon with their release the values were auctioned off in bulk. All values were sold on eBay in random bulk lots of 30-100 panes mixed with different series along with series from Saint Vincent, Saint Vincent Grenadines and Bequia in the year 2012 and sold out. They are now scattered across the world and many will never be reunited. Therefore the full intact pane sets are fast becoming a rarity.

All the values exist in the six stage form from press sheets. They were not in either of the police evidence holdings. There are two ways to define them. The easiest way to define the difference is by the larger selvage proving they came from the press sheets. The original printing can also be defined by the color variance. Originals have deeper and darker color than the reprints. It is very near impossible to define them this way without having both versions to compare with.
The six stage sets can be considered quite rare as very few of the press sheets were saved.

1986 Union Island Leaders of the World, Locomotives (5th series) Stamps VIEW THE UNION ISLAND 1986 5TH SERIES LOCOMOTIVES 6-STAGE PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOF STAMPS HERE

5TH SERIES LOCOMOTIVES 7-STAGE PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOF PAGES
THE 15c VALUE 1900 Castle Class 4-6-0
THE 45c VALUE 1929 Class Z 0-8-0T
THE 60c VALUE 1934 7200 Class 2-8-2T
THE 75c VALUE 1850 Aberdeen Railway No. 26 4-2-0
THE $1.00 VALUE 1903 AT&SF Class 900 No. 900 2-10-2
THE $1.50 VALUE 1837 PG&N Campbell's 8-wheeler 4-4-0
THE $2.00 VALUE 1969 Penn Central Metroliner Railcar Bo-Bo
THE $3.00 VALUE 1972 SNCF Gas Turbine Prototype TGV001 5-Car Set

The following two sets were printed in a new format. Printed in panes of ten pairs. The printing was done only once and thus the status of quantities of normal printed stamps is lower and is based on several invoices from other islands.
This is why catalog pricing is higher for these two sets. They are rarer than all the others in normal state.
The progressive color proofs and error stamps are not noted on the later invoices but were produced at the same time.
Basing on evidence from the Saint Vincent holding the quantities of progressives was increased to 5,000 sets produced. This is because the new format of panes of 10 was much easier to store than the older versions of panes of 25.

6th Series Railway Locomotives issued September 9, 1987

All the values of the 6th series trains progressive color proof sets were confiscated by the British Metropolitan Police for the trials against the printer and associated companies. They were retained until 2008 upon with their release the values were auctioned off in bulk. All values were sold on eBay in random bulk lots of 30-100 panes mixed with different series along with series from Saint Vincent Grenadines and Bequia in the year 2012 and sold out. They are now scattered across the world and many will never be reunited. Therefore the full intact pane sets are fast becoming a rarity.
1987 Union Island Leaders of the World, Locomotives (6th series) Stamps

6TH SERIES LOCOMOTIVES 7-STAGE PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOF PAGES
THE 15c VALUE 1887 'Spinner' Class 25 4-2-2
THE 25c VALUE 1886 Class 123 No. 123 4-2-2
THE 40c VALUE 1947 9400 Class 0-6-0T
(including error panes)
THE 50c VALUE 1912 Class D15 4-4-0
THE 60c VALUE 1911 Class Z 4-4-2
THE 75c VALUE 1883 Class Y14 0-6-0
THE $1.00 VALUE 1904 Erie Railroad Class H-20 No. 1615 2-8-0
THE $2.00 VALUE 1951 Kansas City Southern Railway Class GP7 Bo-Bo

7th Series Railway Locomotives issued December 4, 1987

All the values of the 7th series trains progressive color proof sets were confiscated by the British Metropolitan Police for the trials against the printer and associated companies. They were retained until 2008 upon with their release the values were auctioned off in bulk. All values were sold on eBay in random bulk lots of 30-100 panes mixed with different series along with series from Saint Vincent Grenadines and Bequia in the year 2012 and sold out. They are now scattered across the world and many will never be reunited. Therefore the full intact pane sets are fast becoming a rarity.

Noting in my aquisitions the 30c, 45c, $1.00 and $1.50 values exist in the six stage form from press sheets. The only way to define the difference is by the larger selvage proving they came from the press sheets. For the 7th series there is no color variance to define the difference as the sets were never reprinted. Therefore, they can be considered quite rare in this form, as very few of the press sheets were saved.
Noting with interest that the six stage sets I have do not have the all colors stage and for the 45c value there was no 8th stage used to create the made for collector missing red error.

1987 Union Island Leaders of the World, Locomotives (7th series) Stamps

VIEW THE UNION ISLAND 1987 7TH SERIES LOCOMOTIVES 6-STAGE PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOF STAMPS HERE

7TH SERIES LOCOMOTIVES 7-STAGE PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOF PAGES
THE 15c VALUE 1951 BR 'Fell' No. 10100 2-D-2
THE 20c VALUE 1951 BR Class 5MT 4-6-0
THE 30c VALUE 1897 Great Northern Railway Class G5 4-8-0
THE 45c VALUE 1896 Atlantic City Railroad No. 1027 4-4-2
(including error panes)
THE 50c VALUE 1938 Canadian National Railways Class U4-b 4-8-4
THE 75c VALUE 1915 CR (ex-HR) River Class 4-6-0
THE $1.00 VALUE 1905 Midland & South Western Junction Railway Class L 4-4-0
THE $1.50 VALUE 1934 Pennsylvania Railroad Class GG1 No. 4800 'Old Rivets' 2-Co+Co-2

This concludes the study of the progressive color proofs produced for the Leaders of the World Automobiles and Locomotives series issued by Saint Vincent Grenadines Union Island. I hope that this clarifies them for everyone who enjoys the collecting of these beautiful works of art.

Your friend and fellow collector and researcher,
JLowe

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