THE FORMAT INTERNATIONAL SECURITY PRINTERS LTD. ARCHIVE
Information and Reference of What was Found in the Archive
Stamp issues for Vaitupu printed by the Format International Security Printers Ltd. and items found in the Archive
Vaitupu stamps printed by Format International Security Printers Ltd.
Vaitupu is one of the "islands" of Tuvalu. Actually it is an atoll comprising of at least 9 isles.
It is the largest island of Tuvalu and has a population presently of about 1700 making it the second
most populated of Tuvalu. Between 1984 to 1988 The Format Printers produced
stamps for this and all the islands of Tuvalu. They all
were legitimate postage and some were used legitimately making them have recognition in the main
catalogs. Scott Catalog gives them all numbers and collectible values. Stanley Gibbons lists them but
does not give them numbers nor collectible values.
This should actually be changed as new information is showing that very low numbers were actually printed
of most of the issues. In comparison to many countries that are listed with catalogued
values in Stanley Gibbons they are well within range of not being classified as in excess of
postal needs. Also all the issues were available through the philatelic bureau and other
locations at face value.
We believe the separation of these issues was caused by influence made by certain entities who were angered
by the loss of the trials against the printer and the cover up of monetary gains from the issues themselves.
Another interesting note is that Scott catalog lumps
all of the Leaders of the World series in single groups whereas Stanley Gibbons defines the different
series as they were produced. Scott catalog bases values on the face value of the issues which we
have found is not accurate as later series do not exist in the same quantities as earlier series.
Listings here will be in the Stanley Gibbons format with Scott numbers for reference.
Quantities of most all of the following issues as in perforated, imperforate proofs, SPECIMEN overprinted, etc;
did come onto the market after the liquidation of the Format International Security Printers Ltd. in 1988.
After the trials the Tuvalu Philatelic Bureau sent agents in and confiscated much of the material and had it
destroyed. Still much was saved and we now have many of these varieties available for collectors to add to
There are some varieties that are legitimately rare. Also full uncut press sheets of some issues
have an extreme rarity factor. For more SPECIALIZED information on specific series please visit the linked pages
at the bottom of this page. This is an ongoing project and links will be added for the issues as research
Let's get started!
1984 LEADERS OF THE WORLD, AUTOMOBILES (1st series) Scott #2,5,7,12
1984 LEADERS OF THE WORLD, BRITISH MONARCHS Scott #17-22
1984 LEADERS OF THE WORLD, AUTOMOBILES (2nd series) Scott #1,3,6,8,10,13,14,16
1985 LEADERS OF THE WORLD, RAILWAY LOCOMOTIVES (1st series) Scott #24,27,32,33
1985 LEADERS OF THE WORLD, BUTTERFLIES Scott #39-42
1985 LEADERS OF THE WORLD, AUTOMOBILES (3rd series) Scott #4,9,11,15
1985-6 LEADERS OF THE WORLD, LIFE AND TIMES OF QUEEN ELIZABETH THE QUEEN MOTHER Scott #51-57
The souvenir sheets are not noted in Stanley Gibbons.
New information has been discovered.
1986 ROYAL WEDDING (1st issue) Scott #65-67
Yet again the souvenir sheet not noted in Stanley Gibbons.
1986 ROYAL WEDDING (2nd issue) Scott #68-9
1987 LEADERS OF THE WORLD, RAILWAY LOCOMOTIVES (3rd series) Scott #25,26,29,30,31,34,36,38
Not inscribed Leaders of the World.
1987 ROYAL RUBY WEDDING AND 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF QUEEN VICTORIA'S ACCESSION Scott #72-6
Again the souvenir sheet is not noted in Stanley Gibbons.
1988 OLYMPIC GAMES, SEOUL No catalog numbers.
A set of 6 stamps were produced but never issued. Only the 70c value seems to have survived.
These were the last stamps printed by the Format International Security Printers Ltd. for Vaitupu.
The company soon after went into bankruptcy.
New information has been discovered on these.