Collecting Post & Go Stamps on Cover Will Pay Dividend to Collectors
I've long argued the case to consider collecting these new machine vended stamps and, interested in the ability to trace Post & Go stamps to the machines and Post Offices of issue, I'm actively looking to acquire and document commercially used P&G covers while they remain in relatively low use. Finding contemporary commercially used covers bearing Post & Go stamps for the issues released so far can only become ever more difficult.
Post and Go machines currently operate in about 150 locations around the UK. Some Post Offices have more than one machine in operation but, nevertheless, only a tiny fraction of all UK mail currently bears these stamps. While Royal Mail is providing First Day Covers for all the pictorial Post & Go stamps to collectors, commercially used covers for the pictorial and commemorative issues to date are currently scarce in usage and sound examples of intact covers will undoubtedly prove rare items to challenge future collectors.
Machin Worldwide Post & Go Stamp issued at Bognor Regis with missing weight error on air mail envelope to Penang Malaysia machine cancel 22/2/2012
So where can you get hold of commercial covers? Obviously you can post yourself a few items as each new issue is released and you can ask family and friends to save incoming envelopes for you too. While I've seen several used Post and Go stamps on piece (probably sorted from kiloware) advertised on eBay, very few commercially used covers have appeared to date. In my experience, another fruitful way of acquiring commercial covers is to approach local businesses with the offer of a donation to their "tea fund" or a local charity in return for what would otherwise be discarded incoming envelopes.
A 1st Class Diamond Jubilee Post & Go Stamp on pre-printed envelope to Bolton, inkjet cancel Nottingham 23/4/2012
While there's a lot more to collecting stamps and covers than just the monetary value, it is primarily the rarity of items within a collection that makes it stand out from the crowd and, of course, rarity and value tend to go hand in hand for our hobby.
Stamp collectors can be very conservative creatures and will often resist or dismiss changes as the mail industry evolves. This reluctance to accept or find interest in new developments such as Post & Go stamps can work to the advantage of the more forward thinking and pragmatic collector. In fact, conservatism aside, I believe it's the actual evolution of the technology used to produce postage stamps and deliver postal services which is the key reason to remain interested in our hobby!
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