The RCM-FNMT errors (2). The "phantom" line

Real Casa de la Moneda - Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre (RCM-FNMT) was the winner of the last tender from Correos and from the middle of 2004 resumed the manufacture of the rolls of self-adhesive labels used for the issue of ATMs in Spain.

In this new stage that is still current (June 2006), it seems that they corrected one of the manufacturing errors, covered in a previous article, by which the design was moved downwards, returning to the original position after every 21 labels.
(Read: The errors of the RCM-FNMT)

But the RCM-FNMT has surprised us now with a new manufacturing error, another peculiar cyclical printing error; in some designs, which appears as a line crossing the label horizontally on every 21st label.

This printing error was found and commented on for the first time in the Red Life 2 design
109 (T101) - Red Life. Sammer Gallery.

In every roll studied of this design we find a fine horizontal black line crossing the lower part of the label, after each 21st label.
This line appears not only on the ATMs, but also on the blank labels and therefore is not a printing error from the franking balances (the first and most logical assumption), but it's a clear error in the manufacture of the labels.

Sometimes the line is very obvious, sometimes it appears divided into segments, but in all the cases the line can be seen by the naked eye.

As a manufacturer’s printing error, its position in the lower part of the design has a relation to the stamp design and not to its format or edge cutting. The line always appears 8 mm below the image of the picture. Possibly it's a reference line for the positioning and cutting of the label plates, that they forgot to erase.

There exists small displacements in the edge cutting of the labels and for this reason the image of the picture and the lower horizontal white strip have different heights according to the label; thus the position of the "phantom" line can be more or less closer to the lower cut of the self-adhesive label.

But although this is one of the most evident, this is not the only design or model in which we can find this type of printing error.
We can think that after the manufacture of this design they noticed the "outsider" line and in the following designs they removed the reference lines before the printing. But even so in some rolls of different models we find again "phantom" lines that, cyclically every 21 labels, crosses the base of the stamps horizontally.

Sometimes there are very evident lines, usually with reddish or bluish colorations. In other cases they are simply colored shades that can be perceived with difficulty.

Model 111 (T103) - Bodegón de calabaza
(Pumpkin still-life)
Model 113 (T105) - Rolls Royce 1947

Model 115 (T107) - J. Carrero. Tarjeta postal
(Post card)
Model 125 (T117) - Chico Montilla: Mañana en el jardín
(Morning in the garden)

This is the case of the image in detail, design 112 (T104) - J. Carrero. Carta desde mi tierra (Letter from my homeland), in which a weak bluish shade, very difficult to see with the naked eye, crosses the base of the label horizontally.

The last two examples shown in this article correspond to ATMs of types 127 (T119) - Igor Fomin: Adelaida la Fantasiosa (Dreamy Adelaida) and 128 (T120) - Locomotora Estado serie 1000 (Locomotive Estado series 1000). In both cases we can appreciate the "phantom" line; as a reddish line over the face value in the first case and as a bluish line in the lower part of the ATM in the second... and always after every 21 labels ...

We would like also to emphasize that, at the moment, we have not been able to find these type of "phantom" lines in the preprinted strips sold by the Philatelic Service, which indicates again that these strips with preprinted face values follow a different manufacture process than the rolls of labels used for ATMs .

The study of the different designs, as they are generally used in post offices, will set in each case the guidelines to establish that they are authentic varieties of the original design, if the supposed error appears cyclically in all the rolls from that production run (as we could consider the first model shown in this article), or simple cyclical curiosities with little interest more or less habitual in this type of issues, that appears in some rolls and not in others, or appears and disappears, or even changes its position or size, within the same roll.

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This page was created: 20.01.06. Last updated:  30.06.06 . English edition rewrited by S. Goodman (23.06.06)