SPAIN. Thermal ATM issues  2OO4 T100 (108)
Spain 2004. World Philatelic Exhibition (Royal wedding)
Date of issue :
May 22, 2004 - Valencia (Phil.S.:   )
47 x 26,5 mm. - Format type 3
Paper :
Thermal phosphorescent self adhesive
Printing process : 4-colours offset and invisible ink
Imprint :
Thermal on black
Values / Set :
0,01 € to 99,99 € / Set Ph.S.: 0,27-0,52-0,77 €
Design and printer :
RCM-FNMT. Real Casa de la Moneda - Fabrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre
Printing :
1.000.000 of labels (approx.)
Click on the image to enlarge it
Epelsa 4 large Epelsa 4 small Epelsa 5 large Epelsa 5 small Epelsa LF -  5 small
x x
More information :  Printing varieties
With the same paper exist also self adhesive stamps (no ATMs)  with 3 pre-printed face values 0,27-0,52-0,77 EUR
More information  - See detail
Saturday May 22th, 2004 will remains in the memory and the history like the day in which the future inheriting of Spain's Crown Prince Felipe de Borbon married the television journalist Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano.
The same day of the Royal Wedding in Madrid the World Philatelic Exhibition - Spain 2004 was inaugurated in Valencia and Spanish Correos decided to commemorate both events with different philatelic products. One of them is this special ATM issue, not expected initially in the calendar of the year models.

The new issue have a reduced printing (1.000.000 of units approx.) and it was on sale from May 22th in the franking balances installed in the Exhibition, and from May 24th also in the Madrid post offices.

SPAIN 2004. World Philatelic Exhibition

With the motto "La Valencia of sello" (The Valencia of stamps) the World Philatelic Exhibition - Spain 2004 was celebrated in this city from May 22th to 30th.

The organization of this world-wide exhibition was granted during the FIP 67th Congress celebrated in Seoul in 2002, and has been sponsored by Sociedad Estatal Correos y Telegrafos, S.A. in collaboration with the Spanish Federation of Philatelic Societies (FESOFI).

Spain 2004 was celebrated in the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (City of Arts and Sciences), a magnificent playful and cultural complex projected by Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava.

The philatelic exhibition included 966 world wide collections, and could be visited in the two plants of the Umbracle, a building originally destined to parking in front of the Museum of Sciences. Here was also the stand of the Philatelic Service.
Between both buildings, the Paseo de Arbotantes displayed the 150 stands of traders and postal administrations.
In the hall Arqueria of the Museum of Sciences they were possible to be found the stands of Correos (Spanish Post), RCM-FNMT (National Spanish printer for values) and Logista (distributor of stamps) as well as the Court of Honour, where some of the most important world-wide philatelic collections were exhibited.
One of the gates to the Exhibition Paseo de Arbotantes with the traders The stand of CORREOS
For the ATM issue, the inauguration's day the Philatelic Service had in his stand a franking balance EPELSA ET-RL / T from the Valencia Main Post Office with number 0410.

Unfortunately the printing was poor quality and, in addition, a part of the ATMs issued the first day showed a displaced face value printing to the right.
Even so, all the inauguration's day were large queues of collectors interested to obtain ATMs.

After the enormous and unexpected interest for the new ATM issue, in Monday May 24th they installed two more franking balances: one in the postmark point of Zone 2 - traders stands in the Paseo de Arbotantes (number 0634) and the second one in the stand of Correos (number 1411).
Postmark point - Zone 2 ... and the scale 0634 The scale 1411 in the stand of CORREOS
This day also the first unit was repaired to improve the printing quality and the three balances were configured to print an allusive text on the ATMs (see the small differences in the text in the next table).
Nr. Text Situation Dates in service
0410 (without text) Umbracle - Philatelic Service Stand 22 and 23.05
0410 VCIA.EXP.FILATELICA Umbracle - Philatelic Service Stand 24 to 30.05
0634 VCIA EXP.FILATELICA Trader Stands - Zone 2 - Postmark point 24 to 30.05
1411 VCIA. EXP.FILATELICA Arqueria, Museum of Sciences - Correos 24 to 30.05
After the inauguration the Philatelic Service gave special instructions to the postal employees so that they did not accept orders of ATMs with lower value to 0.27 EUR, reason why the ATMs with minimum values with the 3 balances including the text exist but they are rare.
Also the receipts issued by the 3 franking balances from May 24th included a reference to the Philatelic Exhibition.

All it can be considered as an exceptional case with the thermal ATM issues in Spain, because other balances were installed in other philatelic manifestations with related emissions (Philatelic Exhibition Aranjuez 2001 - 150 Years of the Railway, for example), but until now never arrived a so important interest from the Spanish Philatelic Service for this issues.

The sale of stamps, pre-printed sets and ATMs, as well as you the First Day Covers, were constant during every day in the Philatelic Service and Correos stands.
They installed some postmark points in all the Exhibition area. Every day was issued a stamp or set with their special postmark.
The Royal wedding

Madrid had some important problems with traffic, but it was also a popular celebration the days before the wedding.

Many streets were decorated and some of the monuments and the more representative buildings of the city were specially illuminated, like the main Post office in the Cibeles.
The passion and interest for the wedding arrived to all the sectors of the society. Also the train tickets in Madrid showed a special design during the days before the Royal wedding.
The philatelic issues

In commemoration of both events Correos decided the issue of 4 different philatelic products: ATMs, cards with pre-printed sets of 3 adhesive stamps and "traditional gummed" stamps, all of them presented and put in circulation in May 22th, and the souvenir sheet "Monarchy" issued on May 24th.

With the same design and format, the collectors can choose between the ATMs of any value printed with franking balances, or the cards with the pre-printed series of adhesive stamps with the 3 basic values of franking 0,25-0,52-0,77 EUR (left image).
These cards with the pre-printed sets were manufactured by the RCM-FNMT are can distinguished very easily of the models made by SIGNE because they still include the perimetral paper. 
Possibly because the haste in the manufacture of this issue, most of pre-printed series appear in a support with cutting errors, defective and very displaced cuts that in some cases leave the stamps without the vertical undulations. In some of the series appears a small black vertical line in the inferior angle (right image). 

Both ATMs and the pre-printed series were of much interest between the collectors, and the day of the inauguration of the Exhibition the 500 pre-printed series on sale were totally sold out in a few hours. The second remittance were also sold out the next Friday 28 of May.

The third issue is a gummed stamp reproducing the Coat of Arms of Prince Felipe and the word Felicidades (Congratulations) in Spanish, Catalan, Galician and Euskera languages.

This stamp has been reason for great controversy, because only a few days before its official issue was ordered the removal of all the stocks from all the post offices of a similar issue (right image), but only with the word Felicidades (Congratulations).
Finally, the souvenir sheet "Monarchy" issued the May 24th. It includes 3 stamps and 3 labels without postal value. And the stamp with the 1st national franking value (0.27 EUR) reproduces the same image that has been used for the ATMs and the adhesive stamps.
(Image reduced 50%)
And in addition, like in all the commercial fairs, many other postal products related to Spain 2004 and Royal wedding were put on sale, as the postal stationery edited by ANFIL or the double pre franked postcards (FESOFI).
The Philatelic Service also issued in 2003 a stamp (left) and a souvenir sheet (right - image reduced 50%), announcements of Spain 2004.
Also, during the Exhibition every day they presented a new series, souvenir sheet or stamp related to it, and -of course !- its special postmark.
Two months before the wedding, J. Roig from Sagunto, a philatelic now also enthusiastic for the ATMs, made this nice proposal that can be considered the precedent of the future issue Royal Wedding.
Correos edited an Official Cover - First Day of Circulation (Size: 169 x 100 mm.) for the commemorative issues related to the wedding of Prince Felipe, and it could be used to prepare the ATM First Day Covers.

In Valencia, and also in other Spanish cities, special postmarks of first day of issue were prepared.

In the images we can see the First Day Covers with an ATM of value 0.27 EUR (1st. national franking) and with the set of adhesive stamps composing the pre-printed series.
Commemorative cover Spain 2004, with an ATM from the balance 1411 (in use from May 24) and the Exhibition Main postmark.
Paper and design varieties, errors ...

Like all the other papers manufactured last years by the RCM-FNMT, the adhesive labels of this model show a cyclical manufacture error. The design move downwards on each label and jump to the starting point each 21 supports.
The images show the 2 extreme positions:

1 = 22
More information ...

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© J. Jove - M. Sans. ATEEME. Variable value stamps study group
All rights reserved. This page was created : 19.05.04. Last updated : 01.06.04