GIBRALTAR. The Post & Go issues - 2020


2020, the new 'Year of the Rat' design

2020, sees the Gibraltar Philatelic Bureau continuing with its annual 'Post & Go' series of issues launched in 2016 devoted to animals of the Chinese zodiac. The fifth design in this series, so popular with Asian collectors, is the Year of the Rat.

See previous issues - 'Year of the Monkey' in 2016 (article & VARIABLE 40), 'Year of the Rooster' in 2017 (article & VARIABLE 44), 'Year of the Dog' in 2018 (article & VARIABLE 48) & 'Year of the Pig' in 2019 (article & VARIABLE 55).  

As in previous years, the image featured in the new 'Post & Go' design is the same as in one of the two 'traditional' stamps in the 'Year of the Rat' set, issued by the Gibraltar Philatelic Bureau on January 30th 2020.
The design is by Stephen Perera, from illustrations by Bajena and SiewHoong, of iStockphoto.
 

The rolls of thermal labels were manufactured by Cartor / Walsall Security Printing, with high quality digital offset printing that includes a security background in the area on the left of the label and a glossy finish in the design area on the right. The labels are affixed on transparent / film release liner.  

  The 'Year of the Rat' design was available from February 5th 2020, from the GI05 DKU machine installed at the Gibraltar Philatelic Bureau premises.

  As in 2019, the philatelic service sold sets or 'Collectors strips' with the six programmed values, issued from the same kiosk but with the back-office special configuration (left strip). In this case, the machine does not issue receipts, and does not print any 'location identifier' text on the stamps, only the face value indicator and the code at the bottom, which begins with the letter 'B', and the machine code GI04.

On the other hand, all stamps issued from the desktop machine configured for public use -and therefore only available to visitors- includes the 'Gibraltar Philatelic HQ' identifier under the face value indicator. The code at the bottom starts with 'D' (DKU), followed by the month, country and year of issue, machine code (GI05), then the session and stamp numbers. Note that the text previously printed on the stamps ('GIbraltar Philatelic HQ') was finally corrected from this issue.

The machine configured for public use allows the purchase of stamps as singles, in strips of six local mail stamps ('Local Strip'), and in strips of six stamps with the six programmed values ​​('Collectors Strip' - top image and right receipt), plus six strips of six values ('Collectors Set'). This last option mainly caters for stamp series of six designs. For each of these options, the system issues a receipt printed on thermal paper.  

In addition to the sets, the philatelic service also sold pictorial first day covers with a special postmark.  

The maximum cards show the detail of a strange medieval column capital in the cloister of Tarragona cathedral, which shows the so-called 'Procession of rats'. According to legend a city nobleman's cat that was unable to catch all the rats, feigned his own death. The rats then decided to transport him by litter in a procession and to bury him (upper card). Whilst the rats sang and danced with joy, the cat jumped out of his litter and killed them all !  
 


Gibraltar marks the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day

Unlike Guernsey and Jersey, Gibraltar was not occupied by the Germans during World War II. However, it was of strategic importance during the war, owing to its position at the extreme south of Europe, controlling naval traffic between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean. In fact, during the first years of war, Adolf Hitler himself had signed off a plan that was never carried out to capture Gibraltar through Spain, codenamed 'Operation Felix'.

Like the two Channel Islands, the Gibraltar Philatelic Bureau also joined the 75th anniversary of 'VE Day', or Victory Day in Europe commemoration, with two special philatelic issues; a set of five 'traditional' stamps (right) plus souvenir sheet, and a variable value stamp issue.  

On May 8th 2020, the anniversary date, the GI05 DKU machine installed at the Gibraltar Philatelic Bureau was issuing variable value stamps with the 'Gibraltar flag' design and the special imprint 'VE Day 75th'.  

This definitive flag label was very appropriate for this special imprint. It was first used in May 2015, during the Europhilex 2015 in London (see article, published in VARIABLE 38), and for several other special imprints until 2018.

  As with previous releases, the philatelic service sold sets or 'Collectors strips' with the six programmed values and the 'VE Day 75th' special imprint under the face value indicator. These sets were issued with the desktop DKU unit, but with the back-office special configuration that does not issue receipts. The code at the bottom of the stamps begins with the letter 'B', and the machine code GI04.

However, all stamps issued from the desktop kiosk configured for public use -and therefore only available to visitors- includes the 'Philatelic HQ' identifier and the 'VE Day 75th' special imprint under the face value indicator. The code at the bottom starts with 'D' (DKU), followed by the month, country and year of issue, machine code (GI05), then the session and stamp numbers.
Note, as can be seen from the single stamp image above, the 'VE Day 75th' special imprint is not left aligned with the identifier but slightly to the right of it, on stamps issued as singles only and does not occur on strips.

The machine configured for public use allows the purchase of stamps as singles, in strips of six local mail stamps ('Local Strip'), and in strips of six stamps with the six programmed values ​​('Collectors
Strip'), plus six strips of six values ('Collectors Set'). This last option mainly caters for those stamp series consisting of six designs. For each of these options, the system issues a receipt printed on thermal paper.  

The philatelic service did not produce first day covers for this special imprint, but did make a special postmark available to collectors.  


Change of postal rates, change to the 'Collectors Strip'

  With no changes in postal rates since 2014, the Royal Gibraltar Post Office announced a significant increase to the basic rates from June 1st 2020 (see table below).

In addition to programming the DKU kiosk with the new rates, the Gibraltar Philatelic Bureau took the wise decision of removing one of the six programmed values, the international Registered fee, and replacing it with the postal rate to the United Kingdom, in the weight step up to 50g.

The new set or 'Collectors strip' could therefore be obtained from June 1st 2020 with the 'Year of the Rat' stamp design installed in the kiosk on that date with the two usual configurations,the GI04 code and face value indicator only, and with the GI05 code together with the 'Gibraltar Philatelic HQ' identifier.

  Local Surface UK EU ROW Registered
  up to 50g up to 50g up to 20g up to 50g up to 20g up to 10g  
2014 £0.22 £0.40 £0.64 £1.06 £0.70 £0.80 £3.00
1.06.2020 £0.30 £0.60 £0.90 £1.26 £1.00 £1.15 £4.00
( The rates included in the 'Collectors Strip' are marked in bold)

Even with the increase in postal rates, the removal of the high value international Registered fee means that the price of the new 'Collectors strip' (£5.21) is cheaper than the previous one (£5.76).  





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This page was created in April 2020 and last updated: 01.08.20 . English edition last rewritten by J. Gareze (31.07.2020)