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GIBRALTAR. 2024, the ‘Post&Go – Year of the Dragon’ issue

In 2016 the Gibraltar Philatelic Bureau first launched the series of annual ‘Post & Go’ issues dedicated to the Chinese Lunar Year and the animals of the Chinese zodiac (see article, published in VARIABLE 40). This year 2024 is the ‘Year of the Dragon’.

As in the previous eight years, the image featured on the new design is the same as that used for one of the two ‘traditional’ stamps in the ‘Year of the Dragon’ set, released on February 20th 2024. The design is by Stephen Perera, from illustrations by Bajena and SiewHoong, of iStockphoto.

As can be seen in the image of the sheetlet on the right, both issues have a special first day postmark with the same central design, although the date and the wording on the outer circumferences are different.

It is interesting to note that the ‘traditional’ stamp series was first issued in 2013, three years before the ‘Post & Go’ issues. In 2024, therefore, we see the release of the last stamps of this cycle of twelve designs. In 2025 a new issue cycle will begin, with new illustrations; the 2025 ‘Post & Go’ issue will therefore not continue with the current series of designs, but with the new illustrations.

The rolls of 1,500 thermal self-adhesive labels were manufactured by Cartor Security Printers in the UK, with digital offset printing. The size of the labels is 56 x 25 mm., with simulated perforated edges. These include a neutral security background with the ‘Royal Gibraltar Post Office’ continuous text on the left of the label, and a glossy finish to the image area.

The ‘Year of the Dragon’ design was available from April 16th 2024, from the GI05 DKU desktop kiosk system installed at the premises of the Gibraltar Philatelic Bureau.

Also as in previous years, the philatelic bureau sold sets or ‘Collectors strips’ with the six values or postage rate indicators programmed in the machine. These are issued from the same DKU kiosk, but reconfigured for back-office use (left strip below). In this case, the machine does not issue receipts nor does it 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‘. The machine code is GI04.

But all the stamps issued from the desktop machine when configured for public use -and therefore available to visitors- includes the ‘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), followed by the session and stamp numbers.

The machine when configured for public use enables the purchase of stamps as singles, in strips of six local mail stamps (‘Local Strip’), and in strips with the six programmed values ​​(‘Collectors Strip’ – image on the left with the receipt at the bottom), plus six strips of six values (‘Collectors Set’). For each of these options, the system issues an interesting receipt printed on thermal paper.

The postage rates corresponding to the six face value indicators in 2024 are 30p (Local up to 50g), 60p (Surface up to 50g – mail to Spain), 90p (UK up to 20g), £1 (EU up to 20g), £1.15 (ROW up to 10g – mail to the rest of the world) and £4 (Registered – additional fee for international registered mail).

The Gibraltar Philatelic Bureau produced a pictorial first day cover with the set and associated special postmark.

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), ‘Year of the Rat’ in 2020 (article & VARIABLE 56), ‘Year of the Ox’ in 2021 (article & VARIABLE 60), ‘Year of the Tiger’ en 2022 (article & VARIABLE 65) & ‘Year of the Rabbit’ in 2023 (article). 

(English edition rewritten by J. Gareze – May 2024)

Are you interested in these issues?