Posted inEurope - Variable value stamps - ATMs / Isle of Man

ISLE OF MAN. 2023, Manx Winter Wildlife

For the sixth year running, the Isle of Man Post Office (IOMPO) released a special set of self-adhesive labels for the printing of variable value stamps during the 2023 Christmas season.

(see the article dedicated to the 2022 series, ‘Manx Winter’, also published in VARIABLE 67).

The new set of six designs is part of the ‘Manx Winter Wildlife’ stamp collection, released on October 26th 2023. The six illustrations by local artist Rowan Corlett depict a range of the local wildlife in wintry scenes across the Island’s landmarks; the European Robin in front of Old Ballaugh Church; the Manx Loaghtan, a curious breed of sheep native to the Isle of Man, in Cregneash, a small village on the southern tip of the island; the Mountain Hare by Peel Castle; the Puffin in The Sound at the southern tip of the island; the tailless Manx Cat, also native to the Isle of Man, on Tynwald Hill the historic assembly meeting place and the Seal in Laxey Bay, a marine nature reserve on the east coast.

As in previous years, these same illustrations were also used to produce rolls of 1500 self-adhesive thermal labels for use in postal machines for the printing of variable value stamps. On the Isle of Man these stamps are called VVD or VRD (Variable Value / Rate Definitives).

Preprinted stamps & aCon variable value stamps

IOMPO produced sheets of self-adhesive stamps with the six designs, with the preprinted face value of £0.80 the domestic and UK postage rate on the date of issue. These stamps are numbered 1 to 6. The sheets are distributed mainly to post offices, as a convenient option for the posting of Christmas cards.

Variable value stamps are also available from the philatelic service, in this case printed from two aCon desktop printers (pictured). The face value of these stamps is also contained in a box. The user can select a programmed face value, i.e. the date corresponding to the actual date of printing (23299 in the image), with the code at the bottom identifying the printer used (IOM1508).

‘Pay&Post’ postal kiosks & post offices

The ‘Manx Winter Wildlife’ series was progressively available from October 26th, and over the Christmas season from the ‘Pay&Post’ postal kiosks installed in various locations across the island as well as from the computer systems installed in post offices. Both types of equipment use the same rolls of labels and include the same information on the stamps; the face value, the printing date and a unique lower code for each stamp, although with different printing fonts.

By selecting the ‘Touch to Buy Stamp Labels’ option, customers were able to purchase variable value stamps on the date of issue with the six programmed basic postal rates £0.80 – £0.80 – £1.28 – £2.31 – £2.32 – £2.72. These correspond to the current rates for letters up to 100g for domestic, United Kingdom and Channel Island mail, for letters up to 20g to Europe, and the three tariffs zones for the rest of the world, respectively (see table of tariffs at the end of the article).

The images below show sets of stamps with the four varieties.

(Click on the images to enlarge)

(English edition rewritten by J. Gareze, December 2023)

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Additional information – Isle of Man

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