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

ISLE OF MAN. 2024, tribute to Maurice Gibb

If you are a Bee Gees fan, then this is sure to be one of your favourite series …

In 2024, the Isle of Man Post Office (IOMPO) released a philatelic collection as a tribute to Maurice Gibb, musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and music producer, who together with his brothers Barry and Robin formed the Bee Gees. Something you may not know is that Maurice Gibb and his brothers Barry and Robin were born in Douglas, Isle of Man. Maurice Ernest Gibb was born in 1949, and moved to Australia in 1958, where him and his brothers founded the legendary Bee Gees. Maurice died in 2003, aged just 53.

The ‘Maurice Gibb’ collection, released on February 29th 2024, completes the series of collections the Isle of Man Post Office has dedicated to this musical group, with earlier series dedicated to the Bee Gees (1999), Robin Gibb (2013) and Barry Gibb (2021). This new series is made up of eight photographs of the musician by Guido Karp, one of the main music photographers, who worked for the group since 1990.

The Isle of Man Post Office has issued a set of eight ‘traditional’ stamps depicting these eight photographs which are available in different formats – packs, covers and sheets – and has also produced 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 vs aCon variable value stamps

Isle of Man Stamps & Coins sells strips of eight self-adhesive stamps preprinted in offset with face values enclosd in a box (see strips at the end of the article). Unlike previous series, where all stamps have identical face values, in this case the strips have the same combination of rates as the ‘traditional’ stamp series; four stamps at the domestic rate of £0.85, three at the basic rate to Europe of £1.28, and the eighth stamp at the international rate to the United States, of £2.72 (see the postal tariffs table). Beneath the face value, these preprinted stamps all have the same first day of issue in ordinal format (24060 = February 29th 2024), and the same fictitious code IOM01973 at the bottom edge of the stamp. This code corresponds to the year in which the Isle of Man Post Office Authority became an independent postal administration.

The philatelic service also sells variable value stamps, but in this case printed from its two aCon desktop printers. The face value of these stamps is also contained in a box. The user can select a programmed face value, and the printer includes the actual date of printing (24060 in the image) and the code at the bottom identifying the printer used (IOM1508).

‘Pay&Post’ postal kiosks vs post offices

The ‘Maurice Gibb’ series was progressively made available from February 29th from the nine ‘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 (without box), the actual printing date and a unique bottom code for each stamp, although with different printing fonts. The computer systems installed in post offices always guillotines the stamps one at a time, regardless of the quantity requested.

The images below show strips of stamps with the four varieties reviewed in this article.

(Click on the images to enlarge)

(English edition rewritten by J. Gareze, June 2024)

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Additional information – Isle of Man

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