Encapsulated Stamp Cards


A dilemma within the Post Office was always how best to publicise new issues to staff and media without risking stamp misuse. This was overcome early on by stamps overprinted SPECIMEN or CANCELLED, followed by black and white, then colour, photos. Digital scans are provided today.

In 1969 the Post Office altered its policy, allowing unissued mint stamps to be provided pre-release to news editors at press conferences. These stamps could not be postally used, as they were mounted on a descriptive card that was encapsulated in plastic. The initial two issues stated Stamps issued [date], with later cards reading Stamps to be issued [date], reflecting their pre-release status.

By the end of 1973 regulations had relaxed further and unmounted mint stamps were being sent to favoured editors, diminishing the need for these cards. Possibly only given to overseas newspaper editors at the end of this publicity method, this is probably why the final cards are even more scarce.

Some 25 stamp issues were encapsulated, with a rare variant by Ron Lee of the Philympia organising committee serving as an invitation to a press reception. A single stamp from the 1975 Trains issue appeared in a broadly similar style and this card was only discovered in October 2017.


Frame 1

  1. Introduction
  2. 1969 Post Office Technology
  3. 1969 Christmas
    1970 Literary Anniversaries
  4. 1970 Decimal Currency 'To Pay' Labels
    1970 British Commonwealth Games
  5. 1970 Philympia International Stamp Exhibition
  6. 1970 Christmas
    1971 Literary Anniversaries
  7. 1971 General Anniversaries
    1971 Modern University Buildings
  8. 1971 Christmas
    1972 Old Village Churches
  9. 1972 BBC and Broadcasting History
    1972 Christmas
  10. 1972 Royal Silver Wedding
    1973 European Economic Community
  11. 1973 British Trees - The Oak
    1973 British Explorers
  12. 1973 County Cricket Centenary
    1973 British Painters
  13. 1973 Royal Wedding
  14. 1973 Christmas
  15. 1974 Churchill Centenary
    1975 62nd Inter-Parliamentary Conference
  16. 1975 150th Anniversary of the First Public Steam Railway