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UK CVP













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BRITAIN*S RAREST FIRST COMPUTER VENDED POSTAGE (CVP)
















Britain*s first computer vended postage of 2002 is a major postal historic turning point which records data with accounting and sorting functions, as opposed to the first Penny black stamp of 1840,the latter of which was to evidence that postage was paid. The Horizon postage labels (cvp in USA) records the transaction details such as time, date of purchase, session number, area postcode, individual postoffice code, weight, destination and postage paid which appears on the label or requested receipt. In the USA, even the sender*s identification code is being proposed to be incorporated-Linns Stamp News, USA, 11 August 2003 and in its latest issue, a 0 code is added to indicate the postal item has been checked for bombs.

The labels are plain so there is no security risk (no need for stocktaking like for stamps) especially since the central switch-on-function comes from Royal Mail Central. Cost efficiencies was a major reason for the introduction of the system which was intended to be used to replace postage stamps after the minimum weight of 60g for inland mail and 20g for overseas mail. The service indicators are A for airmail, lst, 2nd for first and second class inland mail, S for surface, P for parcel and SD for special delivery.

The introduction of postage labels has been successful. Don Staddon of UK Stamp News magazine of September 2003 writes:" Horizon labels-these are postage paid labels being printed in the post offices to the detriment of stamp sales." In the autumn of 2003, Royal Mail, working with Lockheed Martin and GFT Technologies AG will introduce on-line postage for businesses. Any type of postage including international will be available and will be printed directly on to envelopes or labels via the customer*s desktop technology and is available 24 hours.

Britain*s frama labels of 1984 were experimental and available only at limited postoffices for a brief period and was never introduced nationwide. In Stanley Gibbons Catalogue, these are referred to as postage labels and are not the same as the Horizon cvp labels.

Britain*s first cvp was an UNANNOUNNCED ISSUE (no advance notice) and unmounted mint cvps especially first day of issue were not issued at postoffices or Philatelic Bureau. The latter, if available would be considered UNISSUED and of high rarity value. In the USA, Mr. Doug Kelsey, Linns Stamp News of 18 Feb, commented that franking labels (printed validation imprint stamps) introduced in the San Diego area on 16 April 1992 are some of the rarest of all 20th Century US-FDC*s which now sell for hundreds of dollars since there was no advance notice.

For a price guide, the recent 2002 Neopost first design issue (postal forum) 4 mint stamps sold for US$760 in fierce bidding to a German collector on eBay in August 2003 (with severe toning and suggested 16 extant). At the same time, a rare Neopost u sheet, Redwood Eagle and very rare 00 variety-Neopost $3.50 Priority Post before rate change (first denominated value) went for hundred-of US$ dollars again in strong bidding to a German and English collector.

Cerizet*s Specialist Neopost Webenabled Stamps Catalogue, on www.google.com suggests a retail value of US$2,500 for the above first design issue in perfect condition. This is in line with a Chinese similar blue automat issue sold for US$2,600 at auction,4000 extant. Unissued low value self-adhesive stamps realized $3,000 (catalogue $6k) at the two top Australian auction houses, with 3 known in private hands. With these base prices, Horizon first day of issue, unannounced, unissued cvp would be priced in the US$2,500 -$3,000 region and is consistent with retail auction prices realized for modern rarities. Mr. Walter Mader of Ivy & Mader ,top US auction house ,when shown the above eBay Neopost auction items, commented - there is demand out there. I understand that a Danish dealer bought early used Horizon cvp from an English dealer during the time of national introduction in the UK. Perhaps the most logical reason for the demand may be attributed to ,"buying tomorrow*s classics at today*s prices." It a very major trend that is hard to reverse.

According to Linns Stamp News of 11 August,2003, in an article on Italy*s first computer stamp, an Italian collector has suggested that we may now be entering the POSTSTAMP ERA; suggesting a new period of collecting possibilities especially since Switzerland, Germany, Canada and Italy has now gone into computerized stamps. According to Cerizet, savvy collectors are now buying these cvps strongly.

Royal Mail introduced Horizon labels nationwide in the UK at all 17,500 postoffices in 3 staggered dates for different parts of the country as per postcode areas on 8 ,15 August and 5 September 2002. Wales issued bi-lingual Welsh/English labels on 5 September ,2002. Prior to nationwide introduction, TRIALS were initially conducted at 1,097 postoffices in Edinburgh, Southampton and Watford on 14 February 2002.lt was found that to prevent fraudulent re-use of the labels, four security slits (two horizontal and two vertical) were to be incorporated into the 2nd TRIAL)n the same areas on 30 April, 2002. Some of the highlights include:

1) The labels are not to be postmarked.

2) The labels are printed by postoffice counter staff and put into the internal  postbag and may not be posted in the external post box as Royal Mail will audit the item for possible fraud.

3) Combination covers can be done if the customer insist-part payment can be done with stamps and label. However, only one label can be placed on anyone item.

4) A printed receipt can be requested if required from the Horizon workstation.

5) Mint labels cannot be purchased. The Queen*s Royal Philatelic Collection does not have unmounted mints as they were not issued to them by Royal Mail. Hence, the importance of historical archivical mints for first day of issue. The Duchy of Lancaster is the Queen*s own duchy.

6) The highest value under the system is 44.24 for airmail,2kg,letter post. This represents the UK*s highest value postage stamp since the first Penny Black of 1840. The previous highest was the Britannia 10 issued in 1993 and prior to that the 5 Victorian stamp of 1867-83. This 44.24 computer Penny Black is the rarest of all, being the highest value.

Highest value 44.24 on 5 September 2002
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Nationwide introduction from Duchy of Lancaster area
















RARE FIRST DAY COVERS OF TRIALS ETC

Earliest Trail Label
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Purchased 28 February 2002 (2 weeks after start date)

It is known that two well-known first day cover specialists serviced FDC*s in very limited numbers which has also been checked with a trade source and appears accurate. I understand that they had to travel the length of the UK on the same day to service the covers, hence the tight, challenging schedule and limited numbers (Edinburgh is in Scotland which is at the top most end ,Watford is near London, in the middle and Southampton is the most southern end of the UK).

After my article-Britain*s first computer vended postage- appeared in Linns Stamp News, USA on 16 June 2003, I heard that the two FDC specialists were swamped by terrific demand and could not supply as most of the covers had earlier been sold, some within days of the order forms going out. The FDC*s (one insert had a "published by Cotswold" card) are very tightly held. None have come into the UK auction market nor on eBay. I offered to pay more to buy from the specialists original buyers/but no takers. I suppose that it understandable, given that nationwide introduction of a very major postage trend and a FIRST in anything major is going to be a winner.

I was able to buy all 82 used labels (unfortunately cut-outs and not on cover) from one year*s collection stock of a very big stamp wholesaler and retailer in the UK. As a research base, I could not find any first day of issue for both the trials nor any from the 3 stages of nationwide introduction. However, I did manage to get some postmarked labels against regulations/error and some early trial labels.

The above two FDC specialists DID NOT service fdcs for the nationwide introduction in the UK. However, I did manage to service a few one-off fdcs when the labels were introduced in my postcode area.

I sent samples of the FDCs from the two specialists etc to Stanley Gibbons Catalogue Editor and it was duly acknowledged but they did not say that they had seen these, prior to my sendings.

As an aside, recently, the Editor of First Day Coverage, GBFDC Association contacted me on 20 August, 2003 to ask for permission to reprint the whole of the said Linns Stamp News article I wrote/after hearing about it from some UK members who subscribe to Linns. I was pleased to hear of the interest in these rare fdcs and happy to help out with more news and information.

There were 3 types of illustrated covers produced by the two specialist fdc producers-Royal Mail definitive type, Four Penny Post in full colour and single brown colour castle type and Cotswold Queen*s profile embossed type.

Below are the numbers of covers produced as above/which thereby provides extant numbers in existence, which is now standard requirement in top philately. These have been extracted from the order form and from the producers themselves through my regular dealer. Research on extant helps to inspire confidence for both sellers and buyers as witnessed by the Dr Kellow*s research on Kangaroos etc, and their resultant effect on prices for Australian stamps. The USA Neopost Webenabled Stamps Catalogue by Cerizet was also based on research from Neopost.

1ST TRIAL FIRST DAY COVERS FROM EDINBURGH,UK-1 set consist of 3 covers of 1st class 41 p and 2nd class 33p and 2nd class recorded 82p=== 10 SETS PRODUCED.

1ST TRIAL FIRST DAY COVERS FROM WATFORD,UK -as above===10 SETS PRODUCED.

1ST TRIAL FIRST DAY COVERS FROM SOUTHAMPTON,UK, l set consists of 2 covers of 1st class 27p and 2nd class 19p, scarce as these values are only available in stamp form and therefore in postage label form -unique.=========120 SETS PRODUCED.

1ST TRIAL FIRST DAY COVERS FROM SOUTHAMPTON, as above, l set consists of 6 complete covers for all 6 service indicators types of A, SD, S, lST, 2ND & P .========20 SETS PRODUCED.

2ND TRIAL FIRST DAY COVERS-SOUTHAMPTON ONLY AVAILABLE/PRODUCED-30 APRIL 2002, 1 set consists of 1st, 2nd class inland mail of 27p and 19p, unique == 198 SETS PRODUCED.

2ND TRIAL FIRST DAY COVERS, l set consists of 6 service indicators types of A, SD, S, lst, 2nd and P ===========199 SETS PRODUCED.

Note:all first trial items have no security slits. Second trial items have 4 security slits and nationwide introduction items, also have 4 security slits.

FIRST DAY COVERS-CHANGE FROM PF FOR PARCEL FORCE TO JUST P FOR PARCEL SERVICE INDICATOR- 9 JULY 2002==============NUMBERS PRODUCED NOT KNOWN. I did not buy the covers so I was not given numbers extant.

FIRST DAY COVERS-S SEPTEMBER 2002-FIRST DAY OF BI-LINGUAL WELSH/ENGLISH LABELS FROM WALES, UK, 1 set consists of all 6 types of service indicators as mentioned above====25 SETS PRODUCED.

FDC: 1st set from Southampton (1st Trial) 14/02/02
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Rare 2nd class 19p

FDC: 1set from Southhampton 1st Trail
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1st class 27p

INsert from First Day Cover
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The best time to collect is to look for earliest items. Early items would be those up to 1 year of introduction. There is a good possibility of locating FDC*s when the labels were introduced nationwide. However, the FDCs would need to be counter checked against those postcode area introduction dates. Samples of  the above are helpful to determine types.

 

The postcode areas are as follows:

1) Phase 1, nationwide launch, 8 August, 2002, postcodes-

CT ,CR, BR, SM, DA, BN, RH, HA,UB, KT, ME, TN, TW, EC,WC, E, N, NW, SE, SW, W, RM, IG, SS, AB, ZE, BT, CA, DG, DL, DH,TS, G, ML, KA, PA, IV, HS, IW, NE AND SR.

2) Phase 2, nationwide launch, 1S August,2002, postcodes-

B, CH, LL, CV, GL, HR, WR, HP ,WV, WS, ST, DY, OX, RG, SY, TF, LD, SN, CB, SG, CM, CO, DE, IP, LE, MK, LU, NN, NR, NG AND PE.

3) Phase 3,nationwide launch,S September 2002,postcodes-  

BL, WN, BD, HD, HX, CW, WA, DH, LN, HU, LS, HG, WF, L, M, OL, PR, FY, BB, LA, S, SK, YO, BH, DT, BS, BA, TA, CF, NP, EX, TQ, GU, PL, TR, SL AND SA.

The Horizon labels are so useful-the system has the ability to conduct intra postoffice/Royal Mail accdt1ting,so that the minute the postage label is printed, Royal Mail has the indebtedness position of the postoffice in question,due to the amount owing for the postage label printed.

No doubt, the computerised or electronic mail is the start of the Computer Penny Black and no doubt, major institutions like the Smithsonian Museum,USA ( they have just start a stamp section) will collect webenabled stamps that illustrates the start of the major computer stamp movement in electronic mail (derives their instructions via the internet) and has intelligent functions. Every major turn is a historic event and no doubt,these will be displayed in museums looking into the future just as the Mauritius SG 1/2, New Zealand first Chalons, UK early stamps etc are collected in their respective top museums in their country of origin. Perhaps rightly so, for achivical history. Queen Victoria printed the famous Penny Black royal reprints for her grandchildren to see, perhaps sensing the cause of history.

Written by Castlemaine, copyright reserved, for Collector and Trading Site for Neopost TM Web-Enabled Stamps. Pictures may be revised from time to time.