December 2020

Issue: 7

Volume: 51

Included in this month’s must-read issue of the world’s leading philatelic journal, we look at Royal Mail’s 2020 Christmas issue and its latest pop culture issue – Star Trek, Andrew Hawthorn presents a study on the Edward VII high value 2s.6d and Susan McEwen FRPSL provides a guide to the stamps issued during the reign of Sultan Sir Abu Bakar of Johore.



Catch up with the latest philatelic news from around the world.

Society News

More reports from the nation’s philatelic societies.

Auction Dates

Forthcoming auctions.

Around the Houses

Your monthly roundup of recent auction results.

New Collector

In his latest column for new collectors, Richard West covers more instances where the stamp production process can go wrong – which in turn can lead to some very desirable collector’s items.

GB News

We look at Royal Mail’s 2020 Christmas issue and its latest pop culture issue – Star Trek.

Machin Watch

John Deering provides another in-depth guide for modern GB collectors. This month he sees what Machin offerings Royal Mail’s Star Trek issue has to offer.

GB Overprints on Postal Orders

As part of the GB Overprints Society’s 50th anniversary celebrations, Dr John M Gledhill provides an introduction to a popular side-line collecting avenue – British postal orders overprinted for overseas use.

The 1971 British Postal Strike: Part 2

In the second and final part of Michael Peach’s article on the philatelic fallout from the 1971 postal strike in Britain, he turns his attention to overseas mail and private postal stationery.

Edward VII: Flaws on the High Value 2s.6d.

Andrew Hawthorn, of the GB Overprints Society, presents a study on the flaws of this high value stamp, which overprinted examples have recently brought to light.

GB Specialised Supplement

The latest supplement to the Stanley Gibbons Great Britain Specialised Catalogue.

Dear GSM

More readers have their say, courtesy of the GSM postbag.

British Colonial and Protectorate Stamps Part 25: Fiji

In his long-running series looking at the stamp issues of former British Colonial and Protectorates, Noel Davenhill explores the philatelic history of Fiji, from the famous Time Express stamps of 1870 to independence and beyond.

Fossils and Philately: Palaeophilately in Great Britain

Katrin Raynor-Evans explores the immense collecting opportunities produced when palaeontology meets philately.

Papua: The 1932 Pictorials

Christer Brunström FRPSL talks us through a key set for any collector of British colonial stamps – Papua’s attractive 1932 pictorial issue which replaced its long lived lakatoi stamp design.

Covid-19: A New Collecting Field

Lockdown has allowed many to spend more time with their collections and to explore new collecting avenues. Douglas N Muir RDP looks at one new collecting theme created by the pandemic itself.

Stamp Hunting

Nimrod highlights the stamps to look out for from the French New Hebrides.


The latest book and catalogue releases read and rated.

Malaysia: Sultan Sir Abu Bakar of Johore

Susan McEwen FRPSL of the Malaya Study Group provides a guide to the stamps issued during the reign of Sultan Sir Abu Bakar of Johore.

The Manhattan Project Meets Postal History

Edward Barrow highlights a fascinating cover that connects wartime airmail routes, the important role of Trinidad in censorship during World War II and the development of the atomic bomb.

Postal Stationery Matters

We join Peter van Gelder for another mixed selection of postal stationery from around the world, including two important British sesquicentennials and more postal stationery firsts.

Gone But Not Forgotten

In his latest article on the stamps of ‘dead’ countries John Moody looks into the strange story of the People’s Revolutionary Government of Grenada.

Stamp News in Brief

A summary of recent and forthcoming issues.


Alison Boyd investigates the stories behind some of the latest stamp issues from around the world.

Shore to Shore

We highlight the latest new issues from Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man.


Don’t miss your chance to win a £50 Stanley Gibbons voucher.

Catalogue Column

Hugh Jefferies offers more opinion from the Catalogue Editor’s chair.

Catalogue Supplement

A 12-page update to the Stanley Gibbons Catalogue.