Friday, May 02, 2008

Paper waste in French Atlantic archipelago

At the Montpellier philately counter - whose employees are as polite and efficient as in a Londonian store, I have the occasion to buy some corner blocks of Monaco and Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, whose stamps' beauty caught my eyes. Such blocks available because the employee had to cut new sheets of these stamps.

With Patrick Derible's stamp about French soldier René Autin, I saw that paper waste is not a problem for the oversea collectivity and its périgourdine printer (Phil@poste Boulazac, La Poste's own printer):

Like some Southern and Antarctic French Territories stamps, one label to make pretty guillochis, another to date the margin (18 December 2007 for an issue on 16 January 2008, see And a third label with... nothing. By symetry, you have the three same labels (without the date) on the upper left lane.

Twenty-five stamps per sheet, five horizontal times five vertical, you count: twenty labels with half a guillochis on each other, and ten blank labels ready to be used by forgers. Guillochis are supposed to avoid that on stamp paper left unprinted because of printing purpose.

The French Metropolitan printer, the oversea ordering body and its local post office may think together on how to print stamps without wasting so much paper... moreover if the paper is paid by the oversea client. Monaco Postage Stamps Issuing Office received ten stamp sheets it orders. If Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon philatelic office wants sheets of twenty-five, shouldn't the printer adapt its modern machinery to do so?

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