Glossary: O

Occasions Stamps

These were Royal Mail’s next idea to replace the Greetings stamps. Again, these were designed to be cheerful, attractive stamps to encourage social post such as greetings cards. Royal Mail issued the first Occasions set of stamps in 2001 and introduced the idea of Smilers at the same time.


Official Covers

This term can have two meanings so if you see something described as “official” check the context carefully to see which meaning is being used!
Meaning 1: An official cover is one officially produced for an organisation, such as The National Trust or the National Army Museum. It means that the cover producer has been chosen by the organisation to produce a cover and that the organisation has given permission for the cover to use their name, logo or brand. It is a big honour to be selected to produce a cover for another organisation and is something we take very seriously. To see a list of all the different partner organisations that we have worked with, click here.
[RSA Cover] This kind of official cover is extremely collectable, especially when the organisation is immediately relevant to the stamp issue. An example is this Royal Society of Arts first day cover that we produced for the Royal Society of Arts when their 250th Anniversary was marked with a set of British stamps.
Meaning 2: The other meaning of an “official cover” is essentially the same as saying the cover is a certain brand. Some collectors will only collect certain brands of cover and to be true to the brand, the cover and the postmark must be designed by the same company. If a cover producer borrows a postmark designed by someone else (see postmark), it makes the cover “unofficial”.
Buckingham Covers is one of the leading brands of luxury British covers worldwide and can be identified by our stag logo which you can see at the top of this page.


Overprint

This refers to when something new is printed on a stamp or cover that was not part of the original design. An example is this 1953 Coronation cover where you’ll see ‘Tangier’ has been printed over the stamps.