Pre-QE Coil Leaders
A Very Good Collection of KGV-KGVI Coil Leaders
Stamps were issued in Sheets, Booklets and Coils (or Rolls). Coils were intended for the Post Office Vending Machines and also for businesses with equipment to affix stamps to their letters in bulk.
- Coils comprised long strips of stamps spooled around a central core. The innermost stamp was attached to a short strip of paper - the 'Coil End'. The outermost stamp was attached to a longer strip of paper - the 'Coil Leader'.
- The coil leaders were printed with details of the coil's contents and included a code letter, the stamp denomination, the number of stamps in the coil and its total value. It also showed details of how the stamps were deliver off the coil - bottom edge first, left side first, etc.
- Most leaders also showed a coil number. This ranged from 1-12 for vertical coils and 1-10 for horizontal coils.
- The leader paper varied. It could be coloured or plain buff, watermarked or unwatermarked, gummed or ungummed, have perforated or imperf edges.
- Stanley Gibbons list the leaders by code letter and contents, such as X960 but doesn't distinguish any of the other attributes.
- The printed text on the leader is usually in black but can be in a colour reflecting the stamp concerned.
- Some coils were constructed from normal sheets joined together by adhering the stamps from one sheet to the margin of an adjacent sheet. This gave rise to 'Coil Joins'. Others were made from a continuous web produced by specially adapted printing cylinders. Continuous web horizontal coils had watermark sideways.
Several more coil leaders have yet to be mounted. These will be added when time permits. Meanwhile this gives a good idea of what exists in this fascinating area.