Olympic gold medal stamps: Instant recognition for Britain's golden generation

Royal Mail issued a total of 29 next-day miniature sheets from August 1-12, to celebrate every gold medal won by British competitors at the London 2012 Olympics.

Each sheet comprised six 1st class stamps of the same design, featuring a photograph of the athlete or team in the process of winning their event, celebrating immediately afterwards or receiving their medals.

The images and inscriptions were overprinted onto pre-printed base sheets by six different printers, based in London, Swindon, Attleborough, Solihull, Preston and Edinburgh, and were available from 500 main post offices by noon the following day.


COMMEMORATIVE WORTH  Royal Mail could be accused of cashing in, but for many people the London Olympics was a once-in-a-lifetime event

The photographs had to be chosen and edited in less than an hour, but most of them are excellent

The stamps achieved great media coverage, caught the public’s imagination and meant a lot to the athletes, too

1st class Rowing: women’s pairs
Helen Glover and Heather Stanning won Team GB’s first gold at Eton Dorney on August 1. Stanning said: ‘Granddad is going to love this. He collects stamps.’

1st class Cycling: men’s time trial
Soon after Glover and Stanning on August 1, Bradley Wiggins won the road cycling time trial over a course which culminated at Hampton Court Palace.

1st class Canoe slalom: men’s double
The pair of Etienne Stott and Tim Baillie conquered this fast-moving watersport event at Lee Valley White Water Centre on August 2.

1st class Shooting: men’s double trap
Peter Wilson triumphed in the clay pigeon shooting event on August 2, and his reunion with his dad on live television moved many to tears.

1st class Cycling: men’s team sprint
Britain’s run of success in the Velodrome started with the trio of Philip Hindes, Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny winning gold on August 2.

1st class Rowing: women’s double sculls
Paired with Anna Watkins, Katherine Grainger finally achieved gold on August 3 after previously winning silvers in three successive Games.

1st class Cycling: men’s team pursuit
The team of Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Steven Burke and Peter Kennaugh broke the world record on August 3 in defending the title won by Team GB in Beijing in 2008.

1st class Cycling: women’s keirin
Victoria Pendleton, the most successful female British track cyclist of all time, claimed a gold medal for the second successive Olympics on August 3.

1st class Rowing: men’s coxless four
‘Super Saturday’, August 4, began with a narrow win for the crew of Alex Gregory, Tom James, Pete Reed and Andrew Triggs-Hodge on the rowing lake.

1st class Rowing: women’s lightweight double sculls
Kat Copeland’s scream of ‘We’re going to be on a stamp tomorrow!’ was an iconic moment of the Games after she partnered Sophie Hosking to victory on August 4.

1st class Cycling: women’s team pursuit
Danielle King, Joanna Rowsell and Laura Trott ensured the golds kept flowing on August 4.

1st class Athletics: heptathlon
Having led from the first of the seven events the day before, Jessica Ennis set a national record of 6,955 points to claim gold in the Olympic Stadium on August 4.

1st class Athletics: men’s long jump
Just minutes after Ennis confirmed her triumph, Greg Rutherford won gold too with a jump of 8.31m.

1st class Athletics: men’s 10,000m
In a nail-bitingly tight race which completed a haul of six golds for Team GB on August 4, Mo Farah came the first Briton to win this long-distance event.

1st class Sailing: Finn class
After a sometimes acrimonious duel with Denmark’s Jonas Høgh-Christensen, Ben Ainslie came from behind to claim his fourth gold in five Games in the medal race on August 5.

1st class Tennis: men’s singles
Andy Murray gained revenge on his conqueror in the Wimbledon Championships, Roger Federer, by winning the Olympic final at the same venue on August 5.

1st class Equestrian: team jumping
The show-jumping team of Scott Brash, Peter Charles, Ben Maher and Nick Skelton won gold in front of an ecstatic crowd at Greenwich Park on August 6.

1st class Cycling: men’s sprint
The medals just kept coming in the Velodrome, as Jason Kenny added individual gold to his team sprint success on August 6.

1st class Men’s triathlon
After a 1,500m swim, a 43km cycle ride and a 10km run in Hyde Park on August 7, Alistair Brownlee took gold with his brother Jonathan finishing third.

1st class Equestrian: team dressage
Laura Bechtolsheimer riding Alf, Charlotte Dujardin riding Valegro and Carl Hester riding Uthopia claimed Britain’s second gold of August 7, and its first ever in dressage.

1st class Cycling: women’s omnium
Laura Trott won her second gold of the Games in a new event which combines scores from a flying lap, a points race, an elimination race, an individual pursuit, a scratch race and a time trial.

1st class Cycling: men’s keirin
Sir Chris Hoy topped off August 7 with his sixth gold medal from the past three Games, making him Britain’s most decorated Olympian ever.

1st class Equestrian: individual dressage
Charlotte Dujardin held her nerve on her horse Valegro on August 9 to add an individual gold to her team triumph and set a new Olympic record.

1st class Boxing: women’s flyweight
The first ever Olympic gold medal for women’s boxing went to Nicola Adams on August 9.

1st class Taekwondo: women’s under 57kg
Britain’s third gold of August 9 was won by to Jade Jones, at the tender age of 19.

1st class Canoe sprint: men’s kayak single 200m
Ed McKeever won the K1 sprint event, cheered on by enthusiastic crowds beside the lake at Eton Dorney on August 11.

1st class Athletics: men’s 5,000m
A nation held its breath on August 11 as it watched Mo Farah become Britain’s first male track athlete to win two events at the same Olympics, adding the shorter distance to his 10,000m title.

1st class Boxing: Men’s bantamweight
Another wonderful Saturday for Team GB was completed by a late, late gold, courtesy of Luke Campbell at ExCeL.

1st class Boxing: Men’s super heavyweight
Londoner Anthony Joshua fought his way to Team GB’s 29th gold by beating reigning champion Roberto Cammarelle on August 12.

No stamp cards are available, and no presentation packs in the usual style, although a complete set of the 29 miniature sheets is available in one pack, as is a full set of first day covers.
Copies of the compendium album produced to house a collection, offered at £20, have sold out.

Miniature sheets (x29) £104.40
First day covers (x29)  £139.20
TOTAL £243.60