27/12/2011 07:46 GMT | Updated 26/02/2012 05:12 GMT

Royal Mail Unveils London 2012 Olympic Stamps

Royal Mail has unveiled stamps which will mark the forthcoming London Olympic Games.

The "definitive" or everyday stamps, available from all 11,800 Post Office branches and from thousands of retailers in stamp books, go on sale on Thursday January 5.

It is the first time a logo has graced the front of a definitive stamp, which usually bears only an image of the Queen.

As with all Royal Mail stamps, the Queen's image will be present on these ones, in this case in the top right-hand corner for 1st class stamps, and the top left-hand corner for overseas stamps.

Two versions of the stamp books are available, one containing the key dates in the countdown to the Games, the other with a quote from Lord Coe, chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Royal Mail issued its first Olympic Games stamps in 1948, with four stamps bearing the five Olympic Rings. No stamps were issued to mark the 1908 Olympic Games.

These definitive stamps are the first in a series of stamps being issued by Royal Mail to commemorate the Games.

As previously announced, and in a separate initiative, for the first time Royal Mail will be issuing special gold medal stamps to celebrate every Team GB Olympic Games gold medal win.

As an official licensee of the Games, Royal Mail has also issued 30 special stamps over the last three years featuring every Olympic sport.