Collect British Stamps

British Machin Stamp Anniversary of the Penny Black Machin 1st class large British Stamp GB Worldwide up to 40g Machin Stamp

Special offers on new & used copies of: Collecting British Squared Circle Postmarks

Collect British Machin Definitive Stamps

Arnold Machin designed GB definitive postage stamps The current GB definitive postage stamps featuring the sculpted profile of Queen Elizabeth II were designed by Arnold Machin. The Machin definitive stamps have been in use since the first issue of June 5th 1967 when the UK was still using pre-decimal currency.

Like the Wilding issues used during the earlier part of the Queens reign, the Machin series of stamps maintained the tradition of using the reigning monarch portrait instead of naming the country. The United Kingdom, having been the first nation to officially issue postage stamps, is exempt by the Universal Postal Union from having to print the country name on postage stamps and an effigy of the reigning monarch is considered the sole national mark.

After more than four decades of use, the Machin stamp series has seen many changes in British postage stamp printing methods. The machin issues are now so diverse and complex in terms of design, values, printers, booklet combinations, perforations, gum, phosphor coatings and size formats that many philatelists and stamp collectors now solely focus on the Machin stamps as their specialisation.
In 1989, as fast-changing postage rates became an increasing problem, the use of "non-value indicator" (NVI) Machin stamps began where the postage class was specified using "1st" or "2nd" rather than the currency value.

It was not until 1990 that the first commemorative adaptation of the Machin design was used alongside the classic profile of Queen Victoria to mark the 150th anniversary of British postage stamps.

It has been proposed on more than one occasion that the Machin design be replaced. Perhaps the strongest case was made in the early 1980s following the adoption of the Raphael Maklouf effigy design to appear on new UK coinage. It was reported that a proposal was put forward to replace the Machin design as a way of marking the 30th anniversary of the Coronation in 1983. The Queen reportedly agreed to the idea although a letter sent on her behalf at the time suggests she was in fact very reluctant to see a new design adopted. The letter apparently said; "Her Majesty is very content with the Machin effigy and thinks that a work of real quality is required if this is to be replaced."

So it would seem that, in more than a quarter of a century since that letter was written, the Queen has yet to see a work of real quality worthy of replacing the Arnold Machin iconic design. No doubt many British philatelists and stamp collectors agree.

New GB postage stamps still influenced by Arnold Machin


Arnold Machin Centenary Stamps

Years after his passing in 1999, Arnold Machin is still making a huge impact on British stamp design. Perhaps the most interesting use of his iconic Queen's head design is on the latest Post and Go stamps which many collectors believe will prove to be the start of a new generation of postage stamps where services and values are overprinted at the point of sale on pre-printed stamp designs.

It therefore seems fitting that the centenary of Arnold Machin's birth was the subject of Britain's first ever commemorative Post & Go stamps.






Printing The London 2012 Olympics Definitive Stamps




Squared Circle Postmarks


Did You Know?

Did you know:  Thematic philately, also referred to as topical philately, is the study of the pictures and subjects depicted on postage stamps. There are numerous very popular subjects including birds, football, insects, flowers etc. As with other forms of philately stamps displaying design errors are much in demand. While thematic stamp collecting has been more popular in the US and Europe, it is now gathering pace in the UK and GB stamps already cover many of the most popular topics.

Recent British Stamps & Philately Articles



Royal Mail Postmark Congratulates Molly Robson from Horsham
Following the series of 24 postmarks used for a day in the past month to congratulate the finalists in their Christmas Stamp Design Competition, the two winners are receiving a second day of postmark fame courtesy of Royal Mail. [...]

Stanley Gibbons Offer Rare Penny Black Master Die Proof
Stanley Gibbons are currently offering for sale a Master Die Proof for the Penny Black, the world's first postage stamp, which is one of only two complete examples in private hands from a total of five known examples in the world. [...]

Stampex Diamond Jubilee Post and Go Commemorative Faststamps Issue
The second ever Post & Go commemorative faststamp issue will unsurprisingly be used to mark the Diamond Jubilee of HM The Queen. As with the first commemorative Post & Go stamps, these Jubilee faststamps will be exclusively available from Hytech machines during Spring Stampex. [...]

Photo of the Sir Rowland Hill Blue Plaque in Birmingham
Postal reformer Sir Rowland Hill KCB (1795 - 1879) once resided in Birmingham between 1802 and 1803. Here's a photo of his blue plaque. [...]

Channel Islands Specialists Society News
This years Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Society for specialist collectors of the stamps and postal history from the Channel Islands recently took place at the Royal Philatelic Society in London. With the exception of the Internet Officer, a post that will now be abolished, all the existing officers of the Society were re-elected. [...]

What Are The Top Stamp Collecting Searches On eBay?
If you are looking to sell stamps, first day covers or postal history items on eBay then a little research of the most popular search terms could prove profitable. [...]

London 2010: Postage Stamps in the 21st Century
Take part in a FREE hour long panel discussion in London featuring guests from the Royal Mail, Stamp Magazine, The Stamp Advisory Committee and the security printers De La Rue to air views on stamp design and speculate on the future of postage stamps. [...]

Behind The Scenes Tour of Royal Mail Archive
GB Philatelists, postal historians and stamp collectors have the chance to take a FREE behind the scenes tour of the Royal Mail archive collections in London on January 28th 2010. [...]

Making Profits From New GB Stamp Issues
While many of us like to concentrate on building our stamp or cover collections with little regard to eventual profit, I believe our hobby benefits from the more entrepreneurial thinking of some shrewder hobbyists and dealers who aim to make a short term gain from British Stamps. [...]

How to Detect Regummed Victorian Postage Stamps
Whenever items are widely collected and significant cash values become involved there will inevitably be problems that people need to watch out for. Regumming of old postage stamps to appear like more valuable mint examples is one such abuse to be aware of. [...]




The 1840 Penny Black - The Worlds Oldest Postage Stamp

The Penny Black was produced in sheets of 240 employing the Line Engraved print process. The plates used for 1d blacks were numbered 1a, 1b and then plates 2 through to 11. Skilled collectors can benefit from a knowledge of the identification characteristics of scarcer plate printings before scanning the online auctions. Plate 11, for example, had a very short period of use meaning a 1d Black from that plate is many times more valuable than the equivalent stamps printed using the more common plates.

Take a look at the live online penny black auctions ending soon.



British Stamp & Philately Sites From Our Directory


GB Philately News Website
GB philately website which aggregates GB stamp and philatelic news from a variety of stamp collecting and information sources.

GB Stamp Calendar 2013
Check the schedule of new GB special stamp and Post & Go faststamp issues during 2013.

Global Philately
Philatelic blog for all things philatelic, with a focus on the classics of the British Empire and Commonwealth

British Post & Go Stamps
Trace where any GB Post and Go stamp was issued from.

Positively Postal
I am so passionate about the postal system that I set up the website Positively Postal...

Index of GB Machin Definitive Issues at Wikipedia
A simplified listing of the iconic Arnold Machin designed definitive issues in use in Britain since 1967.

Collect Indian Stamps
Every Indian Stamp has a story to narrate.The rich cultural heritage of India is brought alive through stamps.Stamp collect is no more just a hobby it's an educational avocation.This dedicated site on indian philately will keep you up to date with latest

Machin Forum
The place to discuss the definitive stamp. Internet forum focused on the iconic QEII Definitive stamps featuring Arnold Machin's portrait of the Queen.

Bath Postal Museum Website
Bath Postal Museum is located at 27 Northgate Street (on the corner of Green Street) Bath, BA1 1AJ

Footyphila Plus
Sports philately with an emphasis on football (soccer).

Great Britain section of the Stamp Collecting Blog
Extensive philatelic blog. This directory entry leads to the GB section.


Centenary of the First UK Aerial Post

First UK Aerial Post Centenary

We wrote some time ago about the first UK Aerial Post in 1911 and how the centenary of the event was approaching. As expected the Royal Mail marked the centenary on 9th September 2011 with a special stamp issue featuring photos of the event and a miniature sheet shown above which is styled on the publicity posters which were used to advertise the original event.

BRITISH PHILATELIC POSTMARK OF THE DAY: BRIGHTON
Brighton philatelic postmark The featured GB philatelic postmark for Thursday Apr 24 2014 is from Brighton.

Collectors can get this special postmark applied by sending the stamped (minimum 1st Class rate) addressed envelope(s) to:

London Special Handstamp Centre
Royal Mail
Mount Pleasant
Farringdon Road
LONDON EC1A 1AA


You can ask for any date (including public holidays) to be applied to your covers provided you send them to arrive on or before that date. It is advised you send a suitable return envelope also if you want the covers sent back protected rather than individually through the regular mail service.
We feature a different UK philatelic postmark every day so check back again


GB Stamp Set Creates an A-Z of the UK

The Royal Mail has now finished what they announced as "a dramatic 26-stamp, alphabetical odyssey around the UK" featuring stamps showing iconic landmarks from across all four countries that make up the UK.

In 2012 Royal Mail completed the series with 14 stamps featuring places like "Station X" at Bletchley Park and the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle. The journey had actually begun when the UK A-Z Part One was issued back in October 2011. This comprised of twelve 1st Class stamps showing landmarks from A to L. The stamps took a fresh look at some of the UK’s most famous sights, ancient to modern and from spiritual to spectacular. Learn more about these stamps

GB Stamp Collecting & British Philatelic Publication News

The British Postmark Bulletin is published usually every two weeks or so by the Royal Mail. The Postmark Bulletin contains interesting articles related to postmarks together with details of current and future postmarks and how collectors can obtain them. Available by subscription from the Royal Mail Website at a current cost of £12.25 in the UK and Europe or £24.95 for subscribers outside Europe.



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