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Collecting GB Machin 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:  The Penny Black was issued on 6th May 1840 and is generally recognised as the first postage stamp in the world. A few stamps were released to the public on 1st May 1840 by mistake. Covers showing May 1840 use of the Penny Black are very valuable and those pre-dating 6th May are extremely valuable. Another stamp was issued two days later after the Penny Black called the Twopenny Blue. Value aside, it is a similar design to the Penny Black - but obviously coloured blue instead of black - and, although less famous than the 1d black, is actually rarer and more valuable.

Recent British Stamps & Philately Articles



New Post & Go Stamps To Mark 60th Anniversary of Queen's Coronation
Just in case your wallet still has a little cash in it, Royal Mail is again offering new commemorative Post & Go stamps during Spring Stampex this year. [...]

New BPMA Post & Go Overprints Spring a Surprise
Perhaps because the first day of use for the British Postal Museum and Archive's Post & Go Machine coincided with the 20th Anniversary of Text Messaging that their new Faststamp overprint appeared simply as "The B.P.M.A" rather than a more descriptive wording as we were led to expect. While I doubt it will lessen the interest among die hard faststamp collectors, the revised overprint will probably make as much sense to many recipients of these stamps as a teenagers text does to a typical OAP! [...]

February Stamp Fair at Salisbury Cathedral
A stamp fair featuring 15 dealer stands has been organised for Friday 10th and Saturday 11th February 2012 within the grounds of Salisbury Catherdral. The event has been organised by the Machin Collectors Club in conjunction with the well know local stamp dealers, Dauwalders. [...]

What is a Cinderella Stamp?
In the philatelic world a cinderella stamp is usually defined as something which resembles a normal postage stamp that was not issued for official purposes by an official postal administration. As they are best defined by what they DO NOT represent, cinderella stamps can be broken up in to many specific sub-types of collectable label including poster stamps, propaganda labels, commemorative stickers, stamps issued by unrecognised nations and/or governments, court stamps, charity labels, Christmas seals, telegraph stamps, railway stamps, local stamps etc. [...]

Postal Termanology Explained: Poste Restante
Post Restante is a universal free service offered by Post Offices virtually everywhere in the world. [...]

Unissued Royal Mail World Cup Stamp Design Surfaces
Just days prior to the 2010 World Cup kicking off, designs proposed for a Royal Mail postage stamp to be issued if England won the 1970 World Cup were discovered by archivists of The British Postal Museum and Archive (BPMA) in London. [...]

Online Exhibition Features GB Post Office Posters 1930-1960
Titled Designs on Delivery, The British Postal Museum & Archive (BPMA) is hosting an extensive exhibition of GPO posters available to view on their website. [...]

GBStamp.co.uk Privacy & Cookie Use
Details of our privacy and cookie policies... [...]




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


Elite Stamps
US based online stamp auctions website that aims to highlight the cream of rare stamps and philatelic auctions from around the world.

Tractors on Stamps and Philatelic Covers
A page dedicated to collectors of farm tractors on stamps and covers.

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.

Aerophilately
UK Aerophilately website for airmails, first flights, Concorde covers and many other flown covers etc.

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

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

AK Philately
Adrian runs this interesting blog on all things philatelic from around the world.

The Whitehaven to Huddersfield TPO
Derwent Railway Society web page about West Cumberland's last Travelling Post Office (TPO)

GB First Day Covers
Search among thousands of British First Day Covers at FirstDayCover.org.uk


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: COLCHESTER
Colchester philatelic postmark The featured GB philatelic postmark for Sunday Apr 30 2017 is from Colchester.

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.



Discover Philately




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