Collect British Stamps
Special offers on new & used copies of: Collecting British Squared Circle Postmarks
|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
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
Stamp & Cover Sellers Face New Rules On eBay Picture Standards
Love it or loathe it, and despite the constant complaints we hear about excessive fees and rogue buyers repeatedly claiming not to receive items which have not been sent by tracked postal services, there's no denying eBay manages to stay the busiest online venue for UK internet stamp auctions. Stamp dealers and stamp collectors using the eBay marketplace should note that new rules governing the standards of images come in to force on 8th November (delayed from October 30th). [...]
Beware Possible Fake Signatures on RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) Covers Listed on eBay
A chance interaction with one of the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight's twitter accounts today has highlighted the possibility of fake signatures being applied to BBMF RAF philatelic covers listed on eBay. [...]
150 Years of the Pillar Box
The 23rd November 2012 marks 150 years since the first Pillar Box trial was started by the Post Office. So called "Roadside letter boxes" were first trialed in 1852 on Jersey in the Channel Islands. [...]
Special "Shetland Bus" Postmark for Scalloway Museum Opening by Jens Stoltenberg
The Prime Minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg, will be opening the Scalloway Museum in the Shetland Islands on Thursday 17th May 2012 and a special Royal Mail postmark has been sponsored by the Shetland Bus Friendship Society to mark the event. [...]
Will Postage Labels Be The Death of Stamp Collecting?
Since the early trials of gummed Frama Labels in the 1980s Royal Mail has continued looking to reduce queues in Post Offices by using self-service machines that offer more flexibility than simple stamp booklet vending machines. Many stamp collectors screw their noses up at machine printed labels and some even fear the demise of their hobby. But is this a valid opinion? [...]
Prince William and Kate Middleton Royal Wedding Stamps
Queen Elizabeth has given her approval for the Royal Mail to issue a pair of GB commemorative postage stamps to mark the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton. The commemorative stamps will be isssued in sheets consisting of two of the first class stamps and two of the £1.10 value stamps. [...]
Royal Mail Offer More British Design Classics: "Classic Albums"
Building on the success of the 2009 British Design Classics issue the first Royal Mail issue of 2010 will feature the classic art and designs of British album covers. Album (and CD) artwork has long been a gallery for some of the finest and most innovative graphic artists and a preview of this issue confirms some of the greatest examples will be featured. [...]
The Aylesbury & District Philatelic Society
Meeting place, meeting times and contact details for the Aylesbury & District Philatelic Society. [...]
Edward VII GB Stamps 1902-1913
The stamps from the reign of Edward VII are an ever popular period for British stamp collectors and philatelists. Although only 19 basic stamps were issued during this period, the employment of three different printers means a huge array of variations exist relating to the paper, perforations and shades of printing ink. This explains why the Edward VII era is the subject of many specialised GB stamp collections.
Take a look at the live online Edward VII stamp 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.
Royal Mail Stamps Featuring Living People
Interesting article PDF file by Peter Jennings highlighting the current shambles of this once rigid Royal Mail policy.
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.
UK Aerophilately website for airmails, first flights, Concorde covers and many other flown covers etc.
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.
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
Sports philately with an emphasis on football (soccer).
The Competitions at Stampex are held under the auspices of the Association of British Philatelic Societies.
Adrian runs this interesting blog on all things philatelic from around the world.
Centenary of the First UK Aerial Post
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: PORTSMOUTH|
|The featured GB philatelic postmark for Thursday Aug 21 2014 is from Portsmouth.
Collectors can get this special postmark applied by sending the stamped (minimum 1st Class rate) addressed envelope(s) to:
London Special Handstamp Centre
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|
Recent GB Commemorative Stamp Issue
This set of stamps depicts the traditions and development of Royal Navy Uniforms over more than two centuries. Issue date: 17th September 2009. Find out more at the Royal Mail website.
GB Stamp Collecting & British Philatelic Publication News