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: The branch of philately called "postal history" focuses on the actual use made of postage stamps on mail. Postal History includes the study of postmarks, actual post offices, the postal authorities, various postage rates and regulations and the physical processes used to transport mail to recipients. Many postal historians will specialise in areas such as maritime mail and paquebot covers, wartime mail, railway mail or even the postal markings associated with a particular town.
Recent British Stamps & Philately Articles
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! [...]
Queen's Diamond Jubilee Commemorative Stamps from Royal Mail
Royal Mail has today issued a set of eight stamps featuring royal portraits of Her Majesty The Queen who is celebrating the 60th anniversary of her accession to the throne back in 1952. The Diamond Jubilee Special Stamps are available from all Post Office Branches and via the Royal Mail website for the next year. [...]
Royal Mail Announces Inquiry into Dog Attacks on Postal Workers
A press release by Royal Mail has announced the launch of an independent inquiry into dog attacks on postal workers. The inquiry will be led by Sir Gordon Langley into the prevalence and consequences of attacks by dogs on postal workers in the UK. [...]
Spring Stampex 2012: TWO Royal Mail Stamp Issues
While the New Year has only just begun, it's nice to be talking about a "Spring" event! 2012 Spring Stampex, The British National Stamp Exhibition organised by the Philatelic Traders' Society and supported by Royal Mail, will take place at the Business Design Centre in London next month (Feb 22-25). So What's in store? [...]
What's the Difference Between a Stamp Essay and a Stamp Proof?
Collectors may come across stamp essays and proofs when browsing philatelic auction listings but how many really understand what they are? [...]
Welsh Philatelic Society Celebrates 40th Anniversary
Founded by ten enthusiasts in February 1971, the Welsh Philatelic Society is celebrating it's 40th anniversary this year with, apart from Wales, more than one third of members now in England and around the rest of the world. The society has steadily grown to a stable membership of around 200 people of various interests in the philately, postal history, postmarks and postcards of Wales. [...]
Stanley Gibbons Announce New Senior Appointments
Stanley Gibbons has announced four new appointments to their senior management team. [...]
Royal Mail Freedom To Set Postage Prices?
The Royal Mail may be given the freedom to set postal rates, letting the cost of sending letters and parcels go up, if proposals put forward by Postcomm, the industry regulator, are adopted. [...]
Thematic Stamp Collecting
Thematic or Topical stamp collecting revolves around postage stamps containing a particular subject matter in the designs rather than the countries that issued them. [...]
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.
GB Stamp Calendar 2013
Check the schedule of new GB special stamp and Post & Go faststamp issues during 2013.
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.
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
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).
Great Britain section of the Stamp Collecting Blog
Extensive philatelic blog. This directory entry leads to the GB section.
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: PLYMOUTH|
|The featured GB philatelic postmark for Sunday Apr 20 2014 is from Plymouth.
Collectors can get this special postmark applied by sending the stamped (minimum 1st Class rate) addressed envelope(s) to:
Wales & The West Special Handstamp Centre
220-228 Penarth Road
CARDIFF CF11 8TA
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