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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:  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



Horse-Drawn Mail Coaches in Great Britain
The first mail-coach in Great Britain ran between London and Bristol commencing on August 2nd 1784. The service was the brainchild of a Mr John Palmer who owned a theatre in Bath. He petitioned the then Prime Minister, William Pitt, suggesting that stage coaches with armed guards could now carry mail on the country's improved roads. [...]

"Rainbow Trials" by David Rowse - Philatelic Book Review
In May 1840 Rowland Hill was made aware that several red Maltese Cross postmarks had been removed by members of the public from the new Penny Black stamps. Hill was obviously alarmed by the news and quickly instituted trials to find new, more satisfactory printing and postmark obliterator inks. These became known as the "Rainbow Trials". [...]

Royal Mail To Increase Small Parcel Sizes?
It seems highly likely that Royal Mail is about to announce significantly enlarged dimensions to be defined and priced as "small parcels". [...]

Royal Mail Welcomes The London 2012 Olympic Games
Here's a quick preview picture of the forthcoming Royal Mail miniature sheet produced to "welcome" the London 2012 Olympics on July 27th this year. Each of the four stamps contained in the sheet depicts an Olympic sport alongside a well known London landmark. [...]

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. [...]

With Royal Mail About to Annouce Stamp Price Increases Yet Again a Poem Comes to Mind
It looks very likely that we will witness the cost of a first class stamp rising to 50p or more in April. Older readers will recall that 50p was once 10/- (Ten Shillings) which amounted to 120 pre-decimal pennies. While businesses may get discounts by using private companies, pre-sorting or franking, I can't imagine how many collectors manage to stay interested in British stamps thesedays given the ever rising cost? [...]

Ultra Rare Penny Red Plate 77 For Sale at Stanley Gibbons
Dubbed the philatelist’s "Holy Grail" by Stanley Gibbons, the well known philatelic dealers are offering a single used example of the ultra rare Penny Red plate 77 for sale. [...]

Stanley Gibbons Announce Sale of Rare 1904 GB Official Overprint Stamp
Britain's best known stamp dealer and philatelic publishers, Stanley Gibbons, have today announced they have sold one of the rarest of all GB stamps ever to reach the open market; The 1904 6d Pale Dull Purple with I.R. Official overprint. [...]

2012 London Olympics Retail Stamp Booklet Issued by Royal Mail
The first of a series of Olympic retail stamp booklets scheduled for 2010 was released on 7th January featuring the judo and archery stamps from the October 2009 Olympics issue plus four first class Machin definitives. [...]

What Should Postage Stamps Smell Like?
I'm all for new ideas and innovation to grow interest in stamp collecting and philately but some sweet smelling stamp issues seem a little too far off the wall for my liking. But perhaps I'm wrong? [...]

Royal Mail Security Slits are a GB Stamp Collecting Nightmare
A Canadian article published today focuses on the new security measures being employed by the Royal Mail to hinder attempts of fraudulent reuse or resale of uncancelled stamps. [...]

Hawick Stamp Club Fair in Jedburgh August 23rd 2009
The Hawick Stamp and Postcard Society has organised a stamp fair this Sunday in Jedburgh Town Hall. [...]




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


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

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).

Stampex Website
The Competitions at Stampex are held under the auspices of the Association of British Philatelic Societies.

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: PLYMOUTH
Plymouth philatelic postmark The featured GB philatelic postmark for Thursday Sep 20 2018 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
Royal Mail
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

Recent GB Commemorative Stamp Issue

Royal Navy Uniforms GB Stamp Set issued 17th September 2009

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.

January 2010: British Design Classics: Classic Album Covers....

GB Stamp Collecting & British Philatelic Publication News

The Stanley Gibbons Great Britain Concise Catalogue offers comprehensive details and prices for every British stamp issued since 1840. The stamp designs are illustrated in colour and catalogue listings include detailed watermark information, perforation details, colour shades, paper types (including phosphor bands) etc.

The catalogue also lists and prices First Day Covers (FDC), PHQ Postcards, official presentation packs, stamp booklets, postage due stamps, regional stamp issues, official stamps, postally valid fiscal stamps and the Royal Mail labels (Smilers). Order from Stanley Gibbons or see if one is available cheaper by online auction.



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Royal Mail Copyright & Intellectual Property: Please note that most Royal Mail stamp designs and postmarks are the intellectual property of the Royal Mail. GBStamp.co.uk has permission to display images of Royal Mail stamps and postmarks on this website. We cannot give permission to other parties to use Roayal Mail's IP and any such enquiries should be made via Royal Mail Intellectual Property.