Postcards Sent to You by www.Postmarket.ukFor just 95p you can get this glossy postcard of used Machin stamps hand written and sent to you in the mail using a pictorial Post & Go stamp.

Click here to see postcards sent by POSTMARKET.uk

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



Paquebot Postmarks
Toward the end of the 19th century, with the postage stamp now in wide scale use around the world, passengers on board ship were complaining about the difficulty they often experienced posting letters. Before the UPU created the Paquebot system, items of mail would usually have to wait until the ship arrived at a port and someone would have to go ashore to buy local postage stamps. [...]

The Fascinating Local Stamps of Herm in The Channel Islands
The island of Herm in the Channel Islands has a postal history stretching back to May 1st 1925 when the GPO established a sub post office on the island. Although the sub post office only opened for thirty minutes a day it was eventually considered unsustainable on cost grounds and the decision was taken to close it permanently on November 30th 1938. Examples of the datestamp used at the Herm Sub-Post Office are now a postmark rarity and worth looking out for. But this was just the start of the story for the philately of Herm... [...]

MIDPEX 2013 Will Create New Post & Go Stamp Variety for Collectors
The 2013 Midpex exhibition is returning to the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre near Leamington on 6th July 2013 and looks set to be bigger and better than ever with more than 60 dealers and some 40 specialist societies planning to take part. For the first time a Royal Mail Post & Go machine will be available for use. [...]

The British Postal Museum & Archive secures initial support from Heritage Lottery Fund
The British Postal Museum & Archive (BPMA) is delighted to announce that the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has confirmed a first-round pass' as part of a two stage application process to help move its world-class collections into a new, accessible and permanent home. Initial HLF support has been awarded for an application of £4.25m and development funding of £250,000 has been awarded. The new Postal Museum & Archive will be situated in Calthorpe House on London's Mount Pleasant site, where the country's oldest mail centre is located. [...]

New Childrens Stamp Collecting Start Up Kits
Updated designs and revised contents are features of the new stamp collection starter kits aimed at children by Stanley Gibbons who rate them as a great educational opportunity. [...]

International Darwin Day And Relevant Stamps Highlighted By BPMA
February 12th was International Darwin Day and the BPMA made a great blog post highlighting Royal Mail stamps that have celebrated the life and work of Charles Darwin and, along the way, making him one of the most commemorated non-royal individuals ever on British stamps. [...]

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. [...]

Starting A Post Office Label Sheets Collection
In the rare moments of peace I've had over the holidays I've been thumbing through the 2009 Stanley Gibbons Concise Catalogue considering new collection ideas for 2010 and, the result is, I've decided to build and maintain a complete collection of the Post Office Label Sheets as catalogued by SG for the reign of Queen Elizabeth without including the privately produced "Smilers Sheets". [...]

GB Official Postage Stamps 1882 - 1904
During the reign of Queen Victoria, and the early part of the Edward VII era, GB postage stamps were overprinted for use by  Government Departments and bodies like the Royal Household. These have become collectively known as Official Stamps although the first "official" was produced but not issued as early as 1840. [...]

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. [...]




Queen Victoria Surface Printed GB Stamps 1855-1900

The process known as Surface Printing is basically the opposite of the Line Engraved technique employed for the first GB stamp issues. The recessed parts of the printing plate transferred no ink or a reduced amount of ink depending on their depth. The Surface Printed issues of Queen Victoria are widely collected and extremely popular. It is a huge area to study and collect as, apart from the wide variety of designs, values and colours, many of the stamps had different plate numbers incorporated in their designs.

Inexperienced collectors are often unaware of the true scarcity of genuinely fine used stamps from this period. At the time regulations said all stamps should be literally obliterated to avoid fraudulent reuse. As a result the cancels in use for much of the period are nicknamed "killers" because of the heavy bar patterns transferred on to stamps. Therefore stamps described and sold as "fine used" are not as "fine" as normally demanded for later issues when the Circular Date Stamp entered more common use. CDS or lightly cancelled surface printed stamps can therefore command a surprising price premium.

Take a look at the live online QV Surface Printed 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.

Royal Mail Stamps Featuring Living People
Interesting article PDF file by Peter Jennings highlighting the current shambles of this once rigid Royal Mail policy.

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...

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.

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.

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: CARDIFF
Cardiff philatelic postmark The featured GB philatelic postmark for Thursday Jul 28 2016 is from Cardiff.

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


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 Stanley Gibbons Collecting British First Day Covers Catalogue provides a comprehensive listing for FDCs for the 1840 Penny Black to very recent issues. The latest catalogue features more than 6000 illustrations of the various postmarks (including c.d.s. and machine slogans) used on the First Day of Issue for stamps and the pages feature illustrations of several hundred first day covers.

All the official FDCs (sponsored covers) are listed along with prices. Over the years your humble webmaster here at GBstamp.co.uk has used the information contained in this catalogue to identify many rare covers featuring scarce postmarks being sold as normal covers by unsuspecting sellers using the online auctions. Order from Stanley Gibbons or see if one is available in the philatelic catalogue online auctions.



Discover Philately




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.