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Collect British Stamps

British Machin Stamp Anniversary of the Penny Black Machin 1st class large British Stamp GB Worldwide up to 40g Machin Stamp

Special offers on new & used copies of: Collecting British Squared Circle Postmarks

Collecting Stamps: The 1924/25 Empire Exhibition Stamps

GB Stamps for the 1924 and 1925 British Empire Exhibition at Wembley The British Empire Exhibition, held at Wembley in Middlesex close to London during 1924 & 1925, was officially opened by King George V on 23rd April 1924. At the time the British Empire consisted of 58 countries and only Gibraltar and Gambia were not represented. At a cost at the time of £12 million this was the largest ever exhibition staged anywhere in the world and over 27 million visitors attended while it was open.

Stamps commemorating the exhibition were issued for both 1924 and 1925. The stamps all featured similar designs to that shown here. The penny value was red and penny halfpenny value brown. The first day of issue for the 1924 stamps was 23 April 1924 - the day King George V opened the exhibition - and the 1925 printing was issued on 9 May 1925. Apart from envelopes posted by visitors many different letter cards, postcards and souvenirs were produced commemorating the exhibition. Collectors today tend to refer to the stamp sets as being either the "1924 Wembley" or "1925 Wembley" commemorative issues.
Around 25 different special postmarks, many featuring the lion logo, were used during the exhibition in both years. The most commonly seen examples are those used on regular mail. The parcel handstamps, registered marks and specific exhibitor postal markings can be very scarce.

First Day Covers for the stamps are very collectable and, depending on condition and postmarks, prices can easily exceed a £1,000 for the most desirable. The 1925 stamps on FDC are very much more valuable than the 1924 issue as many collectors at the time did not recognise the new 1925 stamp as a proper new issue meaning far fewer were serviced with FDI postmarks.

Collectors should note that the stamps were only sold at the exhibition which means examples bearing first day of issue postmarks from other parts of the UK away from the exhibition (or London) are extremely rare. A number of forgeries bearing Rhyl postmarks on the 1924 issue turned up in the 1970s so excercise caution.

Several postal stationery items - including pre-paid postcards, envelopes and letter cards - were produced for both years of the exhibition. While First Day of use cards are very collectable, the 1925 stationery items are far more valuable than the 1924.

The stamps for both years were recess printed by Waterlow & Sons. In 1924 the stamps were normally line or comb perforated whereas only comb perforated examples are found for the 1925 stamps.

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:  Philately is the actual study of stamps & items related to them but stamp collecting does not itself involve the study of stamps only building a collection. It is therefore possible to be a philatelist despite never owning stamps. For instance a phlatelist may study the stamps at an exhibition, in a museum, online or in books.

Recent British Stamps & Philately Articles



British Tourism Cachets Applied to Letters and Postcards
Having just written an article about cinderella stamps at last, I thought it a good idea to mention the cinderellas of the postmark world namely "Tourism Cachets". These cachets are normally a privately produced rubber handstamp impression applied to a postcard or envelope so as not to mark the stamp or interfere with the normal official postmarking process. They are NOT postmarks but they do create an interesting tangent for collectors, particularly topical collectors, to follow. [...]

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. [...]

British Postal Museum & Archive Volunteer Lands National Award For Museum Learning
London, 11 July 2012 - The British Postal Museum & Archive (BPMA) is delighted to announce that volunteer Erene Grieve has been jointly-awarded The British Museum and Marsh Christian Trust's national volunteer award for museum learning 2012. [...]

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. [...]

Stanley Gibbons Offer Rare Penny Black Master Die Proof
Stanley Gibbons are currently offering for sale a Master Die Proof for the Penny Black, the world's first postage stamp, which is one of only two complete examples in private hands from a total of five known examples in the world. [...]

The Top Unusual UK Delivery Locations for Royal Mail
Taking in locations from the Scilly Isles off the tip of Cornwall, Unst in the Shetland Islands and Lindisfarne between them, here are the most unusual delivery routes and longest UK journey undertaken by Royal Mail... [...]

Two Opinions About Post & Go Stamp Errors
Much is being made - and sometimes fancy prices paid - about the various inkjet printing errors applied on Royal Mail's Post & Go stamp issues. Given the nature of these stamps I am tending to think collectors should be wary of paying too much for such offers. [...]

Free To Enter Competition For Royal Mail Xmas 2011 Stamps
We are grateful to Royal Mail for letting us have five Presentation Packs for the current Christmas 2011 stamp issue to give away in the second of our regular free to enter competitions. [...]

Exhibit by Alan Holyoake Wins Third Large Gold Medal at Philanippon 2011
An exhibit by Alan Holyoake titled "The Evolution and Usage of the Mulready Envelopes and Letter Sheets" was awarded a FIP Large Gold medal at Philanippon 2011 in Yokohama, Japan. [...]

Wartime Internment Art Features on Isle of Man Stamps
The British Government used the Isle of Man to intern enemy aliens during both World War 1 and 2 and foreign nationals were brought to the island from all parts of Great Britain. [...]

Collecting British Exhibition Postmarks
Special event postmarks form a popular basis of many postmark and postal history collections and, since the earliest days, exhibitions have been commemorated by special cancellations and, in my view, they merit collecting in their own right. [...]

Get the Twitter About British Stamps & Postal History
The British Postal Museum & Archive continues to adopt the latest online communication methods to keep philatelists and stamp collectors informed about GB philatelic events and history. [...]

Follow GBStamp on Twitter for British Philately Flavoured Tweets
Okay, I know, everyone is doing it and most Twitterers are probably just like me who doesn't really know why I'm doing it yet! [...]

London 2012 Olympics: First Official Commemorative Stamps from Royal Mail
The Royal Mail has recently unveiled a new series of stamps being issued to commemorate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games being held in the United Kingdom for the first time since 1948, the first games following World War 2. [...]

Delcampe Tempts British Stamp Collectors Away from eBay
The specialist collector's auction website Delcampe displays nearly 25 million items listed from the various countries that participate. With more than 20 Million items actually sold now, the growth at Delcampe has been very impressive and means the site really is becoming a true competitor to eBay for buyers and sellers of stamps and other collectables. [...]




Queen Victoria Line Engraved GB Stamps 1840-1879

The earliest postage stamps issued in Great Britain used the Line Engraved printing process. Large print plates were engraved by skilled engravers. The printing process meant ink was applied on the plate with the excess wiped off before a paper sheet was pressed on to it so that impressions of the recessed, inked parts of the plate were transferred on to the paper.

For the line engraved stamps without plate numbers incorporated in to their designs it is only possible to distinguish between print plates used by studying the detailed variations of engraving, designs, repairs made and the alphabets used for corner lettering etc. This skilled aspect of philately has been made much easier for us today becuase of the many fine specialist reference books and catalogues published since victorian times.

Good quality Line Engraved stamps are always in demand. Take a look at the live online auctions for Line Engraved stamps ending shortly.



British Stamp & Philately Sites From Our Directory


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.

Global Philately
Philatelic blog for all things philatelic, with a focus on the classics of the British Empire and Commonwealth

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

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.

Bath Postal Museum Website
Bath Postal Museum is located at 27 Northgate Street (on the corner of Green Street) Bath, BA1 1AJ

Footyphila Plus
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.

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.


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: BRISTOL
Bristol philatelic postmark The featured GB philatelic postmark for Saturday Oct 25 2014 is from Bristol.

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 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.



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