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 GB Machin 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:  Aerophilately is philately that specialises in the study of airmail and flown covers. Flown mail has been recorded and studied from its earliest days and virtually every aspect of worldwide airmail services have been extensively documented by aerophilately specialists.

Tip: Keep your eye out for original 1911 Coronation Aerial Post covers that were flown between London and Windsor as good quality examples are becoming very difficult to find now.

Recent British Stamps & Philately Articles



Final RAF Leuchars Airshow Commemorated by Official BFPS Cover
With the future use of RAF Leuchars being handed over largely to the British Army, it has been confirmed that 2013 will be the last Airshow held at the airbase. The British Forces Philatelic Service (BFPS) have produced a cover featuring an image of the station's Typhoon aircraft and a special BFPS 3165 The Last Airshow RAF Leuchars 7 Sep 13 postmark. [...]

Massive Royal Mail Stamp Price Hikes Announced
So on 30th April the price of a standard 1st class stamp will be hiked dramatically from 46p to 60p and a 2nd class stamp will go up to 50p. Ten years ago 1st class stamps cost 27p and 2nd class 19p. Can new issue stamp collecting survive as a hobby for the rich? [...]

Royal Mail feature Classic Comics on Latest Special Stamp Issue
Today, 20th March 2012, marks the launch of Royal Mail's latest special stamp issue celebrating the 75 year history of classic British Comics. Here's a quick view of the ten stamp issue: [...]

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? [...]

BPMA Offers School Teachers Free Learning Packs and Teaching Resources
In our opinion the British Postal Museum and Archive (BPMA) deserves much credit for a lot of work they do which helps raise awareness of the history of the postal service, philately in the UK and stamp collecting in general. Here we highlight some of the information and learning resources they make available to schools which, after all, hopefully contain the postal historians and philatelists of the future! [...]

Is Royal Mail Producing Too Many Stamps?
The recent news that a special Royal Mail commemorative stamp will be issued for every British Gold Medal winner at the 2012 Olympic Games in London has fueled the flames of an old chestnut among GB stamp collectors: Are there simply too many stamps being issued for collectors to cope with or afford? [...]

eBid: A Solution if You Want to Trade Stamps, Covers or Postcards Online
It's very easy to believe eBay is the only show in town when it comes to trading GB stamps reliably and successfully online. But there are some good alternatives like eBid that can prove effective venues in the right circumstances. [...]




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


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

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).

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.

The Whitehaven to Huddersfield TPO
Derwent Railway Society web page about West Cumberland's last Travelling Post Office (TPO)


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: GRIMSBY
Grimsby philatelic postmark The featured GB philatelic postmark for Sunday Feb 07 2016 is from Grimsby.

Collectors can get this special postmark applied by sending the stamped (minimum 1st Class rate) addressed envelope(s) to:

Northern England Special Handstamp Centre
Royal Mail
South Shields D.O.
Keppell Street
SOUTH SHIELDS NE33 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

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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