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.

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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:  Cinderella philately is the study of labels or other items that have the appearance of postage stamps but are in fact not official stamps. These could be Easter or Christmas Seals, propaganda stamps, souvenir issues or private issues from places like Lundy.

Recent British Stamps & Philately Articles




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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


Tractors on Stamps and Philatelic Covers
A page dedicated to collectors of farm tractors on stamps and covers.

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

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.

Positively Postal
I am so passionate about the postal system that I set up the website Positively Postal...

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.

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: NORWICH
Norwich philatelic postmark The featured GB philatelic postmark for Sunday Nov 18 2018 is from Norwich.

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

London Special Handstamp Centre
Royal Mail
Mount Pleasant
Farringdon Road
LONDON EC1A 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


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.



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