5 June 2017 Golden Anniversary Celebration miniature sheet
2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the issue of new Queen Elizabeth II definitives featuring Arnold Machin's iconic bas-relief sculpture which replaced the Wilding definitives. Arnold Machin's 1967 portrait of Queen Elizabeth II (sometimes referred to as the Machin head) has been reproduced over 200 billion times.
These will not be despatched earlier than 19 June - please see home page for details.
The stamp designs in detail:
5p - A range of 12 low-value stamps, including 5p, was issued on Decimalisation Day, 15 February 1971. Few were sold on the day of issue because of a labour dispute which closed most post office branches. First day covers were delivered after the strike was over, in March.
20p - The double-head 20p stamp was issued as part of a range of five values on 10 January 1990 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Penny Black.
1st Class* - On 19 October 1993, the first self-adhesive stamp issued by Royal Mail appeared in booklets of 20. The format was landscape. The trial was short-lived as it soon became apparent that postmarks of the time could be wiped from the stamps. Anyone trying to use the stamps from the booklet now will find that the stamps are very difficult to remove from the baking card.
1st Class* - On 6 January 2000, a new setting of the Machin portrait on a white background was issued to mark the millennium. Differences can be seen between the stamps printed by the three different printers.
1st Class* - A change to the way postal charges were calculated, known as Pricing in Proportion, led to the release of new definitives on 1 August 2006. This included Large Letter stamps
1st Class* - On 3 January 2013, the colour of the 1st class Machin definitive was changed from gold to red with an iridescent security overprint. Philatelists soon found a whole new area of Machins to study as the text in the iridescent printing varied according to the source (sheets, booklets etc) and year of production. Note that this stamp is red, not deep scarlet.
£1 - This new £1 stamp is based on the high-value range of 1969 and is printed using gold foil.
Background Includes an image of one of the 4d one of the first values issued on 5 June 1967 and a quote “After months of extremely hard work by Mr Arnold Machin and the printers, Messrs Harrison and Sons Ltd., a design was evolved which in my opinion will be one of the classics of stamp history.” Edward Short, Postmaster General 1967.
* These four stamps have elliptical perforations. Unlike the 20p in the PSB pane, see below, the 20p in the MS does not have elliptical perforations.