Happy Anniversary to the Penny Black Stamp

May, 2015 / Read

“…A bit of paper just large enough to bear the stamp, and covered at the back with a glutinous wash” Sir Rowland Hill – idea of first pre-payment postage stamp.

The history of the world’s first adhesive postage stamp goes back exactly 175 years today as part of postal reforms promoted by Sir Roland Hill. The Penny Black featured Queen Victoria’s profile and has an estimated value of around £3000 in absolute mint condition.

The only known complete sheets are owned by the British Postal Museum, there is one set of 4 unused stamps dating back to 1840, costing you around the same amount as a Bentley 4x4 - £140,000! Although old Penny Blacks stamps aren’t that rare and it’s thought around 1.3 million are still in existence somewhere.

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