Penny Black: the World’s First Postage Stamp

Penny Black

The Penny Black – World’s First Postage Stamp

By Scott Bailey

In the 1830’s, mail in the United Kingdom of England and Ireland was paid for by the recipient of the mail. The amount charged for postal delivery was based upon the weight of the item as well as how far it had to travel. Most of the working population could not afford to receive mail from a distance and many just would not accept the delivery. With the proliferation of railways throughout the United Kingdom to support the growing factories during the Industrial Revolution, businesses and government realized that the debt-ridden postal system needed to be reformed.

In 1837 a schoolteacher named Rowland Hill proposed a prepayment system utilizing one penny stamps on postage. in 1839, the British Treasury announced a competition to design the first stamp. Penny BlackNone of the submissions were considered acceptable and a portrait of Queen Victoria was chosen instead. The Penny Black was this first, adhesive, postage stamp. The Penny Black has a simple black background with a profile of Queen Victoria in the center, the words “POSTAGE” and “ONE PENNY” along the top and bottom, respectively. The Penny Black was used for just over one year. The postage cancellation mark was in red ink, which was hard to see on the black stamp and also was easy to remove.

The Penny Red replaced the Penny Black in 1841 (utilizing black ink cancellation marks). Since over 68 million Penny Blacks were printed, many have survived and it is not a particularly rare stamp. As with all stamps, however, condition and whether or not it was ever used, determine a stamp’s value on the collectors’ market. A used Penny Black in poor condition can be found for under 10 Pounds (or 20 Dollars), sometimes significantly less. Just remember that whatever the quality of that Penny Black you own, you are holding an important piece of history that is much more that just another postage stamp.

Whether a beginner looking to start a collection, or a seasoned veteran looking to add a Penny Black to your collection, visit www.UKStampsAuctions.com for a wide variety of stamps of the United Kingdom.

Article Source: The Penny Black – World’s First Postage Stamp


List of items on:

UK On eBay UK:
Queen Victoria boxed collection 3-coins 3 stamps inc PENNY BLACK & Early Copper
Queen Victoria boxed collection 3-coins 3 stamps inc PENNY BLACK & Early Copper
£ 240.00
Isle of Man 2015 Penny Black Stamp - Pearl Black Silver Proof Crown Coin Cover
Isle of Man 2015 Penny Black Stamp - Pearl Black Silver Proof Crown Coin Cover
£ 39.99
2001 Penny Black Silver Ingot Stamps of the Victorian Era Coin Cover
2001 Penny Black Silver Ingot Stamps of the Victorian Era Coin Cover
£ 24.99
 50p 180th Anniversary of the Penny Black Stamp 50p Cupro Nickel Diamond Finish
50p 180th Anniversary of the Penny Black Stamp 50p Cupro Nickel Diamond Finish
£ 24.83
1 Penny Black Date Stamp Issue
1 Penny Black Date Stamp Issue
£ 35.00
2020 Gibraltar Penny Black Stamp Diamond&Black Pearl Finish 50P Coin in Card(№1)
2020 Gibraltar Penny Black Stamp Diamond&Black Pearl Finish 50P Coin in Card(№1)
£ 23.77
GIBRALTAR 2020 Fifty Pence Anniversary Penny Black Stamp 50p Black Coin
GIBRALTAR 2020 Fifty Pence Anniversary Penny Black Stamp 50p Black Coin
£ 29.99
 Worlds First 50p Penny Black Stamp 180th Anniversary Diamond Finish Rare Unc
Worlds First 50p Penny Black Stamp 180th Anniversary Diamond Finish Rare Unc
£ 29.85

List of items on: