The Penny Black-The first ever stamp issued in Britain

The Penny black stamp was issued in Britain on the 1st May 1840 to be used for official use on the 6th May and was the first ever stamp to be printed to use in the public postal system. The idea of the stamp was to prepay for postage rather than paying for postage on delivery. At the time postage was charged for by the sheet and distance of delivery. The word postage was printed at the top of the stamp and the words One penny printed at the bottom indicating how much the pre paid stamp had cost prior to delivery.


The Penny black stamps were used for just over a year before people came across that the red cancellation was difficult to see on the black background and also the red ink was very easy to take off making it possible for people to use the penny black stamps again even after delivery. With this the Penny Red stamps were issued so the background was red and the cancellation was black in which people could not remove.


Although the Penny black stamps were only printed for just over a year, these stamps are not rare with the total print of stamps being 68,808,000 and a vast of these penny black stamps still remain due to many of the penny black stamps not being used as envelopes were not being used but letters instead which were folded and sealed with the address and stamp on one side so if the letter was kept, the stamp also survived, however the only known survivors of these particular stamps are owned by the British portal museum.


Penny Black stamps estimated value has said to be between £3000 and £4000!


Its amazing to think that Penny black stamps were 1 penny at face value and now worth this amount of money and to look at other stamps also from many generations ago from around the world, stamp collecting could be of some value to you. Not only could you grow your own historic knowledge through collecting stamps but you could also grow a little business in buying and selling such stamps available to you.

Sandafayre have Penny Black stamps added to their auctions every day, to add a Penny Black Stamp to your collection try bidding and see if you can get a good deal.