Friday, 31 May 2013
Stamp collecting pays
Regardless of whether the stamps have been marked or not, there is always a use for old stamps. For instance, did you know that they can be donated to charity? The typical price a charity can expect to receive for used stamps is roughly £4.50 for a kilogram of British stamps or up to £15 for foreign postal markers. If all of the UK’s stamps were recycled like this charities could raise thousands of pounds every year.
Love your philately? We do too. Which is why we’ve put together this quick chronology of stamp printing methods from British history.
May 1840 – 1855 (Line engraved stamps)
Printed using a technique also known as the gravure or recess printing method, line engraved stamps were the very first printed stamps to be used for postage in Great Britain. Over 480 printing plates, most of which included 240 unique stamp pictures with their own ‘check letters’ in the corners (to protect against forgeries), were used to produce billions of line engraved stamps.
These stamps were made using an engraving etched onto a piece of steel. This was then solidified and punched into a printing plate. Line engraved stamps were thought of as less easy to counterfeit as fine-details created using raised lines were impossible to mimic for all but the most highly skilled and experienced engravers.