Penny Stamps

Joy of Stamps

This is another idea pinched from another stamp collector, showing all the 1 penny definitive stamps issued in GB from the Penny Black to date. The donor is Hunter Davies, who mentions the notion in his iconoclastic, entertaining and thoroughly recommended book, The Joy of Stamps.

The first page was so much fun to collect and build that I extended the scheme to cover GB £1 stamps and am now moving on to other countries starting with the USA (Feb 2005). It is fair to say that the US has been rather more profligate with its 1c stamps than GB with its 1ds.

My third outing is to France and this is where my simple and elegant plan fails. I envisaged a gentle ramble through the various incarnations of La Semeuse and her replacements, with the occasional beautifully crafted commemorative, but not so. In order for this scheme to work sensibly, the lower value (1 penny or 1 cent) must be below the normal postal rate and the upper value (£1 or $1) above the rate for the majority of the period collected. In France's case, however, the lottery of postal rates, inflation and revaluation has meant that 1 centime has often been too low in value to register and 1 franc has been the actual postal rate too often for the number of stamps to be manageable. I will therefore revert to the original plan of definitives only. Next Germany, again with denomination problems - only five 1pf stamps ever. New Zealand and Egypt are strong possibilities for future subjects as both produced attractive early definitives.

GB 1d and £1 - USA 1c and $1 - France 1c and 1F - Germany 1pf and 1M - New Zealand 1d and £1 - Egypt

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page rewritten 3rd November 2011