FDCS: 50th Anniversary of the Machin Definitive

2017 is the 50th anniversary of the first use of the iconic portrait of Queen Elizabeth on definitive stamps in the UK. The design was created by sculptor Arnold Machin. The design has been used continuously since 1967, and these definitive stamps are now known worldwide as Machins.

Country: United Kingdom
Date of Issue: 5th June 2017

I am most definitely a casual collector. I collect stamps on a number of unrelated topics that interest me (too many), and I often collect stamps that I just like the look of. In many casual collections, definitive stamps may be overlooked, perhaps because of the repetitive design or limited topical detail. However, I love definitives, and Machins are the most elegant of stamps ever produced. I might be biased, but these are my favourites. The myriad colours are fascinating; the palette used is so broad. Yet the stamps are constant and tied to tradition: Machin’s design and the colour of the first Machin stamp used for the inland letter rate echo the Penny Black, the first publicly issued stamp (the colour was chosen by the Queen and is shown in the lower-left corner of these covers).

Tradition and Innovation

The Machin anniversary is also celebrated on Royal Mail’s Post & Go self-adhesive stamp labels. This issue is based on the colour palette used for the first issue of Machin definitives in 1967.

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