Forget about 'geezers with tweezers'
  • Stamp Collecting is known as the Hobby of Kings

King George V, King Farouk of Egypt, King Carol of Romania all had famous collections.

King George's purchase of the Mauritius two pence blue in 1904 for £1,450 set a new record for a single stamp.

A courtier asked the prince if he had seen "that some damned fool had paid as much as £1,400 for one stamp". "Yes," George replied. "I was that damned fool!"


  • Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's Royal Philatelic Collection is one of the biggest collections in the World

President Roosevelt was also a major collector.

Other famous collectors include tennis superstar Maria Sharapova, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and footballer Luis Figo.


  • Stamp collecting is one of the most popular hobbies in the World

Over 48 million people collect stamps around the world.

18 million of these are new collectors in China.

If you believe that China will become the major superpower then you should also understand the argument that rare stamp prices will escalate in line with the increased demand.


  • The United Kingdom is the only country where the country name doesn't appear on the stamp

The image of The Queen used on British stamps is the most reproduced image in history.

The image is from a bust sculpture by Arnold Machin. Hence the stamps being fondly known as Machins.


  • In 1964 William Shakespeare became the first person other than Royalty to appear on a British stamp

To this day living people (other than Royalty) do not appear on British stamps, you have to be dead.


  • The Penny Black, issued in 1840, was the very first pre-paid postage stamp in the world
The famous Kirkudbright Penny Black First Day Cover (£500k)
The famous Kirkudbright Penny Black First Day Cover (£500k)

Prior to the penny black the recipient of the letter would be liable for the postage costs.


  • Great Britain was the first country to issue a pre-paid postage stamp, followed by Brazil and a Swiss canton

The USA issued their first pre-paid postage stamp on July 1st 1847.


  • The first person other than a head of state (living or dead) to appear on a stamp was Benjamin Franklin

His portrait featured on a 10c stamp issued by the United States in July 1847.


  • The rarest, or most valuable, stamp in the world is...
Treskilling Yellow

Debatable! Experts will argue for hours on the merits of the 1c British Guiana stamp, or the Treskilling yellow stamp of Sweden.


  • In 1973 Bhutan issued a stamp that looked like a record

When placed on a record player it would actually play the Bhutanese national anthem.


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