Machin Timeline

(page updated: Mar 29/20)

| 1967 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 73 | 74 | 75 | 76 | 77 | 78 | 79 |
| 80 | 81 | 82 | 83 | 84 | 85 | 86 | 87 | 88 | 90 | 91 | 93 | 94 | 95 | 96 | 97 | 99 |
| 2000 | 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20

Here is a very brief timeline of the Machins:


First appearance: The Machin (pronounced "may-chin") stamps, first issued on June 5, 1967, are based on a sculpture by Arnold Machin (who recently passed away in 1999). The simple design consists of a profile of Queen Elizabeth II and a value or service indicator. Some bear a heraldic symbol (the regionals).

The series came about as a result of an effort to simplify and streamline British stamps. In 1967, it became established practice to show a small profile of the Queen, most often a silhouette, as the identifier on British stamps (until then, a full-size portrait of the monarch was required).

Along with the sheet stamps, booklets (typically containing multiple values) and coils (again containing multi-values) have been issued. The latter two formats are typically cut down the middle of the perforations, which, for the specialist collector, creates an identifiable variety compared to stamps torn from sheets.

Jun 5/67:
4 d sepia (2k) 1/- (2k) 1/9 (2k)
Aug 8/67:
3 d (2k) 9 d (2k) 1/6 (2k)

Feb 5/68:
½ d (2k) 1 d (2k) 2 d - (2k) 6 d (2k)
Jul 1/68:
5 d (2k) 7 d (2k) 8 d scarlet (2k) 10 d (2k)

Engraved Machins: In 1969, the pictorial high values showing castles were replaced by larger, engraved stamps with the Machin design.

Since individual values could no longer be easily identified by design alone, each value currently on sale had to have a colour that was distinguishable from all the others. As a result, a wide range of colours have appeared.

Jan 6/69:
4 d vermilion (2k) 8 d blue (2k)
Mar 5/69:
2/6 (3k) 5/- (3k) 10/- (3k) 1 (3k)

Jun 17/70:

10p (3k) 20p (3k) 50p (3k) 1 (3k)


Decimalization: British currency was decimalized in 1971. The letter "p" was used to indicate decimal pence rather than the "d" used for the previous Sterling pence issues.

Regionals: Regional stamps for Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales & Monmouthshire, and Isle of Man made their appearance at this time.

Heraldic symbols, representative of each country, were placed in the upper left corner of the stamp. This required that the image of the Queen be slightly smaller than that previously used.

Feb 15/71:

½p (2k) 1p (2k) 1½p (2k) 2p (2k) 2½p (2k) 3p (2k) 3½p (2k) 4p (2k) 5p (2k) 6p (2k) 7½p (2k) 9p (2k)

Aug 11/71:

10p (2k)


Oct 24/73:

4½p (2k) 5½p (2k) 8p (2k)


Sep 4/74:

6½p (2k)

Dec 74:

7p (2k)


Sep 24/75:

8½p (2k)


Feb 16/76:

9½p (2k)

Feb 25/76:

9p (2k) 10p (2k) 10½p (2k) 11p (2k) 20p (2k)


Feb 2/77:

50p (2k) 1 (3k) 2 (3k) 5 (3k)


Apr 26/78:

10½p (2k)


Aug 15/79:

11½p (2k) 13p (2k) 15p (2k)


Different printers: As the years went by, and inflation grew, more and more values appeared. What used to be "high-values", in large stamp-sizes became low-values in the conventional small-size design. As well, two new suppliers of stamps were required to meet the demand of stamp production (previously only Harrison & Sons printed the Machins). The House of Questa and Waddingtons Security Print began producing Machins in 1980 - both used lithography instead of photogravure - the former being perf 13½ x14, rather than 15x14 (thus producing more varieties!).

Jan 30/80:

4p (2k) 12p (2k) 13½p (2k) 17p (2k) 17½p (2k) 75p (2k)

Oct 22/80:

3p (2k) 22p (2k)


Jan 14/81:

2½p (2k) 11½p (2k) 14p (2k) 15½p (2k) 18p (2k) 25p (2k)


Jan 27/82:

5p (2k) 12½p (2k) 16½p (2k) 19½p (2k) 26p (2k) 29p (2k)


Narrow values: Newly designed numerals (narrower) began to appear in 1983. These were required because the larger values (eg. 20½) took up too much room on the stamp!

Many values have been withdrawn and then re-issued in a different colour years after, as postal rates dictated their need. The 20p holds the record with four different colours.

Mar 30/83:

3½p (2k) 16p (2k) 17p (2k) 20½p (2k) 23p (2k) 28p (2k) 31p (2k)

Aug 3/83:

1.30 (3k)


Aug 28/84:

13p (2k) 18p (2k) 22p (2k) 24p (2k) 34p (2k) 1.33 (3k)


Sep 17/85:

1.41 (3k)

Oct 29/85:

7p (2k) 12p (2k)


Sep 2/86:

1.50 (3k)


Sep 15/87:

1.60 (3k)


Jul 26/88:

4p (2k) 5p (2k)

Aug 23/88:

14p (2k) 19p (2k) 20p (2k) 23p (2k) 27p (2k) 28p (2k) 32p (2k) 35p (2k)


Non-denominated: In 1989, non-denominated Machins appeared (referred to as Non-Value Indicated (NVI) stamps). These simply carried "1st" or "2nd" indicators, denoting the class of service that was paid for.

Aug 22/89:

1st (2k) 2nd (2k)

Sep 26/89:

15p (2k) 20p (2k) 24p (2k) 29p (2k) 30p (2k) 34p (2k) 37p (2k)


150th Anniversary: A special variation of the Machin design appeared in 1990 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first British stamps. These consisted of a design including Queen Victoria (from the Penny Black stamp of 1840) and the familiar Machin-designed Queen Elizabeth II.

Jan 10/90:

15p (2k) 20p (2k) 29p (2k) 34p (2k) 37p (2k)

Mar 13/90:

50p (2k)

Aug 7/90:

1st (2k) 2nd (2k)

Sep 4/90:

10p (2k) 17p (2k) 22p (2k) 26p (2k) 27p (2k) 31p (2k) 33p (2k)


Sep 10/91:

6p (2k) 18p (2k) 24p (2k) 28p (2k) 34p (2k) 35p (2k) 39p (2k)


Self-adhesives: In 1993, the first self-adhesive NVI Machins appeared. To test their popularity, a new horizontal format with the Machin portrait was used. When Royal Mail was satisfied that self-adhesives were successful and no longer needed to be tracked, the stamps reverted to the normal vertical format.

1993 Elliptical (10k)Elliptical perfs: Also in 1993, syncopated perforations appeared. Two large, elliptical perforations, one on each side, were added to the Machins. These were to deter counterfeiting and have become standard on all British definitives.

Oct 19/93:

1st (2k)

Oct 26/93:

19p (2k) 25p (2k) 29p (2k) 36p (2k) 38p (2k) 41p (2k)


Aug 9/94:

60p (2k)


Aug 22/95:

1.00 (2k)


Jun 25/96:

20p (2k) 26p (2k) 31p (2k) 37p (2k) 39p (2k) 43p (2k) 63p (2k)


New portrait: In 1997, the Machin portrait was modified to take advantage of computerization of the printing process. The new version is much sharper with well-defined details. In comparison, the original version appears blurred. A completely new set of Machins was issued during 1997 with the redrawn portrait.

Wales stamps drop 'P': Regional stamps issued from Wales no longer include the 'P' to the right of the value. Four values were issued in mid-1997.

Mar 18/97:

2nd (2k)

Apr 21/97:

26p (2k) 1st (2k)


"E" NVI: In January 1999, a new non-denominated stamp was issued to pay the letter rate to the rest of Europe. The service indicator is simply "E".

Jan 19/99:

E (2k)

Feb 16/99:

1st (2k) 1st (2k) 1st (2k)

New engraved Machin high values were issued in March 1999 to replace the castle designs that had been in use since 1988.

Mar 9/99:

1.50 (2k) 2.00 (2k) 3.00 (2k) 5.00 (2k)

Apr 20/99:

7p (2k) 38p (2k) 44p (2k) 64p (2k)


Millennium NVI: In January 2000, a new non-denominated stamp was issued in honour of the Millennium.

Jan 6/00:

Millennium (2k)

'Penny Black' NVI: To celebrate the 160th anniversary of the Penny Black, the Machin design introduced 10 years previously was used again.

Wales Bilingual: The Wales NVI design became bilingual.

Feb 15/00:

1st (2k) 1st (2k) 1st (2k)

Apr 25/00:

8p (2k) 33p (2k) 40p (2k) 41p (2k) 45p (2k) 65p (2k)


Self Adhesives: Self-adhesive Machins became more commonplace.

Machins replaced?: New regional stamps are issued that begin to replace the Machin design.

New values?: NO new values were issued in 2001!


Jul 4/02:

37p (2k) 42p (2k) 47p (2k) 68p (2k)


Airmail: Non-denominated airmail Machins released for Europe and Worldwide destinations.

Mar 27/03:

air eur (2k)    air ww (2k)

May 6/03:

34p (2k)

High-value engraved Machins re-printed by photogravure.

Jul 1/03:

1.50 (2k) 2.00 (2k) 3.00 (2k) 5.00 (2k)


Airmail: Non-denominated airmail Machins released for Postcards.

Apr 1/04:

Rate change:

7p (2k) 35p (2k) 39p (2k) 40p (2k) 43p (2k)

2005 Apr 5/05:

9p (2k)35p (2k)46p (2k)

2006 Mar 28/06 rate change:

37p (2k)44p (2k)49p (2k)72p (2k)

Aug 1/06 new colours:

12p (4k)14p (2k)

Aug 1/06 Pricing in Proportion:

1st PIP (2k)2nd PIP (2k)

2007 Mar 27/07 rate change:

16p (2k)48p (2k)50p (2k)54p (2k)78p (2k)

Jun 5/07
40th Anniversary of the Machin design

1.00 (2k)

2008 Apr 1/08 rate change:

  15p (2k) 56p (2k) 81p (2k)

2009 Feb 17/09 security feature values:

  1st (2k) 2nd (2k) 1st PIP (2k) 2nd PIP (2k) 50p (2k) 1.00 (2k) 1.50 (2k) 2.00 (2k) 3.00 (2k) 5.00 (2k)

Apr 1/09 rate change:

  17p (2k) 22p (2k) 62p (2k) 90p (2k)


20p (2k) 1st (2k)

Nov 17/09 "Recorded Signed For" Machins:


2010 Mar 30/10 new values/colours:

60p 67p 881p 97p1.46 Europe (20g) Airmail (20g)

Oct 26/10 "Special Delivery" Machins:

2011 Mar 8/11 low-value security:

1p 2p 5p 10p 20p

Mar 29/11 rate change:

68p 76p 1.10 1.65

2012 Apr 25/12 rate change:

87p 1.28 1.90

2013 Apr 2/13 rate change:

78p 88p 1.88

2014 Mar 26/14 rate change:

81p 97p 1.47 2.15

2015 Mar 24/15 rate change:

1.33 1.52 2.27 2.45 3.15 3.30

Sep 19/15 Long to Reign Over Us:

2016 Mar 29/16 rate change:


2017 Feb 6/17 65th Anniversary of the Accession:

Mar 27/17 rate change:

1.17 1.40 1.57 2.27 2.55

Jun 5/17 50th Anniversary of Machins:

2018 Mar 26/18 rate change:

1.25 1.45 1.55 2.65

2019 Mar 25/19 rate change:

1.35 1.60 2.30 2.60 3.45 3.60

2020 Mar 17/20 rate change:

1.42 1.63 1.68 2.42 2.97 3.66 3.82

(some of the above history is a taken from an article by Great Britain stamp expert Larry Rosenblum in a June 1999 article in Scott Stamp Monthly).

Disclaimer: We apologize for any errors of information that might be present. Your feedback is appreciated.

For even more varieties on Machin stamps, check out The Complete Deegam Machin Handbook (simply the best Machin
 handbook available anywhere) by Douglas Myall - click for details.

Booklet pane numbers used courtesy the Modern British Philatelic Circle
who publish 'The Bookmark' Catalogue

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