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Promoted item:Great Britain #357dp MLH VF

Great Britain #357dp MLH VF

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About Britain Stamp

Britain was the very first nation on Earth to employ single-use postage stamps. A controversy had emerged in the late 1830s about the British mail service. At the time, the postal system required letter recipients to pay for the cost of shipping and transportation. This intuitively didn't seem fair. Oftentimes, letter recipients didn't want mail that was sent to them.In 1837, an Englishman named Rowland Hill proposed a vast suite of reforms for the postal system. He and a fellow postal bureaucrat named Henry Cole were put in charge of a contest to design a new single-use Britain stamp. Although the contest received 2,600 entries from ad hoc citizen designers, none of these designs proved satisfactory. Thus, the postal commission asked an artist named William Mulready to design England's first adhesive stamp.The Penny Black, as it came to be called, featured the monarch of the time, Queen Victoria. In May of 1840, the Penny Black was released to the city of Bath in the United Kingdom. Problems arose because the Penny Black was difficult to cancel. The red cancellation ink that the postal service employed to indicate that a stamp had been used easily got rubbed off.In 1841, therefore, the British postal system did away with the Penny Black and replaced it with the Penny Red. The stamp was canceled successfully with black ink. Original Penny Blacks in mint condition can sell for over $2,000 in today's auctions. Even used Penny Blacks can be worth up to $200. According to the Universal Postal Union, England is the only nation on Earth which doesn't have to put its country's name on its stamps.