World Stamps

Queen Elizabeth’s historic milestone honored on new stamp

Feb 6, 2017, 9 AM
Great Britain’s Royal Mail issued a £5 Machin definitive Feb. 6 to honor the 65th anniversary of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. The stamp is sapphire blue because sapphire is the 65th anniversary gemstone.

By Denise McCarty

The sapphire jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II was marked Feb. 6 by a royal gun salute and a new postage stamp from Great Britain’s Royal Mail.

The queen ascended to the throne Feb. 6, 1952, upon the death of her father, King George VI. She is the only British monarch to celebrate a sapphire (65th) jubilee, because she surpassed Queen Victoria as Great Britain’s longest-reigning monarch Sept. 9, 2015.

As reported in the Feb. 13 issue of Linn’s, page 14, the new stamp is a sapphire blue £5 definitive (regular-issue) showing the bas-relief portrait of the queen by Arnold Machin, with typography by Jeffery Matthews.

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The stamps includes an iridescent overprint reading, “65th Anniversary of Accession.”

Printed by International Security Printers by gravure, this high-denomination definitive measure 30 millimeters by 41mm and is perforated gauge 14 by 15. The stamp was produced in panes of 10.

Other products being offered in conjunction with the new sapphire blue Machin stamp include first-day covers, postmarks, and a presentation pack containing the stamp and a history of Machin definitives, starting with the first design essays in 1965.

To order the stamp and related products, click here.

Ordering information also is available from Royal Mail, Tallents House, 21 S. Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9PB, Scotland.

Royal Mail’s two agencies in the United States are Interpost, Box 420, Hewlett, NY 11557; and the British Stamp Service in North America, 1 Unicover Center, Cheyenne, WY 82008.