Penny Black Stamps

Penny Black Stamps

The Penny Black Stamps -The World's First Adhesive Postage Stamp

The Penny Black Stamps

The Penny Black was the world's first adhesive postage stamp used in a public postal system. It first was issued in Great Britain on 1 May 1840, for official use from 6 May of that year. It features a profile of Queen Victoria..


The first adhesive postage stamp, commonly referred to as the Penny Black, was issued in the United Kingdom in 1840.

In Britain the whole concept to pre-pay postage was generally accepted so that in 1856 it became compulsory to pre-pay for postage. The inventor of the Penny Black, Rowland Hill, was knighted by Queen Victoria for 'services to the Nation'.

Delivered Rate

The Penny Black allowed letters of up to 1⁄2 ounce (14 grams) to be delivered at a flat rate of one penny, regardless of distance.


Rarity of Penny Black Stamps

The Penny Black is not a very rare stamp. The total print run was 286,700 sheets with 68,808,000 stamps and a substantial number of these have survived, largely because envelopes were not normally used; letters in the form of letter sheets were folded and sealed, with the stamp and the address on the obverse.