Great Britain stamps is one of the world's most popular stamp collecting fields, both individually, and collections. Appreciated and collected the world over because of the historic background and story of their origin. Rowland Hill's reform, introduced in 1839–1840 changed communications forever. The most significant contribution being a uniform postage rate should apply to all parts of the kingdom. Also, increments of cost being dependent on the weight of the item and not the distance travelled with payment being made by the sender. Consequently, this led to the introduction of a brilliantly simple devise, the world’s first postage stamp, the Penny Black issued 6th May 1840.
To this day Britain does not put the name of the country on her stamps. A portrait of the current monarch being seen as enough, as the issuers of the first postage stamp, this is therefore an accepted international convention.
Stamp collectors collect the entire period from 1840 onwards. The most comprehensive and popular stamp albums being the specially-printed ‘Windsor Series’. Other philatelists collect their favourite reigns. For example Queen Victoria 1837–1901; King Edward VII 1901–1910; King George V 1910–1936 also King Edward VIII 1936. Similarly, King George VI 1936–1952 or Queen Elizabeth II from 1952 to present day. The most popular stamps include the Queen Victoria Penny Reds, the Edward VII and George V definitive issues in their myriad shades, the superbly engraved 'Seahorses', the 1929 PUC £1 and even the long running QEII Machin issues, in use for over 50 years to date.
Collectors subscribe to the Post Office new issues service, whilst continuing to obtain older stamps. There are areas of great specialization with outstanding books and catalogues to aid the philatelist collector. These contain the sum of years of diligent research by generations of philatelists.