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The Penny Black Anniversary Set


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  • Includes an original 1840 Penny Black Stamp
  • Includes the world’s first blackened finish fifty pence coin to mark its 180th anniversary
  • Housed in a presentation case with informative certificate of authenticity

In stock


An original 1840 Penny Black, along with the world’s first blackened fifty pence coin to mark it’s 180th anniversary


The Penny Black changed the way people communicated around the globe, forever. Prior to its introduction, it was customary for people to pay for the postage of an item upon delivery. Postage was charged based on the number of sheets of paper and the distance it had travelled – a throwback to the system of horse-mounted messengers from medieval times – but a process hardly up to date with the Victorian economy driven by innovation and speed.

The Penny Black revolutionised all this. By enabling the sender to pre-pay the postage, and to buy them in quantity and use them over time and as required, both the posting and the delivery of letters was revolutionised.

This innovation featured an easily recognisable profile of the 15-year-old former Princess Victoria, engraved by Charles and Fredrick Heath and based on the profile portrait by William Wyon, which had been designed for a medal used to commemorate the visit of Queen Victoria to the City of London in 1837.

The word “POSTAGE” appeared at the top of the stamp and “ONE PENNY” at the bottom, with a background of finely engraved engine turnings. The two upper corners contained star like designs and the lower corners contained letters designating the position of the stamp in the printed sheet; “A A” for the stamp at the top left, and “T L” for the bottom right.

Each stamp was cut by hand at the post office, resulting in all of them having irregular borders. However, this is a symbol of the era in which they were issued, and part of the charm of these Victorian originals.


The stamp was printed in black ink and officially released on 6th of May 1840, however, it was found that a red cancellation mark was hard to see on a black stamp background and the red ink was easy to remove, making it possible to re-use stamps after they had been postmarked. In 1841, after only a little more than a year, the Penny Black was replaced by the Penny Red, with cancellation marks in black ink.

Today, originals of the 1840 penny Black are rare. Their short issue period of just over 1 year, coupled with them being in constant demand from collectors for well over a century, has ensured they are seldom seen.


To mark the 180th anniversary of the famous Penny Black, another innovation has been made. The world’s first blackened finish Fifty Pence coin was minted, with a design that celebrates the famous postage stamp. Just 7,500 of these coins were produced. One of these coins is included in this set, accompanied by an original of the 1840 Penny Black stamp. While both are important in their own right, they have added significance when brought together as a set.

Additional information


A Penny Black Stamp and a Penny Black 180th Anniversary Blackened Finish Fifty Pence

Issuing Authority

Penny Black: Great Britain. Fifty Pence: Gibraltar

Year of Issue

Penny Black: 1840. Fifty Pence: 2020


Fifty Pence: 27.3mm

Mintage limitation

Fifty Pence: 7,500

Metal type

Fifty Pence: Cupro-nickel


Fifty Pence: Effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II


Fifty Pence: Reproduction of the Penny Black Stamp with anniversary wording and a blackened finish

Payment Information

Coin price: $599

Shipping charges: Free


Delivery and Returns Information

Current expected delivery time: Specific delivery times for this product can be found here?

Returns Information: We offer a 60 day complete satisfaction guarantee in addition to your statutory rights.

To return a product,please ensure you follow the instructions here

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