Since her accession in 1952, Queen Elizabeth II has been the perpetually admired face of the Throne. Born in 1926 to the Duke and Duchess of York, later to become King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, Elizabeth was the elder sister to the late Princess Margaret Rose. As a child, the future Queen was known affectionately as Lilibet. Elizabeth II is the Queen of the 16 countries known as the Commonwealth Realms, the result of far-reaching changes that resulted in the former British Empire being dissolved. She is the 40th monarch since William the Conqueror became King of England in 1066.
Of the numerous ways to commemorate the Queen's remarkable life and reign, collecting Elizabeth II stamps is a rewarding and interesting pastime. Because there are myriad combinations of Elizabeth II stamps and collections, you have many options when shopping for stamps that commemorate her 60-plus-year reign. You may choose stamps that are personally meaningful, such as those from important events in your life or your family's history, or you may select stamps for their historical significance or collectability. Whatever your reason for collecting Elizabeth II stamps, it is vital to understand how to assess the quality and value of the stamps, as well as how to purchase them from a local stamp dealer or from an online auction site such as eBay.
Types of Elizabeth II Stamp Collections
Worldwide, the number of stamps bearing Elizabeth II's likeness is enormous. In Great Britain alone, Elizabeth II' face is found on stamps intended for general circulation. Moreover, stamps that commemorate significant royal events are also available. Amongst these events are Her Majesty the Queen's coronation in 1953; her 60th and 80th birthdays in 1986 and 2006; as well as her Silver Jubilee in 1977, Golden Jubilee in 2002, and Diamond Jubilee in 2012. Additional stamps were issued to commemorate the investiture of her son, the Prince of Wales, in 1969; the weddings of her sons, daughters, and grandson Prince William; and the Queen Mother's 80th, 90th, and 100th birthday celebrations in 1980, 1990, and 2000. Moreover, memorial stamps were issued after the deaths of the Queen Mother in 2002 and Princess Diana 1998. Elizabeth II stamps available on eBay can be found individually or as presentation packs, booklets, first-day covers, and collections.
What to Consider When Buying a Collection of Elizabeth II Stamps
When beginning or adding to a collection of Elizabeth II stamps, you may wish to narrow your focus by collecting one or more categories of stamps, or you may simply wish to buy stamps that strike your fancy. There is no right or wrong way to select stamps for your collection. Before you decide what form your collection of Elizabeth II stamps is going to take, there are several general considerations to keep in mind. Read on to discover some of the most common ways to find Elizabeth II stamps.
Denomination and Currency
The denomination of a stamp is the stamp's inscribed value, or the amount of postage affixed to a letter, package, or postcard. The denomination is usually not equal to the value of the stamp, which signifies its resale or insurance value as an item of worth. Elizabeth II stamps are divided into predecimalised and decimalised denominations. On 15 February 1971, known as Decimal Day, the United Kingdom converted its currency from its traditional system. At that time, a pound contained 20 shillings or 240 pence, and a shilling equalled 12 pence; this made calculation in the marketplace a complicated affair. When the currency was decimalised, amongst other conversions, the pound was converted to equal 100 pence, and a shilling converted to equal 5 pence. You may choose to collect Elizabeth II stamps from the pre-decimal era or from the decimal era, with denominations that include 2 pence, 5 pence, 20 pence, and 1 pound.
Elizabeth II stamps are available in several quality tiers. The highest quality is Mint Never Hinged (MNH). A hinge is a folded, gummed piece of paper used to mount a stamp in an album. When the hinge is removed, it sometimes removes a bit of the gum from the back of the stamp, reducing the stamp's value by varying degrees, depending on the amount of gum removed. A mint-condition stamp is one that has not been used. Stamps categorised as Mint Hinged (MH) are also available, as are used stamps, which have been circulated and usually postmarked.
Many Elizabeth II stamps are offered as singles, blocks, and multiples. A single stamp is one that has been separated from its original sheet or roll. A block is a format often desired by collectors; it usually includes the sheet's margin, which contains information about the stamp issue. Multiple stamp offerings include several examples of the same stamp.
Over the 60-plus years of Elizabeth II's reign, numerous stamps and collections have been issued. Some collections are issued as a whole, with a variety of stamps commemorating single events, such as the 40th anniversary of the Queen's accession in 1992, as well as the 25th and 50th anniversaries of Elizabeth II's coronation. Other collections available on eBay are assembled by the seller; they may be an encompassing collection of many stamps without a specific theme, stamps from a particular year or decade, and stamps of a particular colour. Other collections may follow a particular theme, such as weddings, memorial collections, or Jubilee collections.
Elizabeth II stamps can also be found in a presentation pack, which is created for stamp collectors, including a folder with notes and information about the stamps, a holder to organise the stamps, and a clear exterior sleeve to protect the presentation pack. Great Britain was an early adopter of presentation packs, producing a collection for the 1964 Shakespeare stamps. Presentation packs are available in a variety of colours and denominations, both decimal and pre-decimal.
Stamp booklets featuring Elizabeth II are also listed on eBay, containing a single page or multiple pages of stamps. Many commemorative booklets also include images and notes regarding the Queen's reign, and they may contain pages of the same stamp or a variety of stamps that represent an event such as the Diamond Jubilee.
Queen Elizabeth II stamps are also presented as cover sets. Covers are produced to be included in a collection; it consists of a stamp that is affixed to an envelope or postcard on the first day of issue.
Additional Considerations When Buying Elizabeth II Stamps
Stamps commemorating and honouring Elizabeth II can also be sorted by colour, region of issue within Great Britain, and condition, which includes new, used, or an unspecified condition.
Find a Collection of Elizabeth II Stamps on eBay
Although Elizabeth II stamp collections can be found at local stamp dealers or via a private sale, eBay offers buyers a vast array of continually changing listings to choose from. Begin your search on any eBay page, and enter "Elizabeth II stamps" or "Elizabeth II stamp collection" into the search box. To narrow your selection, enter more specific search terms, or use the filters in the sidebar. For example, to see only stamps featuring the Queen and the Royal Family, select "Royalty" under the Theme filter and "Elizabeth II" under the Era filter. Other filters, such as denomination, condition, and quality are also available to you. You can also filter by item type, such as presentation packs, collections, first-day covers, single stamps, blocks, or multiples. For instance, if you enter "Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee stamp", listings for this item are displayed.
Before you purchase Elizabeth II stamps on eBay, it is important to learn about the seller's reliability. eBay provides thorough information on each seller, such as feedback ratings, selling and return policies, and customer comments. Because of the varying degrees of quality intrinsic to collectable stamps, you may wish to buy from a local seller within a certain distance from your postcode. If the seller agrees to a local pickup, you can collect your stamps in person after successfully concluding the transaction. You may also wish to narrow your search to eBay top-rated sellers. eBay allows you to ask the seller questions about the listed item, as well as to remain in contact with the seller regarding the transaction.
Whether you are beginning or adding to your Elizabeth II stamp collection, maintaining such a collection is an interesting and rewarding way to commemorate the 60-plus-year reign of Her Majesty. These stamps range from single stamps to first-day covers, blocks, booklets, and presentation packs. Additionally, entire collections are available on eBay, including Royal wedding collections, Jubilee collections, memorial collections, and coronation collections. You may wish to assemble a collection of Elizabeth II stamps of a particular colour, denomination, or currency type. You may even wish to assemble a collection of stamps from a particular year to commemorate a birthday, anniversary, or other significant event in the life of friends or family.
Buying Elizabeth II stamps on eBay is an interesting, convenient, and budget-friendly way to begin or to add to a collection. By researching the seller's feedback ratings, buyer comments, delivery costs, and dispatch reliability, you can buy with confidence. Since new listings are added on a continual basis, eBay is an efficient, versatile way for you to search for and purchase Elizabeth II stamps.