The Penny Red was a British postage stamp first issued in 1841, making 2016 the 175th Anniversary of its release. It was essentially introduced to combat fraud but it consistently became the main type of postage stamp used in the UK until 1879.
The statistics surrounding the stamp are not short of highlights.
It was printed in a quantity exceeding 21 billion, over a period of more than 38 years, and was the world’s most used stamp in the early classic period. It was also Britain’s longest-running stamp issue in everyday use and remains possibly the country’s most-collected and best-studied.
To celebrate this milestone anniversary, the Government of Ascension Island has approved the release of a special red coin from the Pobjoy Mint depicting the Penny Red Stamp. The coin is available in Red Cupronickel and Red Sterling Silver.
The obverse of the coin carries an effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II created exclusively for the Pobjoy Mint. The Queen’s crown and truncation overlap the edge of a lighter-colored ring that surrounds the much darker-colored field behind her. On the left side of the coin in the lightly-colored outer ring is the inscription ELIZABETH II and the year 2016. On the right side is the inscription ASCENSION ISLAND.
The mintmark “PM” is found beneath Elizabeth’s portrait on the left.
An effigy of Queen Victoria as a teenaged princess with crown appears on the famous Penny Red stamp, the second self-adhesive British postage stamp. It shares most of its design with the Penny Black, the first adhesive postage stamp used in Britain and possibly the first such stamp in the world.
Design elements include Maltese crosses at the top left and right corners; filigree columns to either side of Victoria; the letter “B” at the base of each filigree column, in the bottom left and right corners; the word POSTAGE printed across the top (to distinguish the stamp from those used for tax purposes); and the phrase ONE PENNY printed across the bottom.
The stamp’s color was changed from black to red because it was hard to see postal cancellation marks on a black stamp.
Pobjoy Mint’s colored sterling silver one-crown coin contains a faithful rendering of the stamp, though slight alterations to the effigy and inscription font are noticeable, and a reduction in the intricacy of the stamp’s printed filigree and guilloché work was probably necessary to make transferring the design to a coin practical.
Starting from the bottom left side of the coin and moving clockwise, inscriptions on the outer ring include PENNY RED, 175th ANNIVERSARY. The denomination is found at the very bottom of the coin, with the numeral “1” resting on the inner edge of the lightly-colored ring atop the word “CROWN”, which is inscribed within the outer ring.
The four corners of the stamp protrude into the outer ring. The field behind the stamp is completely filled with relatively tight vertical and horizontal crosshatching.
|Year Of Issue:||2016|
|Alloy:||.925 fine silver|
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