Sunday, 26 May 2013

Machin Diary 2

Mounting Troubles!

Welcome to my second Machin Diary post. Those of you who read my first diary post will know that this whole blog series revolves around my journey collecting Great Britain Machin Head stamps. Much of the information in my initial posts comes from a fantastic website, in which I found a great set of album pages to download. Click HERE 

In this post I'll be looking at the different choices I had for mounting my collection on the printed pages. But first I thought it might be fun to have a bit of a history lesson. 

Why are Great Britain definitives called 'Machin Heads?' 

Machin (pronounced may-chin) Heads are named after Arnold Machin (1911-1999), a British artist, sculptor, and coin and stamp designer. 

Machin's road to fame began in 1964 when he was selected to design an effigy of the Queen's head for a new series of British decimal coins scheduled to be released in 1968. Incidentally, this same effigy was also used on Australian, Canadian, and New Zealand coins until the 1980's. In 1966 a similar design of the Queen's effigy by Machin was approved by the Queen to be used on stamps. On 5 June 1967 the first Machin definitive was issued - the 4d denomination. And so began what is arguably the longest running definitive stamp series. 

Now let us turn to the question of mounts. What is the best system? Hinges? Hingeless mounts? These choices come down to personal preference. My preference is not to use hinges on mint stamps. Since my collection - at this point - will be mint stamps, hinges are out. That leaves hingeless mounts. 

Decision made, I thought. Wrong! Now I had to choose what type of hingeless mounts I wanted to use. The standard Hawid mount with a clear flap behind which the stamp is inserted. Or the other type of mount known as the GARD mount.

Hawid Mounts

GARD Mounts

A couple of years ago I had already bought a few boxes of Hawid hinges so my choice was, in effect, already made. Hawid mounts come with a clear backing or a black backing. At first I thought the black backing would look cool. But then I got to thinking: what if I placed the darn thing on the page slightly crooked? A black square on a white background would stand out like the proverbial. Thankfully I had purchased clear mounts. Phew!

Next time - Sticking the mounts in! Plus a few more goodies.
Until then...
Stay Stamp Crazy!!


  1. Do you know I've a lot of the stamps upside in my collection . I know therie is a series where the price or somwthing else has been printed wrong.really!
    Very interesting article! I learnt a lot of things and 1964 is my birth date !

    1. Glad you enjoyed the post, Anna!! Which country is the series you speak of come from?

  2. From England, but I was only 11years old when my aunt told me that some stamps has been printed incorrectly. I' m writing from Italy, Sorry for my english. Look for the stamps !!!

  3. Welcome to the wonderful world of Machins. But you should know that the Machins are not the longest running definitive series. Not even close. It is beaten by several Scandinavian designs. For example, the Denmark circled-value with wavy lines was first issued in 1905 and is still in use today.

    That said, these designs are generally not used for the complete range of values, whereas the Machin design is. The Machin design is indeed special, but not the longest-running.

    --Larry R

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Hi Larry,
      Thanks for the info! I actually wrote 'arguably' not definitively. Perhaps arguably is a bit ambiguous :) Glad you like the blog...