Two Pence Blue

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2d blue postage stamp; this is an 1841 printing on pale blue paper.

The Two Penny Blue was the world’s second official postage stamp.

Specifications

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Background

It was issued in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in May 1840, and was essentially the same format as the Penny Black. It was intended that the 2d blue was to be issued at the same time as the 1d black, however there is doubt about this - the earliest post mark seen on one of these was the 8th of May 1840, two days later than the penny black. The first issues of this value, (intended for double rate letters), were printed from plates 1 and 2.

Later when the colours of the stamps were being revised, the colours chosen were red-brown for the penny value and a new blue ink for the two pence value. As the printed stamps in the new ink looked the same as the original issue, it was decided to add a horizontal line at the top and bottom of the label so as the newer printings could be easily identified. These are generally referred to as the white lines added issue.

See also