Two Penny Blue Stamps

The history of modern philately begins in Britain in 1840 with the printing of the famous Penny Black — widely considered the world’s first postage stamp. While a good condition Penny Black is the jewel in the crown of many collections, anyone who truly wants to explore this fascinating period of stamp history will also want to find themselves a Two Penny Blue — the second official British stamp, issued not long after the Penny Black.

About the Two Penny Blue

Also called the Two Pence Blue, the first Two Penny Blue was released to the public on May 6, 1840 — five days after the Penny Black. As the name implies, it was worth twice as much as its more famous cousin. Whereas the Penny Black allowed the sender to mail letters up to half an ounce anywhere in the United Kingdom, the Two Penny Blue could be used for letters weighing double that.

Design-wise, the Two Penny Blue features the same profile of Queen Victoria used in the Penny Black but is printed with a distinctive indigo ink.

Two Penny Blue Stamps Around the World

One remarkable iteration of the Two Penny Blue was produced in Mauritius (then a British Colony) in 1847. The stamps bear a rough resemblance to their British cousins and were created by Joseph O. Barnard, who arrived at the island territory in 1838. The extremely rare Mauritius Two Penny Blue was last auctioned off for more than £1 million, making it the most expensive postage stamp ever sold in the UK.

Two Penny Blue Stamps for Sale

Even those with more modest ambitions will find much to enjoy in collecting British Two Penny Blues. Though they can be rarer than the Penny Black, Two Penny Blues are still within the means of most collectors. Many fine examples regularly become available at auction.

Buying Two Penny Blue Stamps Online

Apfelbaum, Inc. regularly holds Public Auctions where you’ll find Two Penny Blue stamps for sale along with other unique offerings for anyone interested in this fascinating early era of philatelic history. Contact our office by phone or email for more information about upcoming sales, or view a listing of our sales at

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