Recess Printed: High Values
Bradbury and Wilkinson printed the first Machin high values in 1969, these were the recess printed pre decimal stamps. The set consisted of 4 values , 2/6d , 5/- , 10/- , and £1. None of the stamps had phosphor bands.
The decimal series followed in 1970 (in fact issued 3 or 4 months before decimalisation).).).). The 10p was printed on phosphor Coated Paper, so were some of the 50p values. These were also printed on two types of paper. Due to shortages the printers used there own paper, this is termed contractors paper (see types of papers).
The layout of the sheets also changed, this gave rise to a variant of the one pound value. The actual first printings had thick horizontal lines of shading, and the reprint had vertical lines, this is known as cross hatch, it can be seen with a good magnifying glass.
In 1972 the value tablet on the £1 value was also changed from a script type to a more modern block type.
During 1977 things started to get exciting in the stamp world, a brand new set of high value stamps were introduced, printed in photogravure. These were of a large vertical format similar to the commemoratives of the day. They were also available in gutter pairs.
There are several values to collect ranging from £1 to £5.
High values then reverted to the castles stamps (these were not Machins
Small format :
After the castles issues, high values reverted to the small format of today, the post office needed to bring in some sort of uniformity in the size. Enschede were the chosen printers.
This issue of high value Machins changed dramatically they were in the small format but were re-engraved and more security features were added. The first issues were printed by Enschede, then the contract reverted to De la Rue. These are the current HV stamps on sale at this time. the cut off point for high value stamps was changed in 2003 to that of £1.50p. All stamps below this are now classed as low value.