Sorry Royal Mail, your postage stamp prices will not stop the power of card sending!

Have you ever sent a letter or parcel and wondered about the history of the delicate postage stamp attached to it? Stamps have been an important part of the mail system for over 180 years and have a fascinating history – believe it or not! From the first stamp issued in the UK in 1840 to the colourful and varied designs we see today, postal stamps have undergone many changes and developments over the years. In this post, we’ll take a brief look at the history of postal stamps, how they have evolved, and what they mean for the world of mail and communication. So, grab a cup of tea and settle in as we explore the story behind these small but significant pieces of paper!


The first postal stamp, known as the Penny Black, was issued in the United Kingdom in 1840. It featured a portrait of Queen Victoria and was designed to make it easier and cheaper for people to send letters.


Prior to this, the cost of sending a letter was based on the distance it had to travel and was often paid by the recipient, which led to confusion and delays. We are pleased this is no longer the case, as our amazing customers here at Love Kate’s often send special cards super long distances! Since then, postal stamps have been issued by governments around the world to indicate the prepayment of postage fees. They come in various shapes, sizes, and designs, featuring everything from famous people and landmarks to animals and plants.

Cards, Costs and Convenience

If you're an avid letter writer or simply someone who enjoys sending cards or parcels, you may have noticed that the cost of postage stamps from the Royal Mail is becoming more expensive, with the price of a first-class stamp in the UK is set to rise above £1. While this may be frustrating for some, it's important to remember that the cost of delivering mail has also increased due to factors such as rising fuel costs and inflation. Plus, the Royal Mail continues to provide a valuable service that helps us stay connected with loved ones near and far. So, while we may grumble a bit about the increased cost, let's not forget to appreciate the hard work of our postal workers and the convenience of being able to send mail with just a stamp.

What is the GCA?

The Greeting Card Association (GCA) is a trade association for the UK greeting card industry, representing publishers, retailers, and suppliers. As the cost of stamps continues to rise, the GCA has been keeping a close eye on how this is impacting the industry. While the GCA acknowledges that the rising cost of postage is a challenge, they also stress the importance of physical cards and the emotional value they bring. To address this issue, the GCA has been working with the Royal Mail to find ways to reduce costs and improve efficiencies, such as through the introduction of new technology like digital stamping. Despite the challenges, the GCA remains optimistic about the future of the greeting card industry and its ability to adapt and thrive in changing times.

Here’s what the President of the GCA had to say to us about the effect of rising costs:

“After the Postal Worker’s unions battle with the Royal Mail at Christmas and all of those cards not sent, received late or indeed never received at all, the latest announcement of price increases is truly shocking. The consumer faith in the Royal Mail to deliver a quality, reliable, value for money service is in question and the fact that the Royal Mail chooses this particular time of economic hardship to raise prices seems totally out of touch and beyond inappropriate. However, having said that, the positive mental impact of receiving a card is immeasurable and particularly in these dark and troubling times, the importance of sending a card cannot be stressed enough. With between 10 and 12% of the population living alone, the rise of homeworking and the soaring rates of mental health issues, the emotional connectivity of a handwritten card is in the grander scheme of things, a very small price to pay for sending a message to a friend or loved one, which will often be treasured forever. I’d urge anyone who is thinking about not sending a card to simply not buy that extra cup of coffee and buy a card instead.… “send a card, deliver a smile”, it’s a simple message but incredibly powerful.”

Which stamp should I use?

If you're new to sending mail in the UK, the world of postage stamps can be a little confusing. With so many different types of stamps available, it's important to know what you need for each type of post. Whilst the two main types are 2nd class stamps and faster 1st class stamps, there are also a variety of other stamps available, including international stamps for sending mail abroad, large letter stamps for bigger envelopes, and special edition stamps for collectors. So, where can you buy stamps from? The most obvious place is your local post office, where you can buy individual stamps, sheets of stamps, or booklets of stamps. You can also purchase stamps online from the Royal Mail website or from other retailers such as supermarkets or newsagents. To avoid the awkward head scratching in the lengthy queue for the post office, we recommend checking the UK Letters and Parcels information on the Royal Mail website – this is certainly something that Kate had to do in the infancy of Love Kate’s! Alternatively, you can order your cards, gifts AND stamps through our website and leave the head scratching to us. So how much does a stamp cost?

Currently, a first class stamp costs 95p (85p in 2022) and a second class stamp costs 68p. However, as of 31st March 2023, these prices are set to rise to £1.10 and 75p respectively. This means that if you’re someone who frequently sends letters or parcels via post, it’s worth stocking up on stamps before the price hike comes into effect. While it’s never nice to see prices go up, it’s important to remember that these changes are necessary in order to keep the postal service running efficiently and effectively. As our customers know, here at Love Kate’s we are also huge advocates for the importance of staying connected with our communities, especially the elderly. With so many people feeling isolated and disconnected in our busy, modern world, a simple card or letter can make all the difference in brightening someone's day and reminding them that they are loved and cared for. Plus, maintaining strong relationships with our elders is a great way to learn from their wisdom and life experiences! So let's make an effort to reach out and connect with those around us, and show them that we're here for them through thick and thin.

King Charles Postal Stamps

If you're a fan of collecting stamps or simply interested in the latest releases from the Royal Mail, you may be excited to hear about the new King Charles stamps for 2023. These stamps feature a portrait of King Charles, whose coronation is set to take place later this year. The stamps come in various denominations and designs, with some featuring Prince Charles in his military uniform and others showing him in more casual attire. As well as being a great addition to any stamp collection, these stamps are also a way to commemorate an important moment in British history. So whether you're a collector or just looking for a unique way to send mail, we think the King Charles stamps are definitely worth checking out!

Costly Stamps and Welcomed Discounts

Stamps (and the rising cost of them!) is a hot topic for many, and it's not just stamp collectors who are feeling the pinch. The greeting card industry is one area that has been hit particularly hard, as the cost of postage can make up a significant portion of the overall cost of sending a card. As the cost of stamps continues to rise, some people may be hesitant to send as many cards as they used to or may opt for less expensive alternatives such as e-cards or social media messages. However, it's important to remember the value that physical cards can bring, with their personal touch and tangible nature. Despite the rising cost of stamps possibly posing as a challenge for our wonderful customers, we welcome you to use our free UK delivery and save £5 when you spend £30 using the code ‘5OFF30’. As well as this, we are proud to offer our customers a unique handwriting service for just £1, so all you have to do is select a card from our wide and varied range, and we will sort the rest! So let's not let the increase in stamp prices discourage us from keeping the art of sending cards alive and well!

With love,

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