Royal Mail stamp exchange: When do old stamps expire?


Britain will soon be swapping out red, blue and gold stamps for brand new purple and green stamps. Royal Mail said the move is due to a “modernisation drive” and that barcoded stamps will allow for added security features and will facilitate operational efficiency.

What stamps are changing?

Old ‘definitive’ stamps, such as gold, red and blue stamps, will all be changing.

The stamps will largely look the same, with the Queen’s profile, first introduced in 1967, still being used – but the colours will be changed, and bar codes will be added.

First-class stamps will become purple, second-class stamps will be green, large first-class stamps will be blue, and large second-class stamps will be dark blue/teal.

The barcodes match the stamp colour and are positioned alongside the Queen’s head, separated by a perforation line.

READ MORE: Royal Mail hike up First Class stamp prices by 12 percent – ‘rip off’

When will old stamps expire?

You still have plenty of time to use up all your old stamps, as Royal Mail has confirmed they will still be valid for use until January 31, 2023.

Royal Mail has also confirmed Special Stamps with pictures on and Christmas Stamps without a barcode will continue to be valid beyond the deadline.

If by that time, you still have old stamps you haven’t been able to find a use for, you will be able to exchange them free of charge for new stamps using the ‘Swap Out’ scheme.


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