Julietta Edgar, head of special stamps, Royal Mail, said: "Charles Darwin's ideas triggered a revolution in the understanding of how species evolve. The brilliance of his thinking is symbolised in the unique design of the stamps the jigsaw shape suggests how Darwin was able to draw on his different areas of study to formulate groundbreaking new ideas."
Royal Mail also issued a separate set of tamper-proof stamps today, which have improved security features to stop users peeling used stamps from envelopes which have not been franked and reusing them.
Part of a sticky film covering the stamp will remain on the envelope and thwart fraudsters. The new stamps will also be printed on the same tamper-proof paper used for currency. They are called the Machin stamps, named in honour of the (late) artist Arnold Machin, who created the classic image of the Queen which features on British stamps and coins.
The Royal Mail's
stamps commemorate Darwin and the areas of study which inspired his
ideas on evolution:
zoology, botany, geology, ornithology and anthropology. The six
"jigsaw" shape stamps symbolise how his studies of different
disciplines came together to form new ideas on evolution.
Royal Mail has also produced a special sheet of four stamps illustrating the unique wildlife of the Galpagos Islands that includes the Flightless Cormorant, Giant Tortoise, Floreana Mockingbird and Marine Iguana, and which builds up into a contemporary map of the Galpagos Islands with the key species Darwin studied in the 1830s during his voyage as Ship's Naturalist on the hydrographic