Fiji Collection Page Scans
Updated March, 2020

Thanks to Barry Moerke for his help in sorting these stamps.

The Fiji King George VI set of stamps were printed from 1938 until about 1952. The stamps were printed by both De La Rue, and Waterlow. As happens with King George VI stamps, the De La Rue stamps are very interesting due to the design changes, varying perforation, and color shades that resulted from production problems and World War II supply issues. The Waterlow components are typically fairly similar with minor differences in the paper and gum.

The stamps were sorted using information presented by R. F. Duberai and Bryan Jones in their book "Fiji Postage Stamp Issues of the King George VI Period" which was published in 2018 by the Pacific Islands Study Circle. This publication lists all of the King George VI definitive issues with printing and color descriptions as well as coverage for the booklets. There are also descriptions of the many flaws including charts showing where they are located.

Sorting stamps by printings is largely a matter of finding a good source to help you identify them; looking for obvious printings - like stamps that were only printed one or two times like the first 5d Blue & Red values; identifying perforations - like the De La Rue issues; and taking all of this information to allocate the stamps into relative time periods using the paper and gum characteristics and then sorting them by color to try to determine when they were printed. Ultimately with a Colony like Fiji that had a lot of printings, it is probably impossible to accurately sort every stamp into the exact printing, but you can figure out the approximate time period and then make your best guess - if this is something that interests you. Although some collectors use postally used stamps to determine the time frame, I don't feel it is useful for every time period. My feeling is that it only really works for early printings because later postmarks could be applied to any stamp that was issued before that date. Used stamps also do not have the gum characteristics that can be a large part of the identification process.

The Fiji De La Rue issues (1/2d, 1-1/2d, 2d, 2-1/2d, 6d, 8d, 1/5, 1/6) are fairly easy to allocate to time periods because the perforations changed over time. It is unlikely you can identify every printing because there were just too many of them, but you can narrow things down to a relative time period. Consider the 6d value, it was initially perforated 13 x 11.75 (Die I) in 1938; then perforated 13.5 (Die II) in 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943 and 1945; and finally perforated 12 (Die II) in 1947, 1949, 1950, and 1952. Die I stamps are missing the 180 degrees under Fiji Islands in the lower right corner. Die II added it to the design in 1940, and this was used for all of the remaining printings. The Perf 13.5 values can be sorted by the paper and gum using this criteria - the 1940-1942 values will tend to be on thicker appearing paper when viewed face down against black paper (the watermark is less transparent); the 1943 and 1945 will tend to be on thinner appearing paper (the watermark is more transparent). The Perf 12 values tend to be on whiter appearing paper for the 1950 values. See the color chart below for a relative comparison. After you allocate the relative time periods, look at the color and make your best guess. As you compare the other De La Rue printings, use what you learned from the 6d values as a guide.

The Waterlow printings (1d, 3d, 5d, 1/, 2/, 2/6, 5/, 10/ and £1) are more complicated because there are no perforation varieties and few major color shades. So you have to use the paper and gum to determine the time range and then sort by colors. Barry Moerke and I met recently to compare our Fiji stamps. As we compared the Waterlow printings we started by finding the early printings (1938 - 1942 initially with yellowish to off-white gum and thicker paper) middle year printings (1943-1947 off-white gum thinner appearing paper) and the later year printings (1948-1954 whiter gum). After we sorted by paper and gum we used the color descriptions and paper and gum descriptions to make our decisions about the printings. If you look at the pages you will see the results. The descriptions are all from the reference book.

The pages are from my collection, and were scanned in a larger size and at a higher resolution so you can more easily see the details used in viewing them. Feel free to select the page and let it download to your screen and save it to your hard drive for viewing. If you are using a PC, selecting the page will typically open it in Microsoft Photo Viewer (or whatever you are using as your default). From there you can enlarge the size for more close-up viewing. If you are using a phone - go find a PC or a Mac. The images are 1200 pixels wide and you will go mad trying to view them on your phone.

Please be patient if it takes a few minutes for each page to load.

Fiji Collection Page Scans
Commonwealth # Stanley Gibbons # Scott # Description and Page Link
1-22 249-266b 117-131B Fiji 1938 Set - Page 1
      Fiji 1938 Set - Page 2
      Fiji 1938 Set - Page 3
      Fiji 1938 Set - Page 4
      Fiji 1938 Set - Page 5
      Fiji 1938 Set - Page 6
      Fiji 1938 Set - Page 7
      Fiji 1938 Set - Page 8
      Fiji 1938 Set - Page 9
      Fiji 1938 Set - Page 10
      Fiji 1938 Set - Page 11
      Fiji 1938 Set - Page 12
      Fiji 1938 Set - Page 13
      Fiji 1938 Set - Page 14
      Fiji 1938 Set - Page 15

This article was written to help you identify your stamps.
Please feel free to ask a question, or suggest a correction.

Comments or Questions feel free to write
Fiji King George VI Stamps for sale
Web pages describing various sets from the British Colonies
Index to KGVI Stamps Web Sites
Web pages with links to full page scans from the KGVI Stamps Reference Collection
Index to KGVI Stamps Collection Page Scan Sites
Links to other British Colonial Stamp Sites