Identifying the Bermuda Pound
King George VI Stamps

Special thanks to Barry Moerke and Eric Yendall for their help in preparing this site.

Identifying the Bermuda One Pound King George VI stamps is a matter of comparing these components:

1. Perforation - there are two options - Perf 13 and 14. There was no line perf issue for this denomination.
2. Paper Coating - Chalk or Ordinary (called Substitute). In the case of the Pound values, they are all on chalk paper, so you do not need to check this aspect.
3. Color - the variation in the center (head) color and frame colors helps determine some of the printings. Please be aware that there is a range to the colors on individual issues, so don't expect them to match exactly. Also, a computer monitor is not considered an accurate method of reproduction. So you may not see the colors accurately. I generally use a piece of black paper under two spotlights to compare my colors. The black seems to help most colors stand out better.

Please see our StampID page for additional details on using some of the tools described above.

The dispatch dates and color descriptions are per "The King George VI Large Key Type Revenue and Postage High Value Stamps 1937 - 1953" by Eric Yendall. This is a must for any Bermuda Keyplate Collectors. See your dealer for a copy.

The catalog numbers are from the 2008 versions of the Commonwealth (CW) Catalogue, and the Stanley Gibbons (SG) Catalogue. Please be aware that Gibbons does not list all the dispatches, so we have to make some debatable conclusions when assigning their numbers to some of these printings.

November, 1937
CW 16, SG 121
Pale Red-Purple & Black
Red Chalk Paper
July, 1941
CW 16A, SG 121B
Pale Purple & Black
Salmon Chalk Paper
Look for a more intense red appearing paper, and the pale red-purple head color. Looking at the salmon paper issues of 1941, 1943 and 1945, this printing will have the pale head color.
March, 1943
CW 16B, SG 121C
Purple & Black
Salmon Chalk Paper
June, 1945
CW 16C, SG 121C
Deep Purple & Jet Black
Salmon Chalk Paper

Looking at the salmon paper issues of 1941, 1943 and 1945, the head color on this printing falls between the other two. The 1943 printing has a muddy look to the head plate. This is best seen under a glass looking to the right of the King's head. You should notice that the lines of the design do not come all the way back to the head. It is almost like the ink smeared in that area.

Looking at the salmon paper issues of 1941, 1943 and 1945, the head color on this printing is deeper than the other two. You should also notice that the frame color is a little more intense.
December, 1946
CW 16D, SG 121C
Bluish-Purple & Black
Salmon Chalk Paper
November, 1951
CW 26, SG 121D
Pale Violet & Black
Bright Red Chalk Paper
Among the salmon paper printings, this printing has some bluish tones to the head color. The pale head color differentiates this printing from the other Perf 13 issues.
April, 1952
CW 26, SG 121D
Violet & Black
Bright Red Chalk Paper
October, 1952
CW 26A, SG 121E
Bright Violet & Black
Bright Red Chalk Paper
This printing is determined as a process of elimination from the other Perf 13 issues. Look for the very deep intense color of this head color.

Suggested steps in sorting these stamps. We assume you have a number of copies to compare, or this can be very difficult.

1. Measure the perforations. There are only Perf 13 and 14 options.
2. All paper is chalk paper, so this is not necessary. The paper was left over from the early KGV days, and as a result the watermark is MCA rather than MSCA. It is believed that the coating caused the paper colors to change since they were all from the same batch.
3 . Sort the Perf 14 stamps by paper color so that you isolate the 1937 printing. After that use the head color to determine the other four printings.
4 . The Perf 13 printings are also sorted by head color. The light one is 1951, a very deep one is October, 1952, and the other one is the April, 1952 printing.

Questions or Comments? Please send us an email. Looking for Bermuda Stamps? Check our price lists:
KGVI NH - KGVI Unused - KGVI Used
Links to other British Colonial Stamp Sites