King Edward VII
1908 Multiple Crown CA Issues

Updated - October, 2017

Identifying stamps from Montserrat King Edward VII issues watermarked Multiple Crown CA is a matter of sorting between the two watermark options: Crown CA and Multiple Crown CA (MCA), and then determining the difference between chalk and ordinary paper for the 1/2d value, and some color shades for the 1/2d, 2d, 3d, and 6d values. This set of stamps replaced the previous Multiple Crown CA watermarked paper with new colors beginning in 1908. This set was used until it was replaced with a new design in 1918. Unlike most King Edward VII sets, this one was used during King George V's reign, until it was replaced with new colors beginning in 1908. The only noticeable change was a replacement for the 5/ value with the image of the new monarch in 1914.

If you have trouble determining the watermarks, try looking at them face down against black paper. The stamps watermarked Crown CA will always be centered fairly well on the stamp, and the design does not repeat, so even if you can not see the entire watermark, the CA will always be toward the bottom, instead of letters to the sides for the watermark Multiple Crown CA. See the images of the two watermarks below for reference. They are shown as normally seen from the back.

Once you have determined the watermark, the next step for the 1/2d values is to sort them between chalk and ordinary paper. The initial stamp were printed on ordinary paper and later on chalk coated paper. Although a silver coin will draw a line when rubbed gently against most chalk paper, I find this does not work very well for the KEVII watermarked MCA issues. I look for a shiny coating on the paper when viewed under a good light source. You can also rub your finger across the face of the stamp. It will slide easily over the chalk coated paper, and will feel like it is catching against the ordinary paper. Another test is the quality of the impression. The chalk treatment was used to insure a better quality printing. For the record, the term chalk is not scientifically accurate, but it is the term that has been used in the catalogs. In order to help you get a feel for identifying the two paper types, the 1/2d issues are marked with the paper option.

Once you have determined the watermark, and the paper type for the 1/2d values; the next step is to sort the colors. Color shades can be difficult to sort, especially when you only have a couple of stamps to compare. They typically occur when the stamps are printed after the initial printing. Today we have computer color matching, but during this time it was done by hand with components that might differ from the original ink formula. I like to place the stamps against black and then white paper and view them under a strong light. The images shown attempt to show the colors, but they do not show them as well as viewing the stamps in person. So use the images as relative indicators.

Unlike modern stamps which are issued in the millions, definitive sets from this time period were issued very conservatively. I do not have the printing details, but it would be safe to assume the 5/ issue was printed in a quantity of less than 5,000 based on other issues of this time period.

The catalog numbers are from the 1980 Commonwealth Five Reigns Catalogue (CW), 2013 Stanley Gibbons Stamp Catalogue (SG) and the 2011 Scott catalog (ST). The description is from the Commonwealth Catalogue. Please contact Bridger & Kay to obtain a copy of this publication. You can access the other publishers using the "Links to British Colonial Stamp Sites" at the bottom of this page.

The images were saved in a larger size and at a higher resolution so you can more easily see the details used in sorting them. Please be patient if it takes a few minutes for this page to load.

Crown CA
Multiple Crown CA
CW E21 - SG 35 - ST 31A
1/2d Deep Green
Ordinary Paper
CW E22 - SG 35 - ST 31A
1/2d Yellow-Green
Ordinary Paper
CW E23 - SG 35 - ST 31A
1/2d Dark Green
Chalk Paper
CW E24 - SG 36 - ST 32
1d Rose-Red
CW E25 - SG 38 - ST 33
2d Greyish-Slate
CW E26 - SG 38 - ST 33
2d Grey
CW E27 - SG 39 - ST 34
2-1/2d Blue
CW E28 - SG 40 - ST 35
3d Purple
Yellow Paper
CW E28a - SG 40a - ST 41
3d Purple
Yellow Paper
White Back
CW E29 - SG 40 - ST 35
3d Brown
Yellow Paper
CW E30 - SG 43 - ST 36
6d Dull Purple &
Deep Purple
CW E31 - SG 43a - ST 36
6d Dull Purple &
Bright Purple
CW E32 - SG 43a - ST 36
6d Dull Purple &
CW E33 - SG 44 - ST 37
1/ Black
Green Paper
CW E34 - SG 45 - ST 38
2/ Purple &
Bright Blue
Blue Paper
CW E35 - SG 46 - ST 39
2/6 Black &
Blue Paper
  CW E36 - SG 47 - ST 40
5/ Red &
Yellow Paper
CW G1 - SG 48 - ST 42
5/ Red &
Yellow Paper

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

Comments or Questions feel free to write
Classic Montserrat Stamps for sale based on the identification from this article.
Index to KGVI Stamp Description Web Sites
Links to British Colonial Stamp Sites