British Honduras King Edward VII Definitive Issues
Updated - August, 2017
 

Identifying the British Honduras King Edward VII issues is a matter of first determining the watermark and then sorting color and paper for the 1c, 2c, and 5c issues. The keyplate design was originally used for the Queen Victoria issues from several Colonies, and was modified for use during King Edward's reign. The stamps were issued beginning in 1902 and continued to be used until they were replaced by the King George V issues in 1913. Two different watermarks were used: Crown CA and Multiple Crown CA. Although the catalogues list these issues separately, this article deals with the all of these issues together.

If you have trouble determining the watermarks on these stamps, 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. The 2c and 5c issues watermarked Crown CA exist with watermark inverted. See the images of the two watermarks below for reference. They are shown as they are normally seen from the back.

Stamps watermarked Multiple Crown CA were printed on two types of paper. These are referred in the catalogues as ordinary or chalk coated paper. Many of the King Edward VII stamps watermarked Multiple Crown CA will exist on both kinds of paper, so to properly sort your 1c, 2c, and 5c stamps, you need to determine the difference between these papers. Typically King Edward VII chalk paper issues have a higher quality impression and many times will have a shiny appearance. Please see my website on the characteristics of King Edward VII issues for a more detailed explanation about sorting the papers.

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 print quantities for these issues, but typical sets from other Colonies at this time were printed in quantities of less than 5,000 for the higher values during this time period. Please feel free to supply the print quantities if you have them.

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 and dates are from the Commonwealth Catalogue. I am not sure I agree with every color description, but it is a relative thing. You really need to see a number of stamps to really sort by color. 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.

   
  Watermark
Crown CA
Watermark
Multiple Crown CA
 
       
CW E1 - SG 80 - ST 58
1c Grey-Green &
Green
Ordinary Paper
Watermark Crown CA
CW E6 - SG 84 - ST 62
1c Grey-Green &
Green
Ordinary Paper
Watermark
Multiple Crown CA
CW E7 - SG 84a - ST 62
1c Green &
Dark Green
Chalk Paper
Watermark
Multiple Crown CA
CW E8 - SG 95 - ST 62
1c Blue-Green
Ordinary Paper
Watermark
Multiple Crown CA
       
CW E2 - SG 81 - ST 59
2c Purple &
Black
Red Ordinary Paper
Watermark Crown CA
CW E9 - SG 85 - ST 63
2c Purple &
Black
Red Ordinary Paper
Watermark
Multiple Crown CA
CW E9 - SG 85a - ST 63
2c Purple &
Black
Red Chalk Paper
Watermark
Multiple Crown CA
CW E10 - SG 96 - ST 72
2c Carmine
Ordinary Paper
(Gibbons says Chalk)
Watermark
Multiple Crown CA
       
CW E3 - SG 82 - ST 60
5c Pale Grey &
Blue
Blue Ordinary Paper
Watermark Crown CA
CW E4 - SG 82 - ST 60
5c Dark Grey &
Blue
Blue Ordinary Paper
Watermark Crown CA
CW E11 - SG 86 - ST 64
5c Grey-Black &
Blue
Blue Chalk Paper
Watermark
Multiple Crown CA
CW E12 - SG 97 - ST 73
5c Ultramarine
Ordinary Paper
(Gibbons says Chalk)
Watermark
Multiple Crown CA
       
CW E13 - SG 87 - ST 65
10c Dull Purple &
Emerald-Green
Chalk Paper
Watermark
Multiple Crown CA
CW E5 - SG 83 - ST 61
20c Dull Purple &
Bright Purple
Ordinary Paper
Watermark Crown CA
CW E14 - SG 89 - ST 67
25c Dull Purple &
Orange
Chalk Paper
Watermark
Multiple Crown CA
CW E15 - SG 100 - ST 74
25c Black
Green Chalk Paper
Watermark
Multiple Crown CA
       
CW E16 - SG 90 - ST 68
50c Grey-Green &
Carmine
Chalk Paper
Watermark
Multiple Crown CA
CW E17 - SG 91 - ST 69
$1 Grey-Green &
Carmine
Chalk Paper
Watermark
Multiple Crown CA
CW E18 - SG 92 - ST 70
$2 Grey-Green &
Blue
Chalk Paper
Watermark
Multiple Crown CA
CW E19 - SG 93 - ST 71
$5 Grey-Green&
Black
Chalk Paper
Watermark
Multiple Crown CA
 

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 British Honduras Stamps for sale based on the identification from this article.
       
Index to KGVI Stamp Description Web Sites
       
Links to British Colonial Stamp Sites