Identifying the King George VI Stamps
Grenada 10/ Issues

Updated - November, 2009
         
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 CW 22 / SG 163
Carmine &
Slate-Blue
Perforated 11.75 x 13
12,000 Printed
Narrow
11/1937
CW 23 / SG 163a
Carmine &
Paler Slate-Blue
Perforated 13.75 x 14.25
6,600 Printed
Narrow
1/1938
CW 25 / SG 163b
Rose-Carmine &
Pale Blue-Grey
Perforated 14
2,200 Printed
Narrow
12/1942
 
 

 

 

 
 
 
CW 24 / SG 163c
Deep Carmine &
Black
Perforated 11.75
780 Printed
Narrow
2/1943
CW 26 / SG 163d
Deep Lake &
Pale Indigo Black
Perforated 14
9,840 Printed
Wide
8/1943
 CW 26a / SG 163d
Very Deep Claret &
Blue-Black
Perforated 14
Part of CW25a Printing
Wide
8/1943
 
 

 

 

 
 
 
CW 25a / SG 163e
Bright Rose-Carmine &
Black
Perforated 14
8,800 Printed
Narrow
9/1943
CW 25c / SG 163e
Carmine &
Grey-Black
Perforated 14
29,400 Printed
Narrow
10/1944
CW 26b / SG163f
Rose-Carmine &
Black
Perforated 14
12,480 Printed
Wide
5/1947
 
 
This is a condensed version of an article on identifying the 10/ Issues of Grenada (Gibbons 163 and Scott 142) . The original article appeared in the February, 1996 issue of KGVI Stamps. KGVI Stamps is no longer in publication.

The KGVI Grenada 10/ is one of the most interesting in the entire series of KGVI Stamps. There were eight printings over a period of ten years. In this series of stamps, you will find differences in perforation, color, the size of the image, the type of paper used, and the appearance of the center of the design. In order to determine the differences in these stamps, you will need a good perforation gauge, a clear ruler calibrated in millimeters, and sheets of white and black paper. I use the white or black paper as a backdrop when comparing stamps. The paper will help you observe differences in the color, gum, as well as characteristics of the paper while you are comparing multiple copies of this stamp. It is assumed that you have several copies, and are trying to sort them. Otherwise, this article will probably not be of much use to you.

The table above will give you an overview of this issue. The numbers in black are from the 2008 edition of the Commonwealth Catalogue and the 2008 edition of the Stanley Gibbons Catalogue. The colors are per Potter & Shelton's "The Printings of King George VI Colonial Stamps" which was published by Stamp Collecting, Ltd. in 1952. The dates and quantities are from Eric Yendall's "The Printings of the KGVI Grenada 10/" which appeared in Geosix 153, the September, 1989 issue of the King George VI Collectors' Society Newsletter. Please do not treat the photographs as totally accurate in terms of color. Internet Browsers do not clearly show the entire range of colors in the spectrum. Use the pictures as a comparison to known stamps in your collection. They will show the relative color differences in the stamps. If this seems confusing, don't give up. A verbal description of how to identify each issue follows. There are three sections, and the stamps from above will be redisplayed for your convenience on top of each section with the catalog numbers and perforation only.

 
  The Miscellaneous Perforation Issues.  
   
 
CW 22 / SG 163
Perforated 11.8 x 13
CW 23 / SG 163a
Perforated 13.75 x 14.25
CW 24 / SG 163c
Perforated 11.75
 
         
If your eyes crossed as you thought about comparing your stamps, let me make this issue simple for you. Note that the early issues (CW-22 & CW-24) have different perforations, and can easily be determined by using a good quality gauge like the Gibbons Instanta Model. The 1/1938 issue (CW-23) although close to the perf. 14.1 issues at 13.75 x 14.25 has a distinctively bluish center. Even if your gauge is not very good, you should be able to identify it. Typically, the frame is not as rosy as the example shown. The gum on this stamp tends to turn brownish because they were sent to the Colony rather than released in London. This tropicalization can affect the color of the stamp.

The remaining six issues, which are all perforated 14, can be identified by comparing the width of the design, color, and gum. There are two different printing sizes which are referred to as narrow and wide. The size of the design is actually different. This was caused by the printing process. The narrow stamps measure 23.5mm from one side of the printed design to the other; and were printed on damp paper. The wide stamps measure 24.5mm from one side of the printed design to the other; were printed on dry paper. Details of this process may be found in Eric Yendall's article which was identified earlier.

The first step in sorting the stamps that are perforated 14 is to identify the narrow and wide printings. If you sort your stamps into piles of narrow and wide options, you can then proceed to the next step and compare the stamps of the same width.

         
  The Perf 14 Narrow Issues.  
   
  CW 25 / SG 163b CW 25a / SG 163e CW 25c / SG 163e  
         
If your stamp has a narrow design and is perforated 14; it will be either CW-25, CW-25A, or CW-25C. Check the front of the stamp. CW-25A will have a pinkish color to the paper outside of the stamp design. It almost seems like the ink smeared. This stamp will also tend to have a yellowish gum. The other two options can be determined by comparing the gum, the center of the design, and the frame color. The gum is the most obvious. CW-25C has a much whiter gum than either of the other two narrow design issues. The gum on CW-25 is more yellowish, like the gum found on CW-25A. You may also note the center design of CW-25  is a little hazy, and the color of the frame is a flatter red than that used for CW-25C. This is pretty subtle, so you may have a hard time distinguishing these stamps by comparing the design. The gum is actually a better indicator.
         
  The Perf 14 Wide Issues.  
   
  CW 26 / SG 163d CW 26a / SG 163d CW 26b / SG163f  
         
There are three wide printings of the Grenada 10/ stamp. All three are perforated 14.1. The easiest one to pick out is CW-26B. It has a rosy-carmine frame, white paper, and white gum. The other two wide options were from the same printing. Both have a darker frame color than CW-26B. CW-26A has a very deep frame color with a dark greyish center. CW-26 tends to fall into the middle in terms of frame color between CW-26B and CW-26A. CW-26 is darker than CW-26B, but not as dark as CW-26A. You may also notice that the center is also darker than CW-26B.

If you only have a few copies of this stamp, and are unable to decide, I will guess that you have the common ones. Notice that of the 61,920 perf. 14 issues printed, 47% are CW-25C, and 20% are CW-26B. These two stamps are the ones you are most likely to find in an unsorted mixture. Good luck with sorting your stamps. Feel free to email with questions.

Addendum - This article was changed in May of 1999 based on input from Anthony Cole with advice from Dickon Pollard regarding the assignment of Gibbons Catalogue numbers compared to Commonwealth. There is still some argument in my mind about where CW 26 and CW25A belong relative to the Gibbons Catalog. However after some "cyber discussion" with my two advisors, here is where I think these stamps belong.

CW26 really looks nothing like either CW26B or CW26A but it can only be classified as either SG 163D or SG 163F due to the wide paper size. It is worth more than SG163F. Based on the Gibbons valuation, CW 26 should be considered to be SG163D.

CW25A looks more like the color described by Gibbons as SG 163B but is worth an amount closer to SG163E. Based on the Gibbons valuation, CW25A should be considered to be SG 163E.

You may order a copy of the new Commonwealth Catalogue from Murray Payne by using the Links to British Colonial Stamp Sites link below.

         
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