Identifying King George VI Stamps
Leeward Islands 10/ Issues


 CW 12 / SG 113
& Deep Red
Light Green Paper
Perf 14
10/38 Issue
9,900 Printed
 CW 12A / SG 113A
Pale Green
& Dull Red
Light Green Paper
Perf 14
3/42 Issue
5,880 Printed


 CW 12B / SG 113B
& Red
Light Green Paper
Perf 14
12/43 Issue
15,180 Printed
 CW 12C / SG 113C
Deep Green
& Vermilion
Green Paper
Perf 14
6/44 Issue
37,140 Printed

The KGVI Leeward Islands 10/ issues are a very confusing stamp to sort. This is due to the narrow range of the stamps, and to the lack of very many copies of the good stamps for reference.

My reference for the colors and other descriptions of these stamps is Bob Dickgiesser & Eric Yendall's "King George VI Large Key Type Stamps of Bermuda, Leeward Islands, Nyasaland". As you can see, there were four 10/ issues printed during the 14 years of production with a total printing of just 68,100 stamps.

Sorting these stamps is primarily a matter of observing two things: the back of the stamp, and the head color. It is assumed that you have multiple copies with noticeable differences, or the rest of this article will be fairly meaningless.

The first three printings differ primarily in terms of the the head color. The choices are bluish-green, very pale green, and green. You may find that the gum is brownish on the first and second printing, but this is not as consistent as it is with many other KGVI early printings.

The back of the stamp can be used to determine if you have the 1944 printing. It is an unmistakable emerald color. The 1944 gum and paper color (as seen from the back) is much lighter than the other stamps which tend to be more of an olive color, if the gum is not brownish.

I usually do a process of elimination in sorting my stamps. Here are the steps:

1. Look for the 1944 printing by comparing the backs of the stamps. It will have the emerald back, unlike all of the other printings.

2. Compare the non-1944 issues by studying the head color.

a. Look for the pale green color of the 1942 issue. The stamp looks as if it were very poorly made. The gum tends to be brownish.

b. The remaining stamps will be either from the 1938 or 1943 issues. If you have more than one color; you should see either a green or a bluish green head color. The green is from 1943, and the bluish-green is from the 1938 printing.

If you worked through the steps, and are not sure of the difference between the 1938 and 1943 issues. I would assume the stamp is from the 1943 printing. These are a little more common than the 1938 issues due to the larger printing quantity. However, I have tended to find them both in sets that I have viewed.

Please do not treat the scans as totally accurate in terms of color. Internet Browsers do not clearly show the entire range of colors in the spectrum. The centers of all the stamps appear a little washed out due to the effects of my scanner.

The dates shown are from the book, and are considered the despatch dates. You may find that the catalog you use shows a different date. If so, check to see what date the catalog lists. Some use a first known usage date, or a local release date. That will be later than the despatch date.

This article is intended to help collectors identify their KGVI Stamps. Please feel free to write with additional information. It will be added to revised versions of this article.

Comments or Questions feel free to write

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