Identifying the King George VI Stamps
Mauritius 10R Issues

Updated - December, 2010

The first King George VI set from Mauritius was printed by De La Rue using keyplates. The stamps were printed in sheets of 120 stamps with 60 on each side of a 10mm gutter that separated the panes.

This article is based primarily on these sources: "The Printings of King George VI Colonial Stamps" by W.J.W. Potter & Lt. Col. R.C.M. Shelton which was published by Stamp Collecting, Ltd. in 1952; and from three the GEOSIX Newsletters Number 81 thru 83 published by the King George VI Collectors Society in 1974, and authored by F.R. Saunders.

The color descriptions come from Potter & Shelton, and the printing and some of the identification details come from the GEOSIX Newsletters. The dates shown are P&S (Potter & Shelton) issue dates from their publication, and CA (Crown Agents) date which is when the stamps were printed.

The catalog numbers are from the 2008 versions of the Commonwealth Catalogue, published by Murray Payne, Ltd.; and the Stanley Gibbons Stamp Catalogue published by Stanley Gibbons Ltd.

The stamps shown were collected over a period of 25 years and were part of a group of 30 stamps that were identified in comparison to each other using the reference articles to make the determination.


In the King George VI era, only Leeward Islands and Mauritius produced stamps using the keyplates that were commonly used during the reign of King George V. Three different Head Plate Dies were used to produce the stamps. The dies can help us determine the relative date of production based on the time period they were used.

If you are trying to sort the stamps of the Mauritius keyplates, you will need to understand how to identify the various Head Plate Die states. This information is detailed for the Mauritius Small Keyplate Die Plates feel free to visit this site for more information.

 CW 12 / SG 263
10R Purple
Die 1
Chalk Paper
P&S - 1938 Printing
CA - Printed 12/14/1937
17,400 Stamps Printed
CW 12a / SG 263a
10R Bright Purple
Die 2
Substitute Paper
P&S - 4/1943 Printing
CA - Printed 11/13/1942
12,000 Stamps Printed
This is the only Die 1 printing. The color of the stamp and gum depend on whether it was in the tropics. Stamps issued in England will not have the yellowish characteristic about the paper and gum. This is one of 3 Die 2 printings. The color tends to be more red-purple than purple as described by Potter & Shelton.

CW 12a / SG 263a
10R Bright Red-Purple
Die 2
Substitute Paper
P&S - 12/1944 Printing
CA - Printed 6/29/1944
13,800 Stamps Printed
CW 12a / SG 263a
10R Bright Red-Purple
Die 2
Substitute Paper
P&S - 8/1945 Printing
CA - Printed 6/10/1945
Print Quantity Unknown
This is one of the Die 2 printings. The scan makes it look darker than it really is. If you have all three of the Die 2 printings, the color of this stamp tends to fall almost exactly in the middle between the reddish purple of the 1943 issue and the deeper purple of the 1945 issue. The last of the Die 2 printings. This is the deepest color of the three. The Bright Red-Purple color as described by Potter & Shelton is misleading. I would call it a Deep Red-Purple instead.

CW 12b / SG 263
10R Deep Purple
Die 3
Chalk Paper
P&S - 4/1948 Printing
CA - Printed 2/1948
12,600 Stamps Printed
  This stamp is the only Die 3 printing. Notice that the color is deep like the 1945 printing, but without the reddish element.  

To identify your stamps, sort by chalk paper. This will find the 1st and last printing which are Dies 1 and 3. The rest are Die 2 on substitute paper.

I found 3 shades of Die 2. A very bright red-purple which should be 1943, a deep red-purple which should be 1945, and one in the middle that seems to be 1944. All have bad quality impressions with white gum.


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
Mauritius Stamps for sale based on the identification from this article.
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