Identifying the King George VI Stamps
Mauritius 5R 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 11 / SG 262
5R Dull Olive
Die 1
Chalk Paper
P&S -1938 Printing
CA - Printed 12/13/1937
20,640 Stamps Printed
CW 11a / SG 262a
Not Listed by Potter & Shelton
Die 2
Substitute Paper
P&S - Unlisted Printing
CA - Printed 12/15/1939
12,600 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 as much of the yellowish characteristic about the paper and gum. This is one of 2 Die 2 printings. The color tends to be deeper than the 1943 printing. Notice that the paper appears thicker and the gum is more off-white than the later white gum and thinner paper.

CW 11a / SG 262a
5R Bright Olive-Green
Die 2
Substitute Paper
P&S - 4/1943 Printing
CA - 11/26/1942
12,000 Stamps Printed
CW 11a / SG 262a
5R Olive-Green
Die 3
Substitute Paper
P&S - 10/1945 Printing
CA - 6/19/1945
15,360 Stamps Printed
This is the other Die 2 printing. Look for the white gum and thinner appearing paper. It is also much more commonly seen than the earlier Die 2 printing. Look for a Die 3 printing that is on substitute paper. Although a lot of these were printed, they are not commonly seen.

CW 11b / SG 262
5R Deep Olive-Green
Die 3
Chalk Paper
P&S - 4/1948 Printing
CA - 4/1/1948 Printing
12,360 Stamps Printed
  This stamp is the only Die 3 printing on chalk paper. Notice that the color is deeper, but not as bright as the 1943 printing.  

To identify your stamps, sort by chalk paper. This will find the 1st and last printing which are Dies 1 and 3. If you have multiple Die 3 stamps, look for chalk paper and substitute paper The rest are Die 2 on substitute paper. To identify those, look at the paper and gum and compare for thicker, off-white (1939) or thinner, white (1943) printings.


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.
Links to other British Colonial Stamp Sites