GB King George VI Stamps

The first stamps of King George VI were the ½d, 1d, 2½d small definitives issued on 10 May 1937, just 3 days before the Coronation stamp issued on 13 May 1937. By this time all stamps were printed by photogravure, the exceptions being the 1939-48 ‘Square’ high values and the 1951 ‘Festival’ high values which were recessed printed. A considerable amount of philatelic study has gone into the stamps of this period, the especially the definitive issues of which collectors recognise 3 different sets each with the same watermarked paper but with changed colours, the wartime issue of 1941-42 being lighter in colour to save printing ink.

Specialists might find themselves seeking blocks bearing control and cylinder numbers of which many different are known to exist and represent an enjoyable project but the rarest stamps of the KGVI reign are probably the tete-beche pairs and the imperforate errors to be found on the 1941-42 wartime issue. This is a wide and interesting area of philately where, should they choose collectors of the elegant sets can branch out into many different areas such as booklets and booklet panes, the postage dues, first day covers, watermark inverted and other errors, “Specimen” and other overprints, colour trials plus so much else.