History of King George VI stamps

The first King George VI stamps were the ½d, 1d, and 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, especially the definitive issues of which collectors recognise 3 different sets each with the same watermarked paper but with changing 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 King George VI 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.

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Related Pages

All GB Lots, GB Collections \ Multi Reign, Pre-Stamp, Penny Blacks, 1840-1902 Victoria, 1902-1911 Edward VII, 1911-1937 George V, 1936 Edward VIII, 1952+ Elizabeth II, GB Islands, GB Regions, First Day Covers

1937-1952 George VI Stamps