Stamp Hunting

November 22, 2017 by Stanley Gibbons

Nimrod suggests some stamps worth looking for

Hong Kong

We commence the second part of our review of the stamps of Hong Kong with the 1912–21 King George V set (SG 100/16). While the $5 (115) remains the key value to a fine used set, both types of the 25c. (108, 109) are surprisingly elusive in this condition. The 50c. on blue-green paper with an olive back (111b) is a rarity in mint condition and seldom seen used.

Toned examples of the original printing (111) are often confused for this later printing, so caution is needed when purchasing. For those collectors wondering why the $10 has a relatively paltry catalogue price compared to the $5, keep in mind that this stamp was in use for more than 25 years until replaced by the 1938 King George VI set. Examples dated prior to 1920 are very desirable. The 8c. and 10c. (104, 105) are fairly scarce fi ne mint, as is the 30c. (110). Although the $5 and $10 (115, 116) are the key stamps in a mint set, in practice I’ve found the $3 (114) to be just as difficult.

The $5 is the key value to a fi ne used set of the 1912–21 King George V issue
The $5 is the key value to a fi ne used set of the 1912–21 King George V issue

From 1921 these stamps started to be printed on Multiple Script CA watermarked paper (117/32). The 8c. grey (122) was replaced soon after issue by the 8c. orange (123) and is consequently very scarce used. The 2c. grey (118c) is a tricky stamp used as it too had a fairly short lifespan, while the $3 and $5 (131, 132) remain popular. Mint sets are dominated by the top three values (130/32). However, the 5c. (121) is starting to edge upwards, as is the 50c. (128).

Fig: Fine mint examples of the 8c. and 30c. Multiple Crown CA are now proving to be fairly scarce

the 2c. grey is also proving tricky for the same reason

Due to its short lifespan the 8c. grey is very scarce used; the 2c. grey is also proving tricky for the same reason.

The 1935 Silver Jubilee set (133/36) saw fairly extensive commercial usage at the time so used examples are quite plentiful, although really fi ne sets can take some time to assemble. Mint sets are somewhat more diffi cult, but should only be acquired when in very fresh condition; sets with yellowish or toned gum should be avoided.

Original 1938 printings of the 1938–52 King George VI issue (140/62) generally have streaky, brownish gum; examples with fresh, white gum are very rare and command suitable premiums, even when mounted. The $5 dull lilac and scarlet (159) and $10 green and violet (161) are particularly susceptible to gum toning and should be priced accordingly. The 30c. yellow-olive (151) is a real stumbling block when trying to assemble a mint set. Also likely to prove problematic are the 10c. bright violet (145), 25c. bright blue (149), $1 red-orange and green (156) and $2 red-orange and green (157). Fine used sets are not too diffi cult to assemble, with only the aforementioned $5 and $10 values likely to cause any real diffi culty, although the 1c. (140) does seem to be less common than was previously the case. Look out for the Short Leg to ‘R’ variety on any of the $1 values you come across; used examples are almost certainly lurking unrecognised in 1940s and 1950s childhood collections.

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