Gold Coast King George V Key Plates Stamps 1913-1928

Gold Coast was the last colony to replace the Edwardian issues with those of the new King George V design. The 1d value was the only value of the series not of the Imperium style. The issue was superseded in 1928 by the new photogravure issue.

The issues of Gold Coast should be considered in conjunction with those of Togo, which were produced from the same plates as Gold Coast but overprinted 'Togo Anglo-French Occupation'. Some printings for both colonies were made at the same time, resulting in identical shades on each value for both printings, whilst others were printed separately. Certain of the replacement duty plates, showing double marginal rules on the printed sheet, were first used for Togo printings.

Over sixty plate 1 copies of various values have been seen of either Gold Coast or the Togo local overprints on Gold Coast. All have bottom plate numbers (i.e. plate lb) with the single exception of the ½d, of which a few examples from plate la have been seen (as well as many more copies from plate lb). The ½d block from the 1913 printing in the Royal Collection is from plate la, all the remaining values from this printing in the Collection being from plate lb. If a plate lb block had been available from this printing it would almost certainly have been supplied by the Crown Agents to maintain the symmetry of the remainder of the set supplied to the King. This is believed to be the only Gold Coast value printed from plate la.

Quantities from the first two printings from plate 1 were supplied for the 'Togo - Anglo-French Occupation' local overprints. The quantities overprinted are not known, but it is probable that they were roughly in line with those for the later London overprints (see Togo chapter). Some allowance must be made in the Gold Coast quantities printed from the two plate Is.

Both the Gold Coast 3d plate lb from Reqn.88/14, and the subsequent Togo overprint on this value, were on lemon-yellow paper with orange specks on the back. The specks are more concentrated on some examples from this printing than any other seen.

The Colonial Stamps book (Vol. 12 p76) notes that only the ½d to 1/- values of Reqn.93/15 (from plate 5) were to be sheet numbered, the 5/-, 10/- and 20/- remaining unnumbered. All values of both the Gold Coast and Togo overprints for this requisition were printed together. Since this was the only printing made from plate 5 for the Togo 5/- and 10/-, the shades of these two values may be used to identify the corresponding Gold Coast equivalents from plate 5.

The Catalogue of the Royal Collection does not record the 1/- plate 5 on blue-green/blue-green back paper. However, the Togo 1/- plate 5 has been seen on this shade of paper, and is almost certainly from this requisition since the only other plate 5 printings were in 1918, well into the period of the pale olive back papers. Similarly the 10/- plate 5 on blue-green paper is not listed in the Royal Catalogue, but the only printing of the Togo 10/- plate 5 is recorded in the Catalogue as being on green (blue-green) paper, and hence the Gold Coast 10/- plate 5 of this requisition must also be of this shade.


  1. King George V Key Plates of the Imperium Postage & Revenue Design, Peter Fernbank, 1997.