King George V Gibraltar Stamps: 1912-1924

Simultaneously with the destruction of the remainder of the Edwardian Series, stamps of the same values and in similar designs, but with the head of King George, were put on sale, the date of issue being the 17th July 1912.

All the old duty-plates - that of the One Penny once again of 120 - were used in conjunction with the new head-plates; and the make-up of the sheets, the watermark, and the perforation were as in the preceding issue.

We therefore again have the constant variety, large “2” in the fraction, on the fifty-fifth stamp in each pane of the Twopence Halfpenny; and there is now also a minor variety in the One Shilling, shewing a short “N” in the word “SHILLING” probably the result of some mishap to the duty-plate, though when that took place is not known.

But new duty-plates for the One Penny and Twopence Half­penny appear to have been brought into use about June 1916, on each of which the last two letters of “PENNY” are slightly thinner than formerly.

There is also a minor, though quite distinct, variety in the head-plate of the One Shilling ; on the last stamp in each row there is a break in the frame-line just below the “G” of “SHILLING”.

There were marked changes in the colour of three of the values : the Halfpenny, at first in a bluish tone of green, appeared in 1917 in a distinctly yellowish green; the One Penny in 1916 abandoned its original carmine-red, and became a pronounced scarlet; and the Two Shillings, first printed in dull purple and blue on a blue paper, was issued, sometime in December, 1916, or the following January, in bright purple and deep blue on blue paper of a decidedly grey tone.

Gibraltar SG 76 Halfpenny block of 8 with plate No. 1


Gibraltar SG 77 One penny block of 8 with plate No. 1


SG 79 deep bright blue 21/2d., 6 x 2 block from the foot of the sheet
with plate No. 1, one stamp with large ''2'' in ''1/2'' [R. 10/1]
Sold at Grosvenor Auction in 2011 for ?170 plus buyer's premium


One Shilling stamp

There are five different 1s. stamps listed in Stanley Gibbons.

SG 81 - black on green paper

SG 81a - variety on ordinary (not chalk surfaced) paper

SG 81b - on blue green paper with olive back

SG 81c - on emerald surfaced paper

SG 81d - on emerald back paper.

Emerald surfaced paper

What is emerald surfaced paper?

Let's read "Crown Agent's Bulletin Vol 5.- Janyary to March 1921": "The small remaining stock of the old pale green paper (480 set size) has been surfaced with a much brighter green than previously used and has been used to produce the following stamps:- ... Reqn. 68/20 Gibraltar 1/- plate 2 ...".

On 21st March 1921 the Crown Agents complained to De La Rue: "We have noticed recently in certain parcels of stamps, which we are issuing to dealers in this country, some Is Od and 10s Od stamps printed on 'Saunders' green paper, which has been surfaced with a bright green tint entirely different from that previously used. It appears to us that these stamps are likely to become very scarce in view of the fact that a new make of green paper is now being supplied, and I have to point out that the result has been to increase, without our authority, the number of different descriptions of stamp, from the point of view of the philatelist, that have been printed . I have to request that you will arrange in future for the colouring and paper used for each denomination of stamp to be uniform, and refer to us any case in which it is suggested that a departure should be made from this rule."

De La Rue replied the following day ''In reply to your letter of yesterday regarding your green C.A. Postage Paper, we always endeavour to make the preparation on the face of the sheet match the colour of the paper itself, which you will fully understand varies. We have also to take into consideration that some stamps are printed in singly fugitive ink on uncoated paper."

There were total 23,520 one sgilling Gibraltar stamps on emerald surfaced paper issued, 196 sheets of 120.

SG 81c One shilling black on emerald surface (1923 printing)
block of twelve (6x2) with plate No. 2


SG 85 One Pound stamp with plate No. 1

SG 85 One Pound with plate No. 1. Plate number damaged.


Specimen stamps

Gibraltar SG 85 One Pound Specimen stamp

Jubilee lines

You can find the follow combinations of the Plate numbers and the Jubilee line:

  1. Plate 1, with one Jubilee line co-extensive - not continuous: all the small type stamps.
  2. Plate 1, with two Jubilee lines - the second one on the duty-plate - both co-extensive: Halfpenny and One Penny stamps.
  3. Plate 2, with one Jubilee line, co-extensive: Twopence Halfpenny, Sixpence and One Shilling stamps.
  4. Plate 2, with two Jubilee lines, both co-extensive : One Penny stamps.
  5. Plate 1, with one Jubilee line, as described below : All high-value (large design) stamps.

This Jubilee line is co-extensive above and below the stamps ; but at the sides is in two pieces which, together, equal the height of the stamp, but with one exception, for the central two rows there is a long line crossing the space between them and extending along the adjoining stamps, followed at each end by a very short line and then by a longer one, which stops at the corner of the adjacent stamp.

Jubilee line at the central two rows - Gibraltar SG 85.
This unmounted mint block of four was sold at Grosvenor Auction
in 2009 for ?560 plus buyer's premium


Master Die Proofs

2 shillings - ?1 master die proof in black on glazed card (92x60mm.),
marked "before hardening" and dated "24 apr 12"
Sold at Spink Auction in 2010 for ?900 plus buyer's premium

Stamps Booklets

Black on red stamps booklet containing 1/2d. blue-green and 1d. carmine-red panes of six.
SG. SB2, unpriced. The incomplete booklet was sold at Spink Auction in 2010
for ?1000 plus buyer's premium (Estimate was ?400-500)

Postal History

1921 Registered OHMS cover franked 1912-24 KGV ?1 top value, tied by "Registered Gibraltar 30 JU 21" oval pmk, with reg label, to Netherlands with London & Haarlem b/s. Sold on Ebay in 2012 for US$800


  1. "The Postage Stamps of Gibraltar" by Geoffrey E. Duveen, First Edition 1932, Reprint 1972.