A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzabar

A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzibar... Now what is between? For the world wide classical era philatelist and stamp collector, a country specific philatelic survey is offered with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. Interested? So into the Blues...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Falkland Islands & Dependencies

1838 Scott 93 2sh6p gray black "Gentoo penguins"
Quick History
The Falkland Islands consist of East Falkland and West Falkland, and well over 700 lesser islands about 300 miles from the coast of South America in the South Atlantic Ocean. Although claimed also by Argentina ( see 1982 Falkland Islands War), it has been governed by British rule since 1833. A British Crown Colony ( and now a British Overseas Territory), the population was 2400 in 1931, and the Capital is Stanley.

Stamps with a portrait of Queen Victoria were first issued in 1878.

The Falkland Islands Dependencies was an arrangement to administer the claimed British territories in sub-Antarctica and Antarctica from 1843 until 1985. They were governed by Britain through the Falkland Islands Government. The Dependencies really are not inhabited, except for base and research personnel. Overprinted 1938 Falkland Island stamps were issued in 1944 for Graham Land ( on the Antarctic Peninsula), South Georgia ( a few scientists and support staff live there; "town" is Grytviken), South Orkneys ( British Antarctic Survey has a base there), and the South Shetland Islands ( several countries maintain research stations there).

1929-31 1/2p green "King George V"
The 1/2p,1p,2p,2 1/2p are inexpensive
Into the Deep Blue
Affordable collectability
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has, from 1878-1952, 142 major stamp descriptions.
Prior to 1900: 23 stamps: <$20 - 6 stamps; Of those 3 are <$5.
1900-1952: 119 stamps: <$5 - 38 stamps; of those 15 are <$1.
Total "inexpensive" stamps: 44
Affordability Index = 31%.

Falkland Islands stamps, as a British colony, and located in an interesting part of the world for collectors, are generally rather expensive.  The most expensive is the iconic 1933 £1 rose & black "King George V" @ $2000. Nevertheless, there are definitely affordable attractive stamps available.

The Falkland Islands Dependencies issues consist of 49 stamps between 1944-1949.  Forty-five ( 92%) are inexpensive.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
An overview reveals the typical British colony breakdown of Queen Victoria from 1879-1898 ( 23 stamps), King Edward VII from 1904-07 ( 8 stamps), King George V from 1912-1935 ( 37 stamps), and King George VI from 1938-52 ( 36 stamps). A wonderful pictorial set was issued in 1933 ( 12 stamps). Let's take a closer look...

1891-1902 1/2p Queen Victoria
Choices (in Scott) are 9 "green" ('92), 9a "blue green", 10 "yellow green" ('99)
This 1/2p Queen Victoria comes in three color varieties ( $10+,$20+,$2+) respectively as outlined above. Which one is it? The problem for the WW collector is often we do not have enough samples to compare colors and come to a reasonable determination. This stamp looks "green" to me, but the "yellow green" variety is much cheaper. My inclination is to label this the cheapest variety until I have more information.
Clearly a SG color guide would be very helpful, and I probably should obtain one.

Speaking of Stanley Gibbons, here is their breakdown for this denomination.
15 "blue green" ('91) £25
16 "green" ("92) £15
16b "deep dull green" ("96) £30
17 "deep yellow green" ('94-'95) £18
17b "yellow green" ('99) £2
17c "dull yellowish green" ('02) £4.75

Wow! A lot more parsing of colors based on issue dates. The good news is the colors and issue dates agree between the three Scott varieties, and the SG. Of interest is Scott has the "yellow green" as a major number (Scott 10), while SG has the color listed as a minor number (17b), even though it is the cheapest option.

1891-01 2 1/2p Queen Victoria
Scott 14($150+),15($10+),15a($20+),15b($30+),15c($40+),15d($60+)
 deep blue ('94), ultra ('94), pale ultra ('98),dull blue, deep ultra ('01),pale chalky ultra 
Based on cost ( probably because more common), the stamp above is likely a Scott 15 ultramarine ('94). But is it? ;-)  <shrug>. I have no samples to compare, and color perception can be very fickle indeed.

What does SG do with this issue?
27 "pale chalky ultramarine" ('91) £55
28 "dull blue" ('91) £30
29 "prussian blue" ('94) £130
30 "ultra" ('94-'96) £13
30b "pale ultra" ('98) £17
30c "deep ultra" ('01) £40

The SG prices seem higher than Scott catalogue valuations. ( £1 = ~ $1.50). The colors ( except SG "prussian blue" = Scott "deep blue") and dates (SG provides more of them) substantially agree. So actually, not too much trouble figuring out the SG equivalent for the Scott.

1912-14 1/2p yellow green & 1921-29 2 1/2p violet on yellow "King George V"
The 1912-14 issue (11 stamps) has wmk 3, while the 1921-29 issue (8 stamps) is wmk 4
As is often the case with British colonies, there are two issues of the George V definitives separated by watermark differences. The Multiple Crown  and C A wmk (wmk 3) is found on the 1912-14 issue, while the Multiple Crown and Script C A  wmk (wmk 4) is on the 1912-14 issue. Since valuations are indeed different, it is more or less necessary that the watermark be determined. Fortunately for the WW collector, watermark determination for these stamps is usually not that difficult.

1938 85 1p "red & black", & 85a 1p "rose carmine & black"
King George VI issue: "blacked neck swan"
The 1938-49 King George VI pictorials , of which 12 of them are in the 'affordable" category, can come in different shades. Be aware that SG especially parses the shades very finely. Knowledge is power. :-)

1946 & 1948 Falkland Islands Dependencies
The 1946 map  is "coarse", while the 1948 issue is "fine"
The Map stamps of the Falkland Islands Dependencies are quite interesting. The 1946 issue has a map that is drawn in a thicker and more coarse way. Note that the 0 degrees Longitude line goes right through the "S" of "Coats". The 1948 issue is drawn finer, and the 0 degrees longitude line is not drawn through the "S". Scott makes a note of the two issues, but does not give them separate numbers, while SG does give them their own numbers. Deep Blue also separates out the two issues. Also, there are at least six engraving errors for these stamps, which SG illustrates.

As you no doubt have realized, I am including the 1940-52 year British Commonwealth stamps for discussion as it makes a lot of sense, and Deep Blue includes these pages in their classical era PDF files.

Deep Blue
Deep Blue actually provides more spaces than the Scott major numbers; specifically, as mentioned above, for both the 1946 & 1948 Falkland Islands Dependencies Map stamp issues. I'm grateful. :-) Naturally, Deep Blue provides separate spaces for the King George V 1912-14 & 1921-29 issues based on different watermarks. I'm so used to BB, that it seems a luxury. ;-)

There is one possible mixup in Deep Blue. On the first page there is a space for a 1p "Watermarked Crown and CA sideways 1891". I believe this was one of the stamps that was officially bisected in 1891 to 1/2p and used as such. The bisect was from a 1p 1886 issue or a 1891 issue - so Deep Blue does provide two spaces for these bisect issues.  The bisects themselves are rather expensive ($300), so I will not talk about them anymore. But what stamp -1p "Watermarked Crown and CA sideways 1891" should go in the space mentioned? I can't find any that meet the criteria. The 1886 stamp (Scott 7) is watermarked sideways, but is a 1886 stamp, not a 1891 stamp. And Deep Blue already provides a space for this stamp. Then there is a Scott 5a stamp -1p claret-that was bisected, but does not have a sideways watermark. There is also a 5c 1p red brown ('91), that was not bisected (according to Scott), but also does not have a sideways watermark. But hold on! SG lists a '91 red-brown (SG 11), as a bisect! But this stamp's watermark is upright. So I can find a stamp that is watermarked sideways, but not a 1991 issue. And I can find a stamp ( or two?) that is a 1991 issue, but not watermarked sideways. I actually think Scott 5a ($190+) - as it is not offered a space before-should go there. But it is not watermarked sideways. Very confusing. Of course, this discussion is moot if we are concentrating on affordable WW stamps. ;-)

Found in Big Blue: 1933 Scott 65 1/2p green & black "Romney Marsh Ram"
This lovely 13 stamp issue unfortunately has only two that are inexpensive
Big Blue
Big Blue, on 2 pages, has 37 stamp spaces for the years 1878-1938. There are four Victorian era stamp spaces ( 1/2p, 1p,2p, and blank ( probably 1 1/2p)) for $2+-$10+. The 1904-07 Edward VII has three spaces . The 2p dull violet is $20 mint. Then, the 1912-23 King George V has five spaces. As is usual for BB, the wmk 3 & wmk 4 issues are combined.  The 2p brown violet & 2 1/2p deep ultra are almost $10. The 1929 King George issue has six spaces, the most expensive being the 1s black on green for $25 mint.
The 1933 pictorial issue has four spaces, the 1 1/2p costing almost $20. Of course, the 1935 Silver jubilee, the 1937 Coronation, and the 1938 George VI issues through 1sh (8 stamps) are included. Actually, Big Blue has good coverage of the Falkland Islands classic issues. Can't find fault. ;-) Naturally, no issues past 1940, including the Falkland islands Dependencies are included.

Simple Checklist

1878-96 (Actually 1878-1902)
9 or 10,12,13,(15),


1912-23 (actually 1924)
30 or 41,31 or 42,32 or 43,33, 45





84,85 or 85B,86 or 86A,

A) I will be fairly strict according to Big Blue’s date and color criteria for a space, but reasonably pragmatic at times too. ;-) Since this is a “simple” checklist, not an annotated one, there will often be no explanation for the choice. Rest assured the same care that was taken for the annodated list is also strived for with the simple list.

B) If there are several stamps to choose from for a space, I will not comment on any price if there is a choice for <$10. If all the choices are >$10, then I will indicate the price for the least expensive

C) More expensive stamps include (Threshold >$10):
1904-15 Scott 24 2p dull violet $20 mint
1929 Scott 60 1sh Black/green $25 mint
1933 Scott 67 1/2p light blue & black $19 mint

D) (  ) around a number signifies a blank space suggested choice

E) Big Blue does not cover the Falkland Island Dependencies, so no checklist included.

1904-07 Scott 23 1p red "King Edward VII"
Found with wmk 3 sideways or upright (23a)
Out of the Blue
Really, quite interesting issues, although the color varieties of the Victorians are challenging indeed. The 1933 Falkland islands Pictorials probably rank as one of the all time great British colonial stamp issues. Unfortunately, besides the first two ( the 1/2p & 1p), the next six are generally in the $20-$50 category, and then goes up from there. :-(

Note: Maps appear to be in the public domain

Would like to hear From you!

Falkland Islands

Grytviken museum, South Georgia Island


  1. Typo alert -- George VI pictorials 1838-49.

    Welcome to Steinerhaven and bluewater sailing at its best!

    The way you've chosen to integrate Big and Deep in this entry is noteworthy. The BBers saddened by your "departure" have good reason now to be reassured that you are not leaving them in the lurch. The whole orbis terrarum philaticarum (philatelic universe for those in Rio Linda) is in your debt.


  2. Thanks Dennis-Typo fixed.

    I was momentarily confused by the "Steinerhaven and bluewater sailing" metaphor, but deconstructed to Bill Steiner's Deep Blue as a "save haven" for sailing on the seas of classic world wide collecting....with the Falkland Islands, not an easy part of the (philatelic) ocean to sail; and "bluewater",a well known sailing magazine. Whew!

    Thanks for the interesting comment! ;-)

  3. Bluewater, presumably where the magazine takes its name (I'm not familiar with it), refers to sailing outside harbor and coastal waters. Back in the day, "bluewater" sailors were those on the big, square-rigged ships (or fore-and-aft rigs but outside the coastal trade). At least, that's my landlubber's illinformed understanding of it. Others can correct me, perhaps.


    Your "deep blue" is thus essentially a synonym for bluewater sailing.

  4. A great "first" post. While I've always liked the 1938 Falkland Penguin stamp, it was the detail in your image of the 1/2p Queen Victoria that blew me away. It is easy to see why people are always going on about these beautifully engraved issues. There are 4 spaces in the Blue for the Queens but unfortunately the 1938 series stops with the 1 shilling. I will be happy to sneak one into my album, though, at the earliest opportunity.

  5. Thanks Bob. It felt kind of funny not doing the checklist. ;-)

    The "Queens" are gorgeous. Probably the only issue I put on the same level are the large and small Queens of Canada.