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 by the blog author, Jim Jackson, with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. In addition, "Bud" offers commentary and a look at his completely filled Big Blue. Interested? So into the Blues...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Cayman Islands

1938 Scott 102 1p carmine "Map of the Cayman Islands"
Quick History
Cayman Islands, comprising Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman, are in the Caribbean about 200 miles northwest of Jamaica. The Capital is Georgetown on Grand Cayman Island, and the population was 6,600 in 1943. Christopher Columbus in 1503 named the islands Las Tortugas for the sea turtles there. Sir Francis Drake in 1586 named them after caiman, the local term for alligator. British control of the Caymans occurred in 1670.The Caymans, along with Jamaica, were governed as a single colony until 1962, when Jamaica became independent within the Commonwealth, and the Cayman Islands became a Crown Colony. They still remain an overseas territory of the United Kingdom.

The Caymans have been historically tax-exempt. King George lll in 1794 promised never to introduce taxes after the citizens rescued 10 ship crews off the reefs that year. The Caymans presently have 279 banks, and they comprise the fifth largest banking center in the world.

1913 Scott 32 1/4p brown King George V
Big Blue Picture
Big Blue '97, on two pages, has space for 51 stamps. The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has 109 major stamp descriptions from 1900-1938. Coverage by Big Blue is 48%.

One curiosity in Big Blue's coverage is the inclusion of the 1938 issue Scott 104 2p deep violet (<$1), and the Scott 107 6p dark olive green ($2+) stamps. Big Blue has an illustration cut for the 2p, and a description for the 6p. According to the 2011 Scott Classic catalogue, these stamps were NOT issued until 1943! But they show up in my '41 edition! What? :-) Could they have been "announced", along with their designs, so they were included in the '41 edition? Perhaps WWII had something to do with this? Sure, it is possible that they were in fact available in '38, but the normally obsessively detailed Scott Classic Specialized catalogue does not indicate this. Can any Readers shed light on this mystery?

For those that might be interested in adding to BB's selection...
1907-09 Edward Vll

1912-14 George V

1921-22 George V

1932 King William lV, King George V

War Tax



Scott 104 2p deep violet "Hawksbill Turtles": Illustration in '41 BB edition, but not issued until '43!
Big Blue Checklist
1900 Victoria
Scott 1 1/2p pale green ($5+)
Scott 2 1p carmine rose($2+)

1902-09 Edward Vll
1/2p green: 3($5+) or 8($5+)
1p carmine rose: 4($10+) or 9($10+)
2 1/2p ultramarine: 5($10+) or 10($2+)
Note: Scott 3-5 is wmk 2; Scott 8-10 is wmk 3

1/4p brown: 31($1+)

1907-09 Edward Vll

1912-14 George V
32,33,34,35, (<$1-$2+)

1921-22 George V
50,51,52($1+), 53,54($2+),55,(<$1 except noted)
Two blank spaces: suggest 56($1+) and 57($2+)

1932 King William lV, King George V
Blank space: suggest 72($2+)

1935 George V and local scene pictorials

1935 Silver Jubilee

1937 Coronation

1938 George Vl and local scene pictorials
Scott 109 2sh green($10+)

1935 Scott 86 1/2p yellow green and ultramarine "Catboat"
Kinds of Blue
The '97 and '69 editions are identical for content.

The '47 and '41 editions have four war tax stamps (MR4,MR5,MR6,MR7($1+), (<$1 except noted).
These war tax stamps are NOT in the '69 and '97 editions.

The '41 edition does NOT have two 1938 issue stamps: Scott 108 1s red brown($1+), and the Scott 109 2s green($10+).
These stamps are in the '47, '69 and'97 editions.

Big Blue Bottom Line
Considering the wealth of the Cayman Islands, the issues in Big Blue are reasonable in cost. The most expensive stamp is the 1938 Scott 109 2s green ($10+). I did find, in addition, 17 stamps- including the 'dropped" war tax stamps- that could be added for <$1-$2+.


  1. I think Columbus named them the toRtugas...

  2. Of course. ;-) Thanks for the eagle eyed pickup.

  3. Hello Jim,

    To respond to your question: I looked in another 'obsessively detailed' catalogue as the German Michel is and found out that there were already issues of the 2 and 6p in 1938 (issue date May 5), perforated Comb 13:12. On July 16, 1943 there was another issue of part of the series (including 2&6) perorated Line 14.

    Kind regards from Amsterdam

  4. Hello Arend

    Well, that makes sense. I re-reviewed the listing in the Scott Classic 1840-1940 catalogue, and they do have minor numbers for the 2p and 6p (with perfs as you indicate). These were clearly the stamps issued in 1938 (although Scott does not give the issue date), and then included in BB. Subsequently, the Scott major number was derived from the '43 issue which has a different perf.

    By the way, Arend, I was in your fair city in March of this year (2016), as we spent a month in the Netherlands visiting our daughter who is residing in Den Haag.

    We attended a concert, and did a fine backstage tour of the Royal Concertgebouw, as well as visiting the Van Gogh museum.