Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Jamaica 1956 - Definitives

On 1 May 1956 Jamaica issued its first Queen Elizabeth II definitives. The set consisted of 15 stamps, all on paper watermarked multi-script CA. The series incorporated five different designs. The series was recess-printed by De La Rue.  

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The first design consisted of four stamps, all of which are perforated 13.

The ½d black and deep orange-red uses the theme coconut palms.


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The 1d black and emerald uses the theme of sugar cane.


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The 2d black and carmine-red was issued later than the first two on 2 August 1956. The theme of this stamp is pineapples.


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The 2½d black and deep bright blue was also released on 2 August 1956. The theme of this stamp is bananas.


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The second design format in this series consisted of four stamps, and all are perforated 13.

The 3d emerald and red-brown was issued 17 December 1956. 


The theme of this stamp is the flower of the Blue Mahoe tree, which is Jamaica's national tree. The Blue Mahoe is a beautiful and durable timber that is widely used for cabinet making and also for making decorative objects such as picture frames, bowls and wood carvings. The inner bark of the tree is often referred to as Cuba bark because it was formerly used for tying bundles of Havana cigars...


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The 4d bronze-green and blue was issued 17 December 1956. This stamp can be found with wmk inverted, so be on the lookout. Such stamps have a cv of £110 mint.


The theme of this stamp is breadfruit. Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) is a species of flowering tree in the mulberry family. It is found throughout Southeast Asia and most Pacific Ocean islands. Its name is derived from the texture of the cooked fruit, which has a potato-like flavor, similar to fresh-baked bread...

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The 5d scarlet and bronze-green was issued 17 December 1956. 



The theme of this stamp is the Ackee, which is the national fruit of Jamaica. Ackee and saltfish is the national dish.


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The 6d black and deep rose-red was issued 3 September 1956.


The theme of this stamp is the Doctor Bird. The Red-billed Streamertail (Trochilus polytmus) also known as the Doctor Bird, is indigenous to Jamaica, where it is the most abundant and widespread member of the hummingbird family.

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The third design format in this series consisted of four stamps. All of these four stamps are perforated 13½. All four stamps were released on 15 November 1956.

The first stamp in this the third design format is the 8d ultramarine and red-orange. 


The theme of this stamp is Blue Mountain Peak. Blue Mountain Peak is the highest mountain in Jamaica at 2,256 metres (7,402 ft), and it is the second highest peak in the Caribbean after Pico Duarte of the Dominican Republic.The Blue Mountains are considered by many to be a hiker's and camper's paradise.
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The 1/- yellow-green and blue. 


The theme of this stamp is The Royal Botanical Gardens, Hope. Hope Gardens in Kingston, Jamaica, was established in the late 1870s on 200 acres of land. Crops such as pineapple, cocoa, coffee, and tobacco were introduced to the island through the Gardens. 60 acres of garden was set aside to create a formal garden with the assistance of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England.

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The 1/6 ultramarine and reddish purple. 


The theme of this stamp is Rafting on the Rio Grande. Not to be confused with the Rio Grande that flows through Colorado USA, the Rio Grande is a large river in Jamaica, found in the parish of Portland. Rio Grande means 'Big River' in Spanish, and it was named as such by the Spanish who occupied Jamaica in the 15th and 16th centuries. The Rio Grande is a popular tourist spot. The river is especially popular for rafting.

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The 2/- blue and bronze-green exists with an alternate colour, grey-blue and bronze-green, which was issued on 24 April 1958. 


The theme of this stamp is Fort Charles.Fort Charles is one of the oldest forts in Port Royal in Kingston. It was built by the British after Jamaica was taken from the Spaniards. The Fort was initially named Fort Cromwell after a general at the time, but was later renamed Fort Charles.

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The final four stamps in this great series are perforated 11½. They constitute the high values for this set, and all incorporate the Jamaican Coats of Arms as the central motif. So let us delve a little into just what makes up the Coat of Arms of Jamaica...

The Archbishop of Canterbury, William Sandcroft, granted Jamaica its first Coat of Arms in 1661. Since then it has only been partially modified a couple of times, which included a revision in 1957. The Coat of Arms depicts a male and female Arawak, standing on either side of the shield which bears a red cross with five golden pineapples superimposed on it. The Crest is a Jamaican crocodile surmounting the Royal Helmet and Mantlings. The Latin motto, "Indus Uterque Serviet Uni", reads "Both Indies will serve one lord." In 1957 the motto was changed to read "Out of Many, One People". Click here to find out more information on the history of Jamaica.

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The 3 and 5 shilling stamps are in landscape format, and they include a side-on portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. The 3/- black and blue was issued on 12 August 1956.


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The 5/- black and carmine-red was issued 15 August 1956.


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The final two values of this set were printed in portrait format, and the Queen's head has been removed. Both of these stamps were released on 15 August 1956.

The 10/- black and blue-green.


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The £1 black and purple. This colour combination is, in my opinion, stunning!


Until next time...

Stay Engraver Crazy!

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