Purple on "Yellow"  

Watermark (reverse)
Multiple Crown CA


Purple on "Orange-Buff"

1924 Watermark Multiple Script CA


The two higher values of the issue were made available on February 27, 1913, and the two lower values were released on April 1 of the same year. The d paid the postcard rate, the 1d the letter rate, and the 3d the registration rate. The 11d paid the minimum rate to Australia for a 1-lb parcel plus an additional 3d charge levied by the Commonwealth Postal Administration. The three lower values were used up and replaced by subsequent printings. The 11d remained on sale until 1929 when the remaining stocks were burned. (Gisburn)

Some controversy exists over the shades of the 3d value. Gisburn, citing research originally done by Sir Reginald Croom-Johnson, states that no second printing of this value was done. Therefore, any shade difference must have occurred in a single printing or be due to subsequent climatic or chemical action. Gisburn clearly believes in the climatic action explanation. He further quotes work by The Pacific Islands Study Circle that reports "that panes of the 3d stamp have been examined, in which the ungummed sheet margins exhibit the yellow shade of the paper, whereas the gummed stamps have the buff shade." As further evidence, it is observed that sheets of stamps sent to the Protectorate were separated by wax paper interleaves.

All of the stamps in this issue came from keyplate number 1. Plate numbers appear at the top and bottom of the sheets, above stamp 2 and below stamp 56 on the left-hand pane, and above stamp 5 and below stamp 59 on the right-hand pane. (Gisburn)

½d & 1d images from Charlie Miller's original Tulagi site

3d & 11d images thanks to "Aore" collection


Die proofs of this issue are known for the center dated "13. Sep. 12--Before hardening", and for the duty plates for each value dated "17. Oct. 12". (Gisburn) Specimens were printed using the the Samuel D12 setting which existed as a type-set, 60-impression forme.


The printing history for the issue is as follows: (Gisburn)

Delivery Date from Printer



September 1912





December 1912