Type variations of Australian Stamps - Pre decimal issues


Most variations that occur in Australian stamps are the result of minor differences in the printing plates resulting in an easily overlooked difference between 2 seemingly identical stamps. This list is not an attempt to list all possible variations but merely a guide to the more common differences not listed in basic catalogues. I hope you find this information helpful.

White Hills

1934 - Centenary of Death of John Macarthur

The first printing is known as "White Hills" the die was corrected for the second printing to give better definition and is known as "Dark Hills" as can be seen in the background hill

Dark Hills

1936 - Opening of Tasmanian Telephone Cable

Type A has a tiny line joining the frames adjacent the lower serif of the letter "d" - where I have placed the yellow arrow

Type A

Type B

1957 - Centenary of Responsible Government in South Australia

Type A the scroll just bisects the hyphen between the dates whereas it extends through it on Type B

Type A

Type B

1959 - 64 - Definitive, 4d QE2

Type A has a break in the outer shading line of the numeral 4 as indicated by the arrow, Type B has no break at this point

Type A

Type B

1959 - 64 - Definitive, 5d QE2

Type A has 4 lines of shading inside the loop of the numeral 5, Type B has 5 lines of shading.

Type A

Type B

1959 - 64 - Definitive, 8d Tiger Cat

No reference to this variety appears in catalogues that I have but there is definitely 2 types that seem to occur in similar numbers (2 master plates were used), easily distinguished by a small white spot in line with the lower part of the eye on the right face outline


No spot on nose

Spot on nose

1960 - Centenary of Northern Territory Exploration

The easiest way to tell the types apart is by the "spur" on the horses mane on type 2 , there are other differences to the reins, forelock & ears.

Type 1

Type 2