BARBUDA 1985 85TH BIRTHDAY OF QUEEN ELIZABETH THE QUEEN MOTHER STAMP ERRORS AND VARIETIES
Information and Reference of What was Found in the Format Archive and Elsewhere
Varieties, Proofs, Errors
The 85th Birthday of the Queen Mother 1st Issue
The 85th Birthday of the Queen Mother 1st Issue Overprinted "4TH AUG 1900-1985"
Information on this series is changing as more information is being discovered. This page and associated pages
will be updated as more information is made available.
The 1985 85th Birthday of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother stamps issued for Barbuda are a beautiful set and very colorful.
It is too bad that some hanky panky went on with one of the so called "errors" which I am about to expose. Sorry to say but it will devalue
the "error" forever. The stamp in question is even being sold by Stanley Gibbons at way overinflated pricing. Catalog valuation will have
to be changed and/or possibly according to Stanley Gibbons rules deleted and only noted henceforth.
Before I expose this stamp for what it is I will present the varieties for the first issue and then delve into the mysteries of the Overprinted
There is no information on the actual quantities produced of varieties and such but we can pretty much assert that the practices
of production for other series including the Leaders of the World Automobiles and Locomotives and the Royal Wedding series should
coincide with this series as well. Due to the standard principles involved with production of stamps depicting royalty the practices
would be the same for this series.
This basis can be followed by visiting my other research sections for the above mentioned series.
On this page I will try to break down what was produced, estimated quantities and valuation of the material.
I will use 2 sections to do this. The first section being the first issue and the second section the overprinted issue.
Let's get started!
THE PERFORATED SINGLE STAMP VARIETIES
I will base the quantities produced on the standards used for other series mainly being the Leaders of the World Automobiles and Locomotives Series which obviously
were of the same style as this series. Over and over again in the documentation recovered from the trials and directly from the printer the quantities
produced for varieties is generally always the same.
For Barbuda several varieties were retained which were not listed in the Urch Harris catalog imaged below.
This is an image of the advertisement made in the Urch Harris Commonwealth Stamp Catalog made back in 1987-88 for the 1985 Barbuda 85th
Birthday Stamps and varieties.
More varieties have been found since this ad but it gives you an idea of what was available and pricing at the time.
I note only one "variety" was listed at the time and this appears not to be the case. Please read on.
For the normal issue being a popular topic and highly collected the quantities produced for the normal issue was around 100,000-150,000 stamps depending on face value.
I base this on quantities produced for the Falkland Islands of which court exhibited documents show.
Pricing should run at the stated catalog values.
Although I have not seen any uncut press sheets of this issue, it was documented by Mr. Kasamir Bileski that one uncut press sheet of this
issue was found in the printers archive. He apparently broke the sheet into 31 units. According to the description of the sheet all seven
values were on one sheet thus making 3 unique cross center gutter blocks and so on. I do not know if the uniqueness is accurate as many issues
that were documented by Mr. Bileski have changed status since his passing.
NORMAL PERFORATED "SPECIMEN" OVERPRINTED STAMPS
Documentation and evidence show that:
Based on practices of the printer for other series 2,000 sets of specimen overprinted stamps were produced.
Oddly I find only single stamps from the set or partial sets offered presently from sellers on internet auction sites.
Rushstamps lists the complete set at a decent price. 1600 sets in 80 uncut press sheets was sold in the final sale of the archive in 1995.
Pricing should run between $7-10.00 a complete set.
At present nothing is available on the market.
THE IMPERFORATE VARIETY
Standard print orders and practices were for 5,000 imperforate sets. Another 3,000 would be produced for the progressive color proofs.
As you can see the Urch Harris ad does not show anything for imperforates of the single stamp issues.
The above imaged is from a sales ad by a big seller of Format Material. Due to the various ads I know that the imperforates have been retained.
Rushstamps also lists all values as available on presentation cards at a very steep price.
Several thousand sets were sold in the final sale of the archive in 1995.
Pricing should run at $10-15.00 a set.
Nothing available in the form of sheets.
PROGRESSIVE COLOR PROOFS
At present I can find nothing available anywhere although a quantity was sold in the final sale of the archive.
THE 1ST ISSUE OVERPRINTED "4TH AUG 1900-1985"
The overprint was to commemorate the Queen's birthday and the overprinted set was issued on August 2 right before her birthday.
It was believed to be overprinted on existing stock in which in most cases I theorize it was. Except for one value. The 45c value.
At the time the 15c and 45c values were used and purchased much more than the higher values of the issue. Because of this a reprint run was done.
This is where Stanley Gibbons is off on their notation stating that the 45c value exists with yellow color omitted. The reprinted 45c value simply
has a much lighter red color (almost pink) in comparison to the originals. Imaged below is proof of this fact.
The 45c (Scott 725, SG 810) Reprint Comparison of the Panes
The 45c (Scott 725, SG 810) Closeup Reprint Comparison
As you can see the yellow color is there as the color guide shows. Look at it this way...yellow and blue make green. The leaves would not be green
on the reprint if the yellow was omitted. It is simply a lighter usage of the red and blue. Extreme difference yes. Missing yellow error....no.
As far as varieties go for the overprinted issue there are none as far as specimen overprints or imperforates.
There is the variety of the overprint on blank stamps though. Quite simply, there were 7 values placed on the uncut press sheet.
There was space for 8 values. Since there were only 7 values for the issue one pane was left blank. The overprint was simply placed
on all 8 pane positions and thus you have the blank stamps with the overprint. Here is an example.
Blank Stamps with "4TH AUG 1900-1985" Overprint
This example was taken from one of the uncut press sheets as the large selvage shows. Many examples are from panes which were saved. I beg to differ
on the rarity of such. I believe most of the panes were saved. They are not proofs, simply residuals. The above imaged corner block is a rarity because
of being from the uncut sheet. possibly unique as most of (if not all but one) of the uncut press sheets were cut into panes.
And now for the final piece.
THE 15c (Scott 724, SG 809a) 1ST ISSUE OVERPRINTED "4TH AUG 1900-1985" MISSING RED COLOR ERROR
First off I would like to say, I am sorry for being the bearer of bad news. We must look at these things though as finally getting to the truth
on many varieties produced by the Format Printers. This "error" is a made for collector error. It was made strictly for sale to collectors. Sadly
it was and I must say deceitfully promoted for resale to collectors.
How do I know this you say? Because I have the full documentation from the trial exhibit of the prosecuting attorney.
5,000 copies of this "error" were made. Strictly made in a reprint run and having all the other values destroyed.
Below I image several documents proving this beyond a doubt.
As you can see this is pretty much all the proof you need. I have about 15 more documents pertaining to just this stamp but let's not load up this
page with them.
As I look out in the vast internet market I see many sellers asking anywhere from $35.00 to $100.00 for one of these! Stanley Gibbons is asking
£32.00 for it on their own site! I do see one seller out there asking $8.00 for it.
Sorry to say to all sellers and buyers of this "error" but it is not rare and I am afraid that if you paid a large sum for it...you were duped.
Pricing for this "error" should run at $3-5.00 for an example and NO MORE.
It is an interesting novelty.
This basically sums up the stamp varieties for the Barbuda 1985 85th Birthday of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother issues.
As new information and evidence is found it will be added to this page.