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 with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. Interested? So into the Blues...

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Quick History
Bermuda, a British Crown colony, is a group of about 20 inhabited islands in the semitropical north Atlantic 600 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The Capital is Hamilton, and the population was 30,000 in 1943.
Bermuda was discovered by a Spaniard, Juan De Bermudez, in 1505. Bermuda, the Island, known as the Isle of Devils for the surrounding reefs, was unoccupied, and hence settled by England in 1609. The town of St. George, founded in 1612, is the oldest continually inhabited "English" town in the Americas. Bermuda today remains  the oldest British overseas territory.

The stamps of Great Britain can be found handstamped from 1845, with Bermuda issues beginning in 1865.

Trivia:  Shakespeare's play,The Tempest was thought to have been inspired by an account of the 1609 shipwreck of the Sea Venture, flagship of a the flotilla originally set to recolonize Jamestown, but instead founding a new colony.

Big Blue Picture

Big Blue (1997) on two pages has 60 stamp spaces. The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has 129 major stamp descriptions. Big Blue has 47% coverage. 

The stamps of Bermuda are rather expensive, but I did find 18 stamps,16 of them far under $10, that could be considered for the Big Blue collector.

Additional choices...
Pick up the "inexpensive" non chosen from the checklist, and/or
Scott 8 6p violet($20+) ('03)
Scott 21 2p brown purple ($1+) ('98) 
Scott 25 1sh olive bister($20+)
75 2 1/2p ultramarine ($2+)
76 3p violet on orange ($5+)
MR1 war stamp (<$1)
MR2 war stamp ($1+)

Big Blue checklist

(All seven stamp spaces are illustrated)
1/2p Scott16 brown ($5+) or 18 deep gray-green ($1+)
1p  Scott 1 rose red($1+) or 19 aniline carmine(<$1)
2p Scott 2 blue($20+) or 20 blue($5+)
2 1/2p Scott 22 ultramarine (<$1)
3p Scott 3 buff($70+) or 7 buff($70+) or 23 gray($5+)
4p Scott 17 orange($2+) 
6p Scott 5 lilac($10+) or 4 brown lilac($80+)

1901 surcharge

1902-10 "Dry Dock"
31,32,33,34,35 (<$1-$2+)
Blank space: suggest 36 or 37($5+)

1/2p brown 40 or 81 ($2+)
1/2 p (illustrated) 41 yellow green or 82 green (<$1-$2+)
1p carmine 83(<$1) Note: 42 1p red(<$1) ruled out by color specification
2p gray 43($2+) or 85($1+)
2 1/2p apple green 86($1+)
2 2/1p ultramarine 44(<$1)
3p ultramarine 88($20+) 
3p violet on yellow 45 or 89 ($2+-$1+)
4p red on yellow 46 or 90 ($2+-<$1)
6p claret 47($7) or 91($1+)
1sh black on emerald 92 ($1+)
Note: two series
1910-24 Scott 40-48
1922-34 Scott 81-93 wmk 4

1920 "Seal of the Colony and King George V"
Blank space: suggest 68 ($10+)

1940 (Stamp of 1938 surcharged)

1921 King George V

1935 Silver Jubilee

105,106,107,111 (<$1-$1+)
108,109A,110,112,113, (<$1-$2+)

1937 Coronation

1p 118 (<$1)
1 1/2p 119 ($1+)
2p 109 "black and turquoise blue"* ($10+)
2 1/2p 120 or 120A('41) ($1+)
3p 121($2+) or 121A(<$1)('41)
1sh 122(<$1)
*Note" 109 In BB "black and turquoise blue" is "brown black & turquoise blue" in Scott

1918 Scott MR1 1p rose red War Tax stamp: only in 1947 and 1941 editions.
Kinds of Blue
The 1969 and 1997 editions are identical.
The 1947 (and 1941) editions have a 1918 War Tax stamp Scott MR1(<$1) that is NOT in the 1969 (and1997) editions.

Big Blue Bottom Line
The British Colonies stamps, as demonstrated by Bermuda, are classic and cleanly designed. No wonder the British Colonies are so popular with collectors.

Note: You will need to consult a Scott catalogue for specific pricing. I only give a very "ball park" price, and never the actual catalogue value.
<$1= less than a Dollar
$1+= more than a Dollar
$2+= more than two Dollars
$5+= more than five Dollars
$10+= more than ten Dollars
$20+..and so on.


  1. Jim,

    BigBlue has seven spaces for the 1865-1893 stamps. Can you have a quick look and tell me how many corresponding spaces there are in the Minkus Supreme Global?


  2. Chris-

    Nine spaces- all illustrated.(actually up to 1901)
    1901 Scott 26 1f on 1sh gray surcharge
    Half penny- (Scott 16 or 18)
    One penny -( Scott1 or 19)
    Two Pence- (Scott 2 or 20)
    Two Pence Half Penny -( Scott 22)
    Three Pence- (Scott 3 or 7 or 23)
    Four Pence- (Scott 17 or 24)
    Six Pence- (Scott 4 or 5 or 8)
    One Shilling- (Scott 6 or 9 or 25)

  3. BB also has the 1901 Scott 26 surcharge stamp. So the only real difference is Minkus has the One Shilling Space (Scott 6 or 19 or 25)- one more space.

  4. Thanks Jim,
    So Minkus doesn't distinguish between the two different watermarks (crown and CC and crown and CA)?