Tuvalu Overprints: 1976
 

Tuvalu's first definitive stamps were released on January 1, 1976, and consisted of the last Gilbert and Ellice Islands definitive set, first issued in 1971, overprinted with Tuvalu and a rectangular bar obliterating the name of the former colony. All 15 denominations of the original set were overprinted. However, there were up to three different printings of some of the GEIC stamps, but NOT all of these were used for Tuvalu overprints. It must be pointed out that the same stamps were also used for overprinting by the Gilbert Islands Colony.

Also...

bulletSheet Layouts
bulletCylinder Numbers ...new
bulletVarieties of the Tuvalu Overprint Definitives

Images:
bullet1c / 2c / 3c / 4c / 5c / 6c / 8c / 10c / 15c / 20c / 25c / 35c / 50c / $1 / $2
bullet2c Rare Block Watermark sideways, corner single.
bulletFirst Day Cover

These Gilbert and Ellice printings can be defined as follows:
The values in red were used for Tuvalu overprints.

bullet 1st printing: Block CA watermark. Issued 1971-5-31
Yellowish tinted gum
(upright on vertical stamps, sideways on horizontal stamps)
1c, 2c, 3c, 4c, 5c, 6c, 8c, 10c, 15c, 20c, 25c, 35c, 50c,
$1
and $2 (All 15 values in first printing)
 
bullet 2nd Printing: Block CA watermark. Issued 1972-73
Greenish tinted gum
(upright on horizontal stamps, sideways on vertical stamp)
2c, 5c, 6c, 15c, and 20c (5 values only in 2nd printing)

bullet 3rd Printing: Spiral CA watermark. Issued 1976-01-01
Light greenish tinted gum
(sideways on horizontal stamps, inverted on vertical stamps)
1c, 2c, 3c, 4c, 5c, 6c, 8c, 10c, 15c, 20c, 25c, 35c, 50c,
$1 and $2
(All 15 values in 3rd printing)
 

The Third Printing was never placed on sale in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony. In order to produce the overprints for the two new separate colonies, sheets of stamps consisting of the First and Second printings, were withdrawn from post offices throughout the islands. It appears that there was not sufficient stock, or perhaps wastage during the overprinting process, and this led to the third printing. Consequently, this printing on the CA spiral watermarked paper only exists with overprints for either Tuvalu or the Gilbert Islands.

The following table lists the known usages of all printings.
 

Value 1st Printing
(CA Block)
2nd Printing
(CA Block)
3rd Printing
 (CA Spiral)
G&EIC Tuvalu Gilberts G&EIC Tuvalu Gilberts G&EIC Tuvalu Gilberts
1c V          
2c H    
3c H        
4c H            
5c H        
6c V          
8c V            
10c V            
15c V          
20c H      
25c H        
35c H            
50c V        
$1 V          
$2 V              
Totals: 15 8 7 5 2 2 0 12 12
 
Technical Details
Date of Issue: 1976-01-01
Designer: Gordon Drummond
Printer: Walsall Security Printers
Perforation: 14 x 14
Process: Four Colour Lithography
Paper: CA Block or CA Spiral Watermark
Format: Sheets of 50
Size: 42.48mm x 28.45mm
***
Specimen overprints exist for all values, but not all watermark types
BRC# Value Description Scott S.G. Qty Spec
1976.D01.01 1c Cutting toddy (V)
Wmk CA Spiral inverted
1 14 80,429
1976.D01.02 2c Lagoon fishing (H)
Wmk CA Spiral sideways
2 20 64,613  
  v1) Wmk CA Spiral sideways inverted (*) - - -  
  a) Wmk CA Block sideways 2a 10 --  
  b) Wmk CA Block upright 2b 4 --
1976.D01.03 3c Cleaning pandanus leaves (H)
Wmk CA Spiral sideways
3a 21 68,773  
  a) Wmk CA Block sideways 3 11 --
1976.D01.04 4c Casting Nets (H)
Wmk CA Spiral sideways
4 22 56,163
1976.D01.05 5c Gilbertese canoe (H)
Wmk CA Block upright
5 12 66,024  
  a) Wmk CA Block sideways - 5 --
  v1) Wmk CA Block sideways inverted (*) - - --  
1976.D01.06 6c De-husking coconuts (V)
Wmk CA Spiral inverted
6 15 52,994
1976.D01.07 8c Weaving pandanus fronds (V)
Wmk CA Block upright
7 6 52,651
1976.D01.08 10c Weaving a basket  (V)
Wmk CA Block upright
8 7 53,920
  v1) Wmk CA Block inverted (*) - - --  
1976.D01.09 15c Tiger shark (V)
Wmk CA Spiral inverted
9 16 57,091
1976.D01.10 20c Beating rolled pandanus leaves (H)
Wmk CA Spiral sideways
10 23 53,920
1976.D01.11 25c Loading Copra  (H)
Wmk CA Spiral sideways
11a 24 57,551
  a) Wmk CA Block sideways 11 13 --  
1976.D01.12 35c Fishing at night (H)
Wmk CA Spiral sideways
12 25 51,882
  v1) Wmk CA Spiral sideways inverted (*) - - -  
1976.D01.13 50c Local handicrafts (V)
Wmk CA Spiral inverted
13 17 55,447
  a) Wmk CA Block upright 13a 8 --  
1976.D01.14 $1 Weaving coconut screen (V)
Wmk CA Spiral inverted
14 18 54,273
  a) Wmk CA Block upright 14a 9 --  
1976.D01.15 $2 Coat of arms (V)
Wmk CA Spiral inverted
15 19 57,091

Notes:
  • (*) The 5c value v1 with the sideways inverted CA block watermark is an error from the first G&EIC printing (normally sideways).
  • (*) The 10c value v1 with the inverted CA block watermark is an error from the first G&EIC printing (normally upright).
  • (*) The 2c and 35c values v1 with the sideways inverted CA Spiral watermark are errors from the 3rd G&EIC printing (normally sideways).
  • The 35c value was overprinted in silver, all other values in blue.
  • The 2c watermark CA Block upright is very rare. It is known overprinted Specimen, and is more common this way than without the overprint.
  • The quantities shown are the amounts sold to collectors and used by the Post Office and Philatelic Bureau. Separate totals for individual watermark varieties are unknown.
  • The last column, Spec, refers to SPECIMEN overprints, which were applied in gold ink. Those with a check mark indicate that I have seen them or I have them in my collection. Information from other collectors is requested.


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1976 Overprints Sheet Layouts Cylinder No's Varieties
Stamps

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