1862 Full Face Queen Victoria - Chalon - Perforated
Around 1862, the Dunedin postmaster started perforating the Chalon Head
stamps so that the stamps did not have to be individually cut from the
sheets with scissors. It was not until 1864 that New Zealand stamps were
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Several perforation methods were used -
including comb, rotary and line perforating machines. The nature of these
machines, the design of the stamps, and the technique of sometimes feeding
several sheets at once through the perforation machine meant that it is
quite rare to find a well centered copy of these stamps where the
perforations have not encroached into the design.
The twopence stamp
was still the most common and there are many varieties of this stamp
available showing the gradual wear of the printing plates and ink and paper
In 1862 the Otago Gold Rush resulted in paper shortages
which meant that extremely thin and unsuitable paper was used for the
printings that year. As a result, those stamps are thin, almost
transparent. The Gold Rush and the switch to compulsory prepaid postage
caused a dramatic increase in demand for postage stamps at this
A new fourpence stamp was introduced in 1865 to cover the
increased cost for faster postage to the United Kingdom via Marseilles.
This was initially rose coloured, but was quickly changed to yellow to
avoid confusion with the penny red.
From 1871 the colours of the
penny, twopence and sixpence stamps were rotated when it was discovered
that a chemical reaction with the blue twopence turned the stamp brown so
it could be passed off as a sixpence stamp. The penny stamp was now brown,
the twopence orange and the sixpence blue.
This page was last updated on 21 Oct 2019
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