Robert Murray Stamp Shop, Edinburgh
Established 1977
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Stamps for Dummies
Advice on . . .
U.K. King Edward 8th Stamps

king edward viii stamps
On 20 January 1936, on the death of his father, King George V, Prince Edward, Prince of Wales, came to the throne as King Edward the Eighth. The first stamps with his portrait (½d, 1½d, 2½d) were issued on 1 September, with the 1d value following on 14 September. King Edward 8 abdicated the throne on 10 December 1936. He later took up the title of Duke of Windsor.

Many members of the public believe that these stamps will be valuable, probably because he abdicated and that the stamps therefore were only on sale for a relatively short time. This unfortunately is not the case; the stamps are very common, and of only very low value.

In the same way that it took several months from the death of George V until the new monarch's stamps were available, it was also several months from the abdication until the availability of the first George VI stamps. In fact, Edward 8th stamps were still being dispensed from stamp machines until the very beginning of 1938. As the standard postage stamps of the period, they were sold in large numbers.
To make these even more common than other similar stamps, after the abdication many people made a point of keeping them, believing that they would become valuable. As it was five months from the date he abdicated until the George 6th stamps went on sale, there was ample opportunity for hoarding. So in fact probably a larger percentage of these stamps survived than of his father's or brother's stamps.

Values; a normal mint set can usually be bought for about 80p retail - less than that if they have been mounted with a stamp hinge, or are damaged in any way. A used set would cost maybe about 25p to £1.25 depending on quality. The 2
½d is a fair bit less common than the others. Simply, the ½d, 1d, and 1½d stamps are of negligible value.
First Day Covers; A set would normally come on two first day covers - one for the first three values, and another for the 1d, as they came out on different dates. An attractive matched pair of covers might have a market value of about £10. However, illustrated envelopes are considerably scarcer, and might get about £50 to £100. Some postmarks command a premium; for example Windsor, King Edward (Banff), Buckingham Gate, or Kingstanding, in each case worth several times the normal price.
Other Better Items; there are some varieties known on these (see a specialised catalogue), and clean complete booklets of these stamps are fairly scarce.
Myth; Popular folklore has it that the stamps have the crown in the corner because the king was never crowned. Not true. It was just a feature of the design - a design that is notable for its very simple format. When the stamps were designed it was expected that they would be on sale for many years, long after the intended coronation date.

Quantities Sold;
½d (1,752,128,324), 1d (702,908,324), 1½d (1,813,067,592), 2½d (31,834,800) - a total of almost 4,300 million !
Market Value; in this case is taken to mean a middle-of-the-road auction sale value.

Although the information and advice contained in this article is based on many years' experience as a professional philatelist and collector, no liability can be accepted for any loss or damage, however caused.
  Copyright Robert Murray, 2004.
Robert Murray Stamp Shop
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Scotland EH3 5PU
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