The Elusive Surcharges Of 1892 & 1893

April 26, 2023

A change in postal rates and the late delivery of certain values in the new definitive series printed in Australia necessitated the provisional surcharging of some of the ‘old’ stamps during 1892 & 1893.

Applied in Suva a ½d surcharge (on an ‘old’ 1d blue stamp) was issued on 1st March 1892 with the ‘new’ ½d arriving just 2 months later on 26 April, a “5d” surcharge (on an ‘old’ 4d stamp stock) issued on 25 July and further “FIVE PENCE” surcharges of two different types (on ‘old’ 6d stamp stocks) were issued on 11 November 1892 & on 4 January 1893 before stocks of the ‘new’ design 5d ultramarine stamps arrived on 14 February.

Obviously there were not huge amounts of mail eminating from the Fijian group and just small quantities of these provisional surcharges were required to fill this awkward gap between the changed postal rate and the arrival of stocks from the mainland so only 4984 examples of the ½d surcharges were issued, only 5000 of the “5d”, of the “FIVE PENCE” we see only 3970 examples of the narrow setting & 2970 of the wide setting making the catalogue values for SG numbers 72 to 75 rather underplayed to say the least!

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