Commonwealth Coronation Stamps (1953)

On June-02, 2018, Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain celebrated her Sapphire Jubilee, commemorating 65 years on the throne. She is by now the longest-reigning monarch, outdoing her great-great-grandmother Victoria by some 3 years. So if you learned in history classes that Victoria had the longest reign in the history of the UK, it’s high time you updated your knowledge.

June-02, 1953, also known as Coronation Day, meant also the issue of the Coronation Stamps. Basically all Commonwealth territories issued stamps on the occasion. They can be said to belong to three main categories.

The Common Design

Dorothy Wilding’s iconic portrait of the monarch decorated the stamps issued in no less than 62 territories. The image used became synonymous with the reign of Elizabeth II.


Pictured above: Barbados, Ascension Isl., British Honduras, Bechuanaland Protectorate, Bahamas and Cayman Isl.


Pictured above: Bermuda, Basutoland, British Guyana, British Solomon Isl., Falkland Isl., and Falkland Isl. Dependencies.


Pictured above: Malayan states: Singapore, Trenagganu, Malacca, Perak, Negri Sembilan, and Pahang.


Pictured above: Malayan states: Penang, Perlis, Selangor, Kedah, Johore, and Kelantan.


Pictured above: Aden, Aden Qu’aiti State, Aden Kathiri State, Antigua, Gibraltar, and Malta.


Pictured above: Virgin Isl., Tristan da Cunha, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks & Caicos Isl., Swaziland, and Somaliland Protectorate.


Pictured above: Sarawak, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Nyasaland, and St. Vincent.


Pictured above: Northern Rhodesia, North Bornea, St. Christopher Nevis Anguilla, Pitcairn Isl., St. Helena, and St. Lucia.


Pictured above: Leeward Isl., Montserrat, Mauritius, New Hebrides Condominium, Kenya. Uganda and Tanganyika, and Jamaica.


Pictured above: Grenada, Hong Kong, Gambia, Gold Coast, Fiji, and Gilbert & Ellice Isl.


Pictured above: Cyprus, and Dominica.

The Individual Design

11 territories opted for their own design, with some common features, e.g. the stamp representing Westminster Abbey, where the Coronation ceremony took place. In case you did not know, this was the first British coronation to be fully televised!


Pictured above: Ceylon, Cook Isl., Western Samoa, and Niue.


Pictured above: New Zealand.


Pictured above: Canada, and South West Africa.


Pictured above: South Africa, Southern Rhodesia, and Tokelau Isl.


Pictured above: Australia.

The UK Design


Pictured above: the UK design, followed by an aerogram(me) design of featuring the printed 6d stamp. 002_Kuwait_Coronation_Stamps_1953003_Bahrain_Coronation_Stamps_1953

Pictured above: the Kuwait and Bahrain overprints of the UK design.

Stamps featured in post: 108; Period: modern (1953); Pricing: moderate*; Availability: readily available*.

* Though the pricing is moderate and the stamps are readily available, amassing a whole Coronation collection 65 years after the date of issue may prove tiresome. Omnibus collections, featuring all the 108 items of the collection can be sometimes be bought at prices varying between 250€-350€ in mint condition.

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