This is one of the few values in the Admiral series, whose basic colour was not changed throughout the entire life of the issue. The only other stamp which were in use throughout the entire period from 1912 to 1928 was the 50c, which will be discussed in the next post. Unitrade does list several shades of this stamp and most of them have been assigned sub-numbers by Scott. However, I find the names of the colour groups to be misleading, given how different they are from the actual colours, as classified by the Stanley Gibbons Colour Key. The listed shades are:
- Olive green
- Dark olive green
- Sage green
- Grey green
- The basic #119 is the un-retouched dry printing. Period.
- This must mean that any wet printing not falling under the sage green or grey green groups is automatically classified as dark olive green, which is the second cheapest shade. So even though Unitrade places a vague 1912 date next to this shade group, the reality is that it covers the entire period from 1912-1922.
- The sage green is not dated, but my observation is that it generally covers the period from 1915 to about 1918.
- The grey-green is the first printing from January 23, 1912. So it must have the paper and gum characteristics of the 1912 printings. These are a clear, but yellowish shiny gum, and a paper that shows coarse or fine vertical mesh, as well as perforations that can appear a bit rough.
These two stamps are both dry printings without the re-touched frameline. They are listed in Unitrade as being olive-green. However, neither one is a pure olive green. As a matter of fact, both are greyish olive in Gibbons Colour Key, with the stamp on the left being paler than the one on the right.
The Sage Green Wet Printing Shades
The above stamps are all examples of stamps that I would classify as part of the sage green group. To me the distinguishing characteristics of this group are that the greens are either yellowish or greyish and lack the brown tones that belong to the deep olive green group. In fact the stamp on the left is greyish olive - exactly the same shade as on the dry printing stamp above, except that this is a wet printing. Some may classify this as dark olive green, but I have included it here because the shade is very different from the other olive shades that belong to the dark olive green shade group. From left to right we have:
- Grey olive
- Light yellow olive - similar to yellow olive, but with a hint of white added to the colour.
- Yellow olive
The Dark Olive Green Wet Printing Shades
These stamps are all examples of the common dark olive green shade group as listed in Unitrade. All of them have a distinct olive and brownish tone, that the stamps of the other groups typically lack. As I stated above, this is a bit of a catch-all group for the common shades of the wet printing stamps. From left to right we have:
- Brownish olive green - similar to the olive green swatch, but with brown added.
- Pale brown olive - similar to the brown-olive swatch but much less intense.
- Yellowish olive green - similar to the olive-green swatch, but with yellow added.
- Deep brownish olive green - similar to the first stamp, but deeper.
Grey Green Wet Printing Shades
- Deep brown olive - similar to brown olive but much deeper.
- Deep brown olive - almost identical to the first stamp.
- Grey olive.
- Pale grey olive dry printing - Unitrade's olive green
- Light yellow olive - Unitrade's sage green.
- Brownish olive green - Unitrade's dark olive green.
- Deep brown olive - Unitrade's grey-green.