Encyclopaedia of Jamaican Philately


Laureated Head of
Queen Victoria




Design Development


Main Issues


List of Printings


Official Notices

In 1860 Jamaica took control of its own Post Office from the Imperial Post Office. For the previous two years, the stamps of Great Britain had been used on the island but after the decision (mandated by GB) to transfer control was taken, no further supplies of GB adhesives were despatched.

Jamaica commissioned De La Rue to design and print these stamps. The Queen’s head was based on that used by GB but with a laurel leaf around her head. The frame designs were developed for Jamaica.

The initial denominations were 1d, 2d, 4d, 6d and 1s. The 3d was added in 1863 (for the ship letter rate); a ½d arrived in 1872 (previously the 1d had been authorized to be bisected) and 2s and 5s values added in 1875.

Some of the designs continued to be printed for 60 years and the paper utilised went through four versions of watermark: 1860s Pineapple, 1870s Crown CC, 1880s Crown CA, 1900s Multiple Crown CA.

The colour of the ink and paper used varied according to the evolution of the UPU colour scheme and security printing techniques.

More detail is available by selecting each denomination and sub-issue from the menus.

Pineapple Watermark