Niuafoʻou (Tonga) 1993 "10 years of Niuafo’ou's stamps"

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Issue Date 03.05.1993
ID Michel: 239-240, Scott: 156-157 Stanley Gibbons: 186-187 Yvert: UPU: N/A Category: pR
Designer Mr. Ray Edge, Walsall Security Printers of London, UK
Stamps in set 2
Value 60s - The map of the Niuafoʻou Island and Herbivorous Dinosaurs: Iguanodon, Brachiosaurus and Rhamphorhynchid in background

80s - The map of the Niuafoʻou Island and Carnivorous Dinosaurs: Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus
Size (width x height) 35mm x 30mm
Layout Sheets of 25 stamps (?)
Products FDC x1
Perforation 14.5 x 14.25
Print Technique Offset, multicolor
Printed by Walsall Security Printers of London, UK
Issuing Authority Post office of the Goverment of Tonga
Dinosaurs and Plesiosaurus on stamps of Niuafoʻou 1995

On May 3rd of 1993, the Post office of the Government of Tonga on behalf their Niuafo'ou Island, issued a set of 2 stamps "10 years of Niuafo’ou's stamps".
The left side of each stamp shows the map of the Niuafoʻou Island.
The right side of each stamp reproduces one of the dinosaur stamps from the "Evolution of the Earth (IV)" set, issued two months earlier.
During the "Dinosaurs Time" the Island was not exist. Niuafo'ou is a subaerial shield volcano formed by submarine explosive and effusive activity during the Holocene. (The Holocene is the current geological epoch, began approximately 11,650 years before present).


Tonga did not issue any imperf stamps from this set, the only imperfs known are genuine plate proofs, and come from the Walsall Security Printers archives.
FDC Cromalin Proofs [1] Plate Proofs [2]
Dinosaurs on FDC of Niuafoʻou 1993 Dinosaurs on stamps of Niuafoʻou 1993 Dinosaurs on stamps of Niuafoʻou 1993
Specimens [3]
(printed in sheets of 20 stamps and 5 tabs in the middle)
Dinosaurs on stamps of Niuafoʻou 1993

[1] The Cromalin Proofs are thick cardboard and in full colour, a proofing method used by Walsall Security Printers in which full color proofs are produced directly from the color separations prior to final production of the printing plates.
Each color is layered on top of the next thus building up to the full color design. The cromalin proofs never left the printing house in UK and were issued in small amount (3 or 4 pieces each).

[2] The Plate Proofs printed one sheet of plate proofs first, this sheet was taken for checking and approval by Walsall Security Printers company and the officials of Tonga.
After it passed the necessary checks, this imperforated proof sheet was placed in the printers archives and was left imperforated. All other sheets issued were perforated.
The Tongan plate proofs are genuine proofs done by the printers for checking purposes then kept until recently in the printers archives.

[3] The "SPECIMEN" overprint in black was the normal specimen overprint done for most sets ot Tonga from 1981 to 1997.

  • [R1] Technical details and stamps presentation:

  • Many thanks to Mr. Greg Jorgensen from Australia, who sells philatelic materials from archive of Walsall Security Printers on the Internet under nickname tonga2, for explanations about their printing process.

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