I find that the best way to proceed with these is to try and sort used stamps first, and then to match the mint stamps to the used stamps that you have classified, since there are very few clues that will definitively allow you to correctly classify the mint stamps.
In attempting to assign individual stamps to the six printings, I find it useful to look at three things:
2. Colours - particularly the colour of the value tablet, or duty plate in relation to the head plate.
I will briefly discuss how each of these characteristics can aid in identification and will then show you comparative scans of each of the six printings.
The very earliest cancellation used in early 1874 was a Lagos CDS that had only the date code, A, B or C and no year date. it looked like this:
- First printing - May 12, 1874
- Second printing - September 14, 1874
- Third printing - November 18, 1874
- Fourth printing - December 14, 1874
- Fifth printing - February 3, 1875
- Sixth printing - May 13, 1875
- First printings will be cancelled between June 10 and mid-October 1874.
- Second printings will be cancelled between mid-October 1874 and late December 1874. Some might go as late as January 1875, but not too many.
- Third printings will be cancelled between late December 1874 and late January 1875, with a few maybe dated as late as early March 1875.
- Fourth printings will be cancelled between late January 1875 through to approximately April 1875.
- Fifth printings will be cancelled between early April 1875 and mid-June 1875.
- Sixth printings will be cancelled from mid-June 1875 and 1876 when they were replaced.
- Paper which shows no clear mesh
- Paper showing a feint vertical mesh