12 4/8 c issues

1890 12 4/8 c yellow green

1891 12 4/8 c yellow green


Cliché Type I, Gum Type A.

Sheets of 100 (10 x10) inscribed CORREOS  525,000 from 5,250 sheets issued 1 January 1890

Sheets of 100 (10 x10) inscribed CORREOS  100,000 from 1,000 sheets issued 20 April 1891

The first printing of the 12 4/8 c stamps was issued in January 1890, this was followed by a second printing using the same colour in 1891. A distinct “green” shade variety also occurs as part of the first printing.

Mencarini (1896) describes the first printing as “light green” and the second printing as “dark green”.  Palmer (1912) describes the first and second printing as “yellow green”, but notes the second printing as “a deeper shade”. Both Bartels et al (1904) and Palmer describe a shade variety of “pale green” associated with the first printing. Harradine (1987) considered a “bright green” shade variety of the first printing sufficiently distinct to list it in his catalogue as a separate issue. However, contrary to the previous authors Harradine describes the second printing as ‘lighter’ than the first.

The description of colours leaves the potential for confusion regarding the identification of 'paler', 'darker' and 'greener' examples. In my collection I have a partial sheet which includes the sheet inscription and sheet number which would place the sheet as part of the second printing. The colour of these stamps is very similar (i.e. they cannot easily or reliably be distinguished) from stamps belonging to the first printing.

#MP36 12 4/8c yellow green, #MP36a green shade variety, #MP37 12 4/8c yellow green

Evidence the the green shade variety was part of the first printing can be gained from postally used examples of this variety. Further evidence can be obtained from studying the plate flaws present which also suggests that the green shade variety represents the initial portion of the first printing as not all of the constant flaws associated with the 12 4/8 c stamps appear to be present in sheets of the green shade variety when compared to the more typical yellow green shade.


Postally used examples of green shade variety (#MP36a): early use ‘-3 Jan 1890’ (3 days after issue), '-5 Jan 1890' and '23 Feb 1891'

The 1905 Stanley Gibbons catalogue records two issues for 1890 (actually described as issued in 1889) of green and pale yellow green shade which appear to reflect the #36a and #36 issues repectively. In later editions of the catalogue the green shade variety is no longer recorded and the 1891 yellow green issueis recorded.

Galvez (1942) describes a "light green" shade and a "yellow green" shade. Based on pricing the yellow green shade was considered less common than the green shade. Of the modern catalogues only Stanley Gibbons identifies the two printings “pale yellow green” and “deep yellow green”, respectively. However, as noted above it is difficult to distinguish between the first and second printings.

Stanley Gibbons and Galvez (1942) indicate that this issue was printed on thin paper. These descriptions are generally relative to the later 1894 issues which tend to be on thicker paper. In this respect the 1890 12 4/8c yellow green is generally on thinner paper than the 1894 issues. Galvez actually uses the description 'thin semi-transparent paper' however, this does not appear to be the case in the sense used in this catalogue.

However, examples on thin semi-transparent paper on the green shade variety are known to exist for this issue.

Sheet header inscribed "CORREOS" - 100 stamps per sheet, The sheet number suggests the sheet was from the 1891 printing

The Gaceta de Manila (1 July 1898) reports the Decree issued on 28 June 1891 which stated that the 12 4/8c stamps should be withdrawn from circulation (by 15 July 1891 in Manila) and returned to the Treasury. This was due to the change in postal rates on 13 March 1891 and lack of application.

Postally used example of use after the reported withdrawal date in Manila dated ‘29 Jul 1891’ (two weeks after withdrawal)

Edifil:   #85 yellow green ‘verde amarillento’ (1890)

Scott:  #167 yellow green (1890)

SG:      #168 pale yellow-green (thin paper) (1 Jan 1890); #173 deep yellow-green (20 Apr 1891) 

Peterson, D. 1999. First and Second Printings of the 1890-1896 Postal Issues. Philippine Philatelic Journal, vol 21 no. 3, pp 9-15.

Preube, C. 2023. The first day of the Babyhead stamps. Philippine Philatelic Journal, vol 45 no. 4, pp 18-20.

1892 12 4/8 c orange


Cliché Type I, Gum Type A.

Sheets of 100 (10 x10) inscribed CORREOS  600,000 from 6,000 sheets issued 1 January 1892

The colour description of this stamp is typically “orange” although "yellow oragne" and "orange yellow is also used". Hanciau (1905) atypically described the colour as "flesh colour"

#MP38 12 4/8c orange

 Bartels et al (1904) describe "pale orange" and "pale reddish orange" shade varieties. Galvez (1942) catalogued an "orange yellow" shade variety; whereas, Harradine (1987) lists an "orange yellow" shade.

In general, there are notable variations in the shades of this issue, with a "pale orange" (or orange yellow) shade variety possibly the most notable. In stamps representing the paler variety the line details are less crisp compared to the more typical "orange" shade.

Shade varieties

Early authors record the date of issue as 1 January 1892. Harradine considers that the consignment of stamps was received in early 1892 but was not released until February 1892.

Scott’s catalogues of 1895 and 1900 recorded an issue date of 1894. Iit also appears that the knowledge regarding these stamps was relatively scarce as no value was assigned to used examples. High prices were also commanded in Spain around this time. In the 1960, 1980 and 1990 catalogues again an 1894 issue date is referred to, although it is unclear as to the origin of this information. The current catalogue reports the correct date of issue, 1892

A worn oval frame can be found on some stamps, where observed these generally occur in the lower portion of the sheet most notably in rows 8, 9 and 10. 

Edifil:   #100 orange ‘naranja’ (1891-1893)

Scott:  #168 orange (1892)

SG:      #184 orange (1 Jan 1892) 

Postal Usage


 Correos circular Manila date stamp [5 May 1891] on 12 4/8c green shade variety;

Registration "Certificado" cancel (Peterson Type 6) on 12 4/8c  green shade variety in blue ink

 Correos circular Manila date stamp [18 November 1892] on 12 4/8c orange;

Registration "Certificado" cancel (Peterson Type 6) on 12 4/8 c orange in violet ink



Postal Issues

1c issues

2c issues

2 4/8c issues

5c issues

6c issues

8c issues

10c issues

12 4/8c issues

15c issues

20c issues

25c issues

40c issue

80c issue

5c surcharge

15c surcharge

20c surcharge

Newspaper Issues

1mil issues

2mil issues

5mil issues

1/8c issues