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Helgoland


Issues of 1875-1890

Helgoland (in German) or Heligoland (in English) issued a re-designed series of definitive postage stamps beginning in February 1875.  This was necessitated by the changeover to the new Imperial German currency (100 Pfennig = 1 Mark) implemented at the beginning of the year. 

1875 Definitive Stamp Series
All Stamps / Cancels Illustrated are Originals


The new postage stamps, shown above, featured the denomination in both British currency and in the new German Imperial currency.  For the sake of brevity, they will be referred to by the German currency denominations in the following descriptions.

As with all of the stamps of Helgoland, canceled examples should be considered suspect, unless the stamp is certified or authenticatedThis is especially true of the 1 Pf. and 2 Pf. denominations of this series, which are very rare in used condition.

Berlin, Leipzig, and Hamburg private reprints exist for both the 1 Pf. and 2 Pf. denominations.  The characteristics will be described under the descriptions for the individual stamps below.

NO PRIVATE REPRINTS WERE MADE of the 5 Pf., 10 Pf., 25 Pf., and 50 Pf. denominations.

All of the stamps are Head Type 2.


1875 - 1 Pfennig - Mi. #11
Original - Mint
Auth. - L. Mead

1875 - 1 Pfennig - Mi. #11
Leipzig Reprint


The 1 Pf. denomination was issued February 15, 1875.  The original stamps are perforated 13-1/2 x 14-1/4 with large perforation holes, and the issued color was Lilac Carmine & Green to Dark Green.

Total quantity printed:  300,000

The Berlin private reprints can be a bit difficult to discern.  They were also perforated 13-1/2 x 14-1/4 with large perforation holes, and the outer color is FleshUnder UV light, the frame and double oval area of the Berlin reprints glows a "fiery orange".

The Leipzig private reprints are perforated 13-1/2 x 14-1/4 with small perforation holes, and the predominant outer color is Brown Rose.

The Hamburg private reprints are perforated 14 x 14.  The predominant outer color is Brown Red.

1875 - 2 Pfennig - Mi. #12
Original - Mint
Auth. - Lange

1875 - 2 Pfennig - Mi. #12
Hamburg Reprint


The 2 Pf. denomination was issued February 15, 1875.  The original stamps are perforated 13-1/2 x 14-1/4 with large perforation holes, and the issued color was Green & Lilac Carmine.

Total quantity printed:  200,000

The Berlin private reprints can be a bit difficult to discern.  They were also perforated 13-1/2 x 14-1/4 with large perforation holes, and the predominate color is Dull Green & Carmine RedUnder UV light, the vignette of the Berlin reprints glows a "bright orange".

The Leipzig private reprints are perforated 13-1/2 x 14-1/4 with small perforation holes, and the predominant color is Gray Green & Carmine.

The Hamburg private reprints are perforated 14 x 14.


1875 - 5 Pfennig - Mi. #13a
Auth. - L. Mead


The 5 Pf. denomination, shown above, was issued on February 15, 1875.  Between 1875 and 1890, there were two different printings, as follows:

  • Feb. 1875 (Michel #13a) - Lilac Carmine & Green.
  • Mar. 1890 (Michel #13b) - Dull Lilac Carmine to Lilac Red & Green to Dark Green.

Total quantity printed (for all printings):  120,000


1875 to 1890 - 10 Pfennig - Mi. #14a-14e
Auth. - L. Mead


The 10 Pf. denomination was first issued on February 15, 1875.  Between 1875 and 1890, there were five different printings.  All of them are shown in the scan directly above.

  • Feb. 1875 (Michel #14a) - Dark Green & Dark Lilac Carmine.
  • Sep. 1885 (Michel #14b) - Dull Green & Dull Lilac Carmine.
  • May 1887 (Michel #14c) - Bluish Green & Reddish Carmine.
  • May 1889 (Michel #14d) - Light Green & Dull Red to Dull Vermilion.
  • Jun. 1890 (Michel #14e) - Bluish Green & Carmine.

A UV light is handy for verifying the shades on these issues.  Under UV light, the colors are as follows:

  • Michel #14a - Grayish Black & Dark Violet.
  • Michel #14b - Grayish Black & Dull Red.
  • Michel #14c - Black & Dull Orange.
  • Michel #14d - Dark Gray & Fiery Orange.
  • Michel #14e - Dull Green & Fiery Red Lilac.

Total quantity printed (for all printings):  265,000.  Michel #14b is the rarest, with a printing of only 20,000.


1875 - 25 Pfennig - Mi. #15
Auth. - L. Mead


The 25 Pf. denomination was issued February 15, 1875.  The issued color was Lilac Carmine & Green.

Total quantity printed:  100,000


1875 - 50 Pfennig - Mi. #16a
Auth. - L. Mead

The 50 Pf. denomination, shown above, was issued on February 15, 1875.  Between 1875 and 1890, there were two different printings, as follows:

  • Feb. 1875 (Michel #16a) - Green & Dark Lilac Carmine.
  • Jun. 1890 (Michel #16b) - Green & Dark Carmine.

Under UV light:

  • Michel #16a - Grayish Black and Dull Violet.
  • Michel #16b - Black & Fiery Red.

Total quantity printed (for all printings):  70,000.



Links to Other Helgoland Sites


Heligoland Stamps by Fritz Wagner

The Robert Pollard Study

The authoritative work on Helgoland postage stamps is the German language book, "Helgoland Philatelie" by Hellmuth Lemberger, published in 1970.  If copies can be located, they are usually very expensive.  The APRL has a couple copies that can be checked-out by APS members.




eBay Auction and Store Links
German States


The following links feature category-focused affiliated seller listings on various eBay sites worldwide. They may enable visitors to shop for and to buy specific items for the particular collecting subject they've just read about. 

The affiliated eBay seller auction lots provided by eBay, Inc. are not the responsibility of the management of this website.  On high priced material, make sure the lots you are buying are properly authenticated.

Remember that the lots on European eBay sites are priced in EUROS.  Shipping charges may be more, and the lots may take longer to arrive.  Also, make sure the foreign seller ships to your country, before bidding on or buying his lot.








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Helgoland - Issues of 1875-1890





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