When the Universal Postal Union(UPU) was established on July 1, 1875, Canada was not allowed membership and hence the new lower international Postal Rates did not apply. Beginning on October 1, 1875 England established a preferred rate of 5¢ for mail originating in Canada.

However, there was no 5¢ stamp immediately available. A 5¢ Large Queen stamp had been designed in 1868 in anticipation of the continuation of the previous domestic rate. This rate was reduced to 3¢ and hence the 5¢ Large Queen was not introduced into postal use in 1868.

Since it was immediately available, the 5¢ Large Queen was put into production until a new smaller design could be produced.

The 5¢ Large Queen

Plate Proof blocks printed on India in Blue, Green, and Olive.

Perforated 11.6x11.9

Dated October 14, 1875.   Paying the preferred rate to England which came into effect on October 1.

Dated January 8, 1876.   Paying the domestic first class letter rate of 3¢ plus a 2¢ registration fee.

The 5¢ Large Queen had only been in use for 4 Months when the new smaller stamp was issued in February of 1876. The 5¢ Large Queen continued to be distributed to Post Offices up until August of 1876. Thus the two stamps were in simultaneous use for at least 7 months.

The 5¢ Small Queen

Die Proof in Olive Green printed on India

Plate Proof printed on India and mounted on card

Trial Color Proofs in Orange,Blue,Magenta.
These could be plate proofs, but there are no known multiples and so they are probably cut down Trial Color Proofs.

The first plate used was a single pane plate with a type V imprint and no plate number
with an unshaded counter on the right.

Imprint strip from the first plate perforated 12.0x12.0

Blocks of 4 perforated 11.7x12.0 and 11.6x11.9. Light Olive Grey and Dark Olive Grey

The earliest known usage of the 5c. February 22, 1876. The stamp is perforated 11.6x11.9

Two 5c stamps paying the preferred Canadian Packet rate. September 26 1877. The stamps are perforated 11.6x11.9

Canada joined the Universal Postal Union(UPU) on August 1, 1878. Subsequent to that date the postage rate to all other UPU members was reduced to 5¢.

The new UPU rate of 5¢ on a letter to Algeria dated dated November 14, 1879.

A second plate is known with a Type V imprint and no plate number. It has a shaded counter on the right.

A third plate with a type V imprint was produced with plate numbers of "A" and "B", and shaded counters.

Left and right counters, perforated 12.0x12.0

Bottom imprint block perforated 12.0x12.0

Top block with a shaded left counter.

A fourth plate with a type VI imprint was produced about 1890.
This was a plate with a single pane of 200 stamps with a "1" above the imprint, and a shaded left counter.

A top strip of 12 with imprint and counter perforated 12.0x12.2.

A bottom imprint block of 6 perforated 12.0x12.2.

Overprinted "SPECIMEN" in Violet.
These stamps were prepared in the mid 1890's for distribution to other UPU countries.
Three different types of overprint are known.