Although the reduction in the domestic rate of postage from 3c to 2c in 1899 made the 8c stamp—which was primarily intended for the combined payment of postage and the registration fee—of little use it was not until December, 1902, that this value was replaced by a seven cents denomination. The new stamp was first announced as being in preparation in a newspaper despatch dated Ottawa, Dec. 18th, 1902, viz.:—
The Post Office Department announces that on the 24th instant it will be in a position to supply a seven cent postage stamp to accounting post-offices throughout Canada. This stamp, which is of yellow color, will be especially convenient for postage and registration fee on single rate letters, while it may also be used for other postage purposes to the extent of its face value. Non-accounting offices can obtain their supply through the city post offices. This new stamp will bear the Queen's head, the department not having yet decided on the design of the King's head issue.
This posthumous Queen's head stamp was of similar design to the other values of the numeral series and had the same sheet arrangement and marginal inscriptions. There was but one plate—numbered “1”—from which Mr. Howes estimates about one million stamps were printed.
This stamp was issued on December 23rd, 1902, according to a statement in the official Report.
Dec. 23rd, 1902. Engraved and printed by the American Bank Note Co., Ottawa. No Wmk. Perf. 12.