Ah yes...well headaches are really challenges wrapped in a riddle. If it was easy, you could just collect baseball cards.
A quick take : Pale Blue, Dark Blue, Bright Blue had different issue dates (1880, 1887, 1894). If you have enough of them, you can do a fair comparison to figure it out. I'd also highly recommend you buy NSSC, as it has great detail on this, including some guidance about the gum colors on these.
Also--having them on covers with a cancel date, can greatly assist classification : In other words, for dummies like me : if you have this stamp on a cover with a date between 1880 and October 1887, then you can be near certain it would be #53.
Here is a link to my three examples, which may assist you comparing your stamps.http://newfoundlandcovers.org/
You can either search with the number, or click on the index sort button, and scroll down to the British American Note issue (1880 to 1898), then click on the cover image and you can zoom in