Postmarks

All about postmarks

A postmark is an inked rubber stamp, with an imprint that indicates the date and place. A postal worker will press the postmark onto your letter to show the stamp has been used for postage. The date on the postmark records where and when the item enters the mail system.

Postmarks are just as unique and fascinating as stamps themselves. Take a look at some of our latest ones, and learn how to perfectly place postmark ink onto your collectable items.
 

Latest first day of issue postmarks

Australian Succulents postmark

Issue: Australian Succulents
Issue date: 20 June 2017
Henry Lawson 1867-1922 postmark

Issue: Henry Lawson 1867-1922
Issue date: 13 June 2017
Centenary of Lions Clubs International postmark

Issue: Centenary of Lions Clubs International
Issue date: 7 June 2017
Garden Fruits of Cocos postmark

Issue: Garden Fruits of Cocos
Issue date: 30 May 2017

Issue: Australian Legends 2017
Issue date: 29 May 2017
1967 Referendum postmark

Issue: 1967 Referendum
Issue date: 24 May 2017

Latest temporary and permanent postmarks

Blackbutt Qld 4306 postmark

First day of use: 9 September 2017
Post Office: Blackbutt, Queensland 4306
Type: permanent pictorial
Postmark text: Bloomin’ Beautiful Blackbutt, Gateway to the South Burnett, Blackbutt Qld 4306
Pictorial elements: Avocados
Postmark size: 36mm diameter
Sandy Bay Tasmania 7005 postmark

First day of use: 5 March 2017
Post Office: Sandy Bay, Tasmania 7005
Type: temporary pictorial
Postmark text: Lions Clubs International, 65th Multiple District 201 Convention, Sandy Bay Tas 7005, 5-8 May 2017
Pictorial elements: Lions International logo
Postmark size: 38mm diameter
Clunes 3370 postmark

First day of use: 1 May 2017
Post Office: Clunes Vic 3370
Type: permanent pictorial
Postmark text: Australia’s Booktown, Clunes Vic 3370
Pictorial elements: book
Postmark size: 30mm diameter
Williamstown Vic 3016 postmark

First day of use: 1 May 2017
Post Office: Williamstown Vic 3016
Type: temporary pictorial
Postmark text: Celebrating 175 Years, May 2017, St Mary’s School. Williamstown Est. 1842 - Williamstown Vic 3016
Pictorial elements: based on St Mary’s School crest
Postmark size: w: 26 x h: 37.5mm
Hobart TAS 7000 postmark

First day of use: 10 March 2017
Post Office: Bathurst St Post Office, Hobart Tas 7000
Type: permanent pictorial
Postmark text: Kunanyi/Mt Wellington
Pictorial elements: Mt Wellington and Tasman bridge
Postmark size: 40mm x 30mm
Mt Gambier SA 5290 postmark

First day of use: 15 February 2017
Post Office: Mt Gambier SA 5290
Type: temporary pictorial
Postmark text: Basil Watson Air Mail Centenary, Mt Gambier – Melbourne, Mt Gambier SA 5290
Pictorial elements: based on the 1967, 50th Anniversary, Basil Watson First Air Mail postmark featuring a portrait of Basil Watson and a facsimile signature.
Postmark size: 36mm diameter
Year of the Rooster Melbourne postmark

First day of use: 10 January 2017
Post Office: Bourke St, Melbourne Vic 3000
Type: temporary pictorial
Postmark text: China Town, Bourke St. Melbourne Vic 3000, Year of the Rooster
Pictorial elements: Rooster and Chinese calligraphic symbol
Postmark size: 40mm diameter
Year of the Rooster Haymarket postmark

First day of use: 10 January 2017
Post Office: Haymarket NSW 2000
Type: temporary pictorial
Postmark text: China Town, Haymarket NSW 2000, Year of the Rooster
Pictorial elements: Rooster and Chinese calligraphic symbol
Postmark size: 40mm diameter
Year of the Rooster Cabramatta postmark

First day of use: 10 January 2017
Post Office: Cabramatta NSW 2166
Type: temporary pictorial
Postmark text: China Town, Cabramatta NSW 2166, Year of the Rooster
Pictorial elements: Rooster and Chinese calligraphic symbol
Postmark size: 40mm diameter
Coonawarra SA 5263 postmark

First day of use: 2 January 2017
Post Office: Coonawarra SA 5263
Type: permanent pictorial
Postmark text: Coonawarra, Coonawarra SA 5263
Pictorial elements: Coonawarra Railway Station
Postmark size: 36mm diameter

The four types of postmarks

Most Post Offices have a standard postmark with the name of the Post Office, postcode and date, but there are also four postmark types exclusively produced for specific stamp releases or events.

National First Day of Issue

Used to commemorate the release of a new stamp on a national level. The locality name is chosen for its link to the stamp issue.

Permanent Pictorial

Reflecting something distinctive to the locality, such as penguins for the town of Penguin in Tasmania or a lighthouse if one is prominent in the area.

Temporary 

These postmarks are used on either single days or consecutive days commemorating a special event.

Individual location

Postmarks associated with a historical or geographical reflection of the local area but not necessarily pictorial and can be used to cancel first day of issue stamps only.

Applying a postmark

If you need a postmark applied to your philatelic item, head to your local Post Office. Only authorised Australia Post staff can apply postmarks. Make sure you’re getting the right kind of postmark applied. You’ll want a national postmark on a first day cover, the correct commemorative postmark for a special occasion stamp, and so on.

Request that the postmark impression is applied with clarity and precision - no smudging! Black is the only colour ink that should be used. Catch the corner of the stamp - don’t cover up the stamp design. Refer to the images below as a guide.

Correct postmarking

Single stamp

Place the postmark on the left hand side.

Pair of stamps

Should be centrally postmarked at the base of the stamps.

Minisheets

Cancel all the stamps, ensuring at least one postmark also marks the envelope.

Multiple stamps or strips

Use the least number of postmarks to cancel the most number of stamps.

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