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

Bird Emblems postmark

Issue: Bird Emblems
Issue date: 21 April 2020

Anzac Day 2020 postmark

Issue: Anzac Day 2020
Issue date: 14 April 2020

The Queen’s Birthday 2020 postmark

Issue: The Queen’s Birthday 2020
Issue date: 7 April 2020

AAT: Wyatt Earp Expedition, 1948 postmark

Issue: AAT: Wyatt Earp Expedition, 1948
Issue date: 31 March 2020

Issue: Australian Legends 2020
Issue date: 30 March 2020

Sports Stadiums part 2 postmark

IssueSports Stadiums part 2
Issue date: 24 March 2020

Medical Innovations postmark

IssueMedical Innovations
Issue date: 18 February 2020

Transcontinental Railway – 50 Years postmark

IssueTranscontinental Railway – 50 Years
Issue date: 11 February 2020

Word of Sport postmark

IssueWord of Sport
Issue date: 4 February 2020

Tree-dwellers of the Tropics postmark

Tree-dwellers of the Tropics
Issue date: 21 January 2020

Norfolk Island Early Botanic Art postmark

IssueNorfolk Island Early Botanic Art
Issue date: 14 January 2020

Christmas Island Year of the Rat 2020 postmark

Christmas Island Year of the Rat 2020
Issue date: 8 January 2020

Joyful Occasions postmark

Joyful Occasions
Issue date: 2 January 2020

Latest temporary and permanent postmarks

Perth WA 6000 postmark

First day of use: 1 March 2020
Post Office: Perth WA 6000
Type: First day of issue
Postmark text: First day of issue | GPO Perth WA 6000
Pictorial elements: n/a
Postmark size: 38mm diameter

 

Perth WA 6000 postmark

First day of use: 1 March 2020
Post Office: Perth WA 6000
Type: Permanent pictorial
Postmark text: Perth GPO WA 6000
Pictorial elements: n/a
Postmark size: 38mm diameter

 

Coraki NSW 2471 postmark

First day of use: 1 March 2020
Post Office: Coraki NSW 2471
Type: Permanent pictorial
Postmark text: Coraki NSW 2471
Pictorial elements: Post office building line drawing and land
Postmark size: tba

 

Cleve SA 5640 postmark

First day of use: 1 March 2020
Post Office: Cleve SA 5640
Type: Permanent pictorial
Postmark text: Eyre Peninsula Field Days
Pictorial elements: Antique hand plough in a ploughed field
Postmark size: 38mm diameter

 

Port Victoria SA 5573 postmark

First day of use: 1 March 2020
Post Office: Port Victoria SA 5573
Type: Permanent pictorial
Postmark text: The Last Winjammer Port - 1949
Pictorial elements: Tall sailing ship under sail
Postmark size: 38mm diameter

 

Rappville NSW 2469 postmark

First day of use: 1 March 2020
Post Office: Rappville NSW 2469
Type: Permanent pictorial
Postmark text: Rappville NSW 2469
Pictorial elements: Bovine head and circular saw blade
Postmark size: 38mm diameter

 

Hamilton Island Qld 4803 postmark

First day of use: 1 March 2020
Post Office: Hamilton Island Qld 4803
Type: Permanent pictorial
Postmark text: Heart of the Reef
Pictorial elements: Reef in a heart shape
Postmark size: 38mm diameter

 

Henty NSW 2658 postmark

First day of use: 1 March 2020
Post Office: Henty NSW 2658Cabramatta NSW 2166
Type: Permanent pictorial
Postmark text: Home of the header
Pictorial elements: Header harvesting machine
Postmark size: 38mm diameter

 

Cabramatta NSW 2166 postmark

First day of use: 8 January 2020
Post Office: Cabramatta NSW 2166
Type: Temporary pictorial
Postmark text: China Town | Year of the Rat | Cabramatta NSW 2166
Pictorial elements: Rat's face and Chinese character

 

Melbourne Vic 3000 postmark

First day of use: 8 January 2020
Post Office: Bourke St, Melbourne Vic 3000
Type: Temporary pictorial
Postmark text: China Town | Year of the Rat | Bourke St Melbourne Vic 3000
Pictorial elements: Rat's face and Chinese character

 

Haymarket NSW 2000 postmark

First day of use: 8 January 2020
Post Office: Haymarket NSW 2000 postmark
Type: Temporary pictorial
Postmark text: China Town | Year of the Rat | Haymarket NSW 2000 postmark
Pictorial elements: Rat's face and Chinese character

 

Foster Vic 3960 postmark

First day of use: 1 January 2020
Post Office: Foster Vic 3959
Type: Temporary pictorial
Postmark text: Heart of the Prom Country | 1870-2020 | Foster Vic 3960
Pictorial elements: Icons

 

Latest stamp show postmarks

Canberra Stamp Show 2020 Day 01 postmark

First day of use: 13 March 2020
Show: Canberra Stamp Show 2020
Type: Stamp Show temporary postmark
Postmark text: Canberra Stampshow | 13 March 2020 | Mail Steamer Service 150 Years | Canberra ACT 2601
Pictorial elements: Ship

Canberra Stamp Show 2020 Day 02 postmark

First day of use: 14 March 2020
Show: Canberra Stamp Show 2020
Type: Stamp Show temporary postmark
Postmark text: Canberra Stampshow | 14 March 2020 | Honeysuckle Creek | Canberra ACT 2601
Pictorial elements: Satellite receiver

Canberra Stamp Show 2020 Day 03 postmark

First day of use: 15 March 2020
Show: Canberra Stamp Show 2020
Type: Stamp Show temporary postmark
Postmark text: Canberra Stampshow | 15 March 2020 | Transcontinental Railway 50 Years | Canberra ACT 2601
Pictorial elements: Railway tracks

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.