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

Norfolk Island Convict Heritage postmark

Issue: Norfolk Island Convict Heritage
Issue date: 19 September 2017
AAT Cultural Heritage postmark

Issue: AAT Cultural Heritage
Issue date: 19 September 2017
50th Anniversary WRESAT postmark

Issue: 50th Anniversary WRESAT
Issue date: 12 September 2017
Heard Island postmark

Issue: Heard Island
Issue date: 5 September 2017
Australian Succulents postmark

Issue: Shipwrecks
Issue date: 29 August 2017
Australian Succulents postmark

Issue: Christmas Island: Early Voyages
Issue date: 15 August 2017

Latest temporary and permanent postmarks

WRESAT 50th Anniversary 1967-2017, Woomera SA 5720, 29 Nov 2017 postmark

First day of use: 29 November 2017
Post Office: Woomera SA 5720
Type: Temporary pictorial postmark
Postmark text: WRESAT 50th Anniversary 1967-2017, Woomera SA 5720, 29 Nov 2017
Pictorial elements: Kangaroo, spear and star WRESAT emblem
Size: 34mm diameter
Queensland Stamp Show 2017, Toowoomba Post Office 1880-1999, 15 October 2017, Darling Heights QLD 4350

First day of use: 15 October 2017
Post Office: Darling Heights QLD 4350
Type: Stamp Show temporary pictorial postmark
Postmark text: Queensland Stamp Show 2017, Toowoomba Post Office 1880-1999, 14 October 2017, Darling Heights QLD 4350
Pictorial elements: Toowoomba Post Office
Size: 34mm x 42mm
Queensland Stamp Show 2017, Toowoomba Post Office 1880-1999, 14 October 2017, Darling Heights QLD 4350

First day of use: 14 October 2017
Post Office: Darling Heights QLD 4350
Type: Stamp Show temporary pictorial postmark
Postmark text: Queensland Stamp Show 2017, Toowoomba Post Office 1880-1999, 14 October 2017, Darling Heights QLD 4350
Pictorial elements: Toowoomba Post Office
Size: 34mm x 42mm
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
National Ballooning Championships, 2-9 Sep 2017, Northam WA 6401 postmark

First day of use: 2 September 2017
Post Office: Northam WA 6401
Type: Temporary pictorial postmark with moveable date
Postmark text: National Ballooning Championships, 2-9 Sep 2017, Northam WA 6401
Pictorial elements: Balloon and stylised clouds based on the 2015 postmark design
Postmark size: 38mm diameter
Canberra Parliament House ACT 2600, First Day of Issue postmark

First day of use: 21 August 2017
Post Office: Canberra Parliament House ACT 2600
Type: Permanent pictorial postmark
Postmark text: Canberra Parliament House ACT 2600, First Day of Issue
Pictorial elements: Australian Coat of Arms
Postmark size: 38mm diameter
Kalbar LPO Celebrating 120 Years, 7 July 2017, Kalbar Qld 4309 postmark

First day of use: 7 July 2017
Post Office: Kalbar LPO
Type: Temporary pictorial postmark
Postmark text: Kalbar LPO Celebrating 120 Years, 7 July 2017, Kalbar Qld 4309
Pictorial elements: Map of Queensland with Kalbar location
Postmark size: 32mm diameter
Perth Stamp & Coin Show postmark for 9 July 2017 only

First day of use: 9 July 2017
Post Office: Perth GPO WA 6000
Type: Perth Stamp & Coin Show only postmark
Postmark text: 9 July 2017 Perth WA 6000
Pictorial elements: Train on tracks. Available in red on 9 July 2017 only at the show.
Perth Stamp & Coin Show postmark for 8 July 2017 only

First day of use: 8 July 2017
Post Office: Perth GPO WA 6000
Type: Perth Stamp & Coin Show only postmark
Postmark text: 8 July 2017 Perth WA 6000
Pictorial elements: Train on tracks.
Perth Stamp & Coin Show postmark for 7 July 2017 only

First day of use: 7 July 2017
Post Office: Perth GPO WA 6000
Type: Perth Stamp & Coin Show only postmark
Postmark text: 7 July 2017 Perth WA 6000
Pictorial elements: Train on tracks. Available in green on 7 July 2017 only at the show.
Catholic Diocese of Geraldton WA 6530, Ordination of the 9th Bishop, 28 June 2017 postmark

First day of use: 28 June 2017
Post Office: Geraldton WA 6530
Type: Temporary pictorial postmark
Postmark text: Catholic Diocese of Geraldton WA 6530, Ordination of the 9th Bishop, 28 June 2017
Pictorial elements: Bishop mitre
Postmark size: 40mm 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

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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