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

Christmas Island: 19th-Century Explorers
postmark

Issue:  Christmas Island: 19th-Century Explorers
Issue date: 27 August 2019

Mapping the AAT postmark

Issue: Mapping the AAT
Issue date: 20 August 2019

Bush Citrus postmark

Issue: Bush Citrus
Issue date: 13 August 2019

In The Garden: SCM 2019 postmark

Issue: In The Garden: SCM 2019
Issue date: 1 August 2019

Moon Landing: 50 Years postmark

Issue: Moon Landing: 50 Years
Issue date: 16 July 2019

Norfolk Island: Phillip Island Landscapes postmark

Issue: Norfolk Island: Phillip Island Landscapes
Issue date: 9 July 2019

Freshwater Crayfish postmark

Issue: Freshwater Crayfish
Issue date: 2 July 2019

Principle of Equal Pay: 50 Years postmark

Issue: Principle of Equal Pay: 50 Years
Issue date: 18 June 2019

Sport Stadiums postmark

Issue: Sport Stadiums
Issue date: 4 June 2019

Cocos (Keeling) Islands Water Sports postmark

Issue: Cocos (Keeling) Islands Water Sports
Issue date: 28 May 2019

Native Bees postmark

Issue: Native Bees
Issue date: 14 May 2019

Flightless Birds postmark

Issue: Flightless Birds
Issue date: 7 May 2019

International Year of Indigenous Languages postmark

Issue: International Year of Indigenous Languages
Issue date: 30 April 2019

Anzac Day 2019 postmark

Issue: Anzac Day 2019
Issue date: 16 April 2019

The Queen's Birthday 2019 postmark

Issue: The Queen's Birthday 2019
Issue date: 9 April 2019

Norfolk Island Tree Fern postmark

Issue: Norfolk Island Tree Fern
Issue date: 2 April 2019

AAT Casey Research Station: 50 Years postmark

Issue: AAT Casey Research Station: 50 Years
Issue date: 26 March 2019

Sustainable Fish postmark

Issue: Sustainable Fish
Issue date: 14 March 2019

Australian Fauna postmark

Issue: Australian Fauna
Issue date: 5 March 2019

Welcome Stranger postmark

Issue: Welcome Stranger
Issue date: 26 February 2019

Robin Boyd: 1919-17 postmark

Issue: Robin Boyd: 1919-17
Issue date: 12 February 2019

Moments of Treasure postmark

Issue: Moments to Treasure
Issue date: 5 February 2019

Norfolk Island Pitcairn Settlement postmark

Issue: Norfolk Island Pitcairn Settlement
Issue date: 22 January 2019

Australian Legends 2019 postmark

Issue: Australian Legends 2019
Issue date: 17 January 2019

Christmas Island Year of the Pig 2018 postmark

Issue: Christmas Island Year of the Pig 2018
Issue date: 8 January 2019

Latest temporary and permanent postmarks

Woodville SA 5011 postmark

First day of use: 24 August 2019
Post Office: Woodville SA 5011
Type: Temporary pictorial
Postmark text: Woodville South Australia 5011 24 August 2019 Ukrainian Settlement
Pictorial elements: 70 Years and bird in flight
Size: 32mm

 

Minlaton SA 5575 postmark

First day of use: 1 July 2019
Post Office: Minlaton SA 5575
Type: Permanent pictorial
Postmark text: 100 Year Anniversary CPT Harry Butler Minlaton SA 5575
Pictorial elements: Line drawing of a plane
Size: 38mm

 

Franklin Tas 7113 postmark

First day of use: 1 July 2019
Post Office: Franklin Tas 7113
Type: Permanent pictorial
Postmark text: Franklin Tas 7113
Pictorial elements: people rowing on a river, kayaker
Size: 38mm

 

Port Arthur Tas 7182 postmark

First day of use: 20 June 2019
Post Office: Port Arthur Tas 7182
Type: First day of issue
Postmark text: First day of issue Port Arthur Tas 7182
Pictorial elements: Historic church buildings
Size: 38mm

 

Port Arthur Tas 7182 postmark

First day of use: 20 June 2019
Post Office: Port Arthur Tas 7182
Type: Permanent pictorial
Postmark text: Historic Church Port Arthur Tas 7182
Pictorial elements: Historic church buildings
Size: 38mm

 

Tennant Creek NT 0860 postmark

First day of use: 10 June 2019
Post Office: Tennant Creek NT 0860
Type: Permanent pictorial
Postmark text: Tennant Creek NT 0860
Pictorial elements: type only
Size: 36mm

 

Ilfracombe Qld 4727 postmark

First day of use: 1 June 2019
Post Office: Ilfracombe QLD 4727
Type: Permanent pictorial
Postmark text: Ilfracombe QLD 4727
Pictorial elements: Early mail delivery truck
Size: 38mm

 

Maryborough Festival Maryborough 4650

First day of use: 28 June 2019
Post Office: Maryborough
Type: Temporary pictorial
Postmark text: Maryborough QLD 4650 Maryborough Festival
Pictorial elements: Umbrella and stars
Size: tba

 

Port Lincoln SA 5606 postmark

First day of use: 1 June 2019
Post Office: Port Lincoln
Type: Permanent pictorial
Postmark text: 1 May 2019 Port Lincoln SA 5606
Pictorial elements: Silo, fish and wheat
Size: 38mm

 

Lions Clubs International 67th Convention postmark

First day of use: 1 May 2019
Post Office: Isisford
Type: Permanent pictorial
Postmark text: Isisford QLD 4731
Pictorial elements: Early mail delivery truck
Size: 38mm

 

Brim VIC 3391 postmark

First day of use: 1 May 2019
Post Office: Brim
Type: Permanent pictorial
Postmark text: Brim VIC 3391
Pictorial elements: Grain silos
Size: 38mm

 

Newcastle NSW 2301 postmark

First day of use: 1 May 2019
Post Office: Newcastle NSW 2300
Type: Permanent pictorial
Postmark text: Newcastle NSW 2300
Pictorial elements: Nobbys Lighthouse and headland
Size: 38mm

 

Lions Clubs International 67th Convention postmark

First day of use: 4-6 May 2019
Post Office: Geelong
Type: Temporary pictorial
Postmark text: Lions Clubs International 67th Multiple District 201 Convention Geelong Vic 3220
Pictorial elements: Lions International logo
Size: 38mm

 

Latest stamp show postmarks

Sydney Stamp and Coin Show 2019 day 01 postmark

First day of use: 13 June 2019
Show: Sydney Stamp and Coin Show 2019
Type: Stamp Show temporary postmark
Postmark text: Sydney Stamp and Coin Expo France Day 13 June 2019
Pictorial elements: Seal

Sydney Stamp and Coin Show 2019 day 02 postmark

First day of use: 14 June 2019
Show: Sydney Stamp and Coin Show 2019
Type: Stamp Show temporary postmark
Postmark text: Sydney Stamp and Coin Expo The United Kingdom Day 14 June 2019
Pictorial elements: Paint brush

Sydney Stamp and Coin Show 2019 day 03 postmark

First day of use: 15 June 2019
Show: Sydney Stamp and Coin Show 2019
Type: Stamp Show temporary postmark
Postmark text: Sydney Stamp and Coin Expo Australian & New Zealand Day 15 June 2019
Pictorial elements: Fountain pen

Sydney Stamp and Coin Show 2019 day 04 postmark

First day of use: 16 June 2019
Show: Sydney Stamp and Coin Show 2019
Type: Stamp Show temporary postmark
Postmark text: Sydney Stamp and Coin Expo United States of America Day 16 June 2019
Pictorial elements: Ink well

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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