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

Medical Innovations postmark

Issue: Medical Innovations
Issue date: 18 February 2020

Transcontinental Railway – 50 Years postmark

Issue: Transcontinental Railway – 50 Years
Issue date: 11 February 2020

Word of Sport postmark

Issue: Word 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

Issue: Norfolk 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

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

 

Kingaroy Qld 4610 postmark

First day of use: 15 November 2019
Post Office: Kingaroy Qld 4610
Type: Permanent pictorial
Postmark text: Kingaroy Qld 4610
Pictorial elements: Tractor plowing

 

Hawks Nest NSW 2324 postmark

First day of use: 15 November 2019
Post Office: Hawks Nest NSW 2324
Type: Permanent pictorial
Postmark text: Hawks Nest NSW 2324
Pictorial elements: Scenic background with hawk hovering in the foreground

 

Barmedman NSW 2668 postmark

First day of use: 14 November 2019
Post Office: Barmedman NSW 2668
Type: Permanent pictorial
Postmark text: Barmedman NSW 2668
Pictorial elements: General store with dob sitting in the foreground

 

Traralgon Vic 3844 postmark

First day of use: 19 October 2019
Post Office: Traralgon Vic 3844
Type: Temporary pictorial
Postmark text: Latrobe Valley PhilatelicSociety 70 Years
Pictorial elements: Building

 

Latest stamp show postmarks

Sydney ANDA Money Expo 2019 G-EAOU postmark

First day of use: 26 October 2019
Show: Sydney ANDA Money Expo 2019
Type: Stamp Show temporary postmark
Postmark text: Sydney NSW 2000 | G-EAOU | 26 October 2019
Pictorial elements: Plane

Sydney ANDA Money Expo 2019 G-EAQM postmark

First day of use: 26 October 2019
Show: Sydney ADNA Money Expo 2019
Type: Stamp Show temporary postmark
Postmark text: Sydney NSW 2000 | G-EAQM | 26 October 2019
Pictorial elements: Plane

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.