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 2018 postmark

Issue: Christmas Island Christmas 2018
Issue date: 1 November 2018

Christmas Island Christmas 2018 postmark

Issue: Christmas Island Christmas 2018
Issue date: 1 November 2018

Lighthouses of Sydney postmark

Issue: Lighthouses of Sydney
Issue date: 23 October 2018

100 Years of Repatriation postmark

Issue: 100 Years of Repatriation
Issue date: 23 October 2018

Cocos (Keeling) Islands: Shadow Puppets postmark

Issue: Cocos (Keeling) Islands: Shadow Puppets
Issue date: 16 October 2018

Centenary of WWI: 1918 postmark

Issue: Centenary of WWI: 1918
Issue date: 2 October 2018

The Roayl Wedding postmark

Issue: The Royal Wedding
Issue date: 2 October 2018

Latest temporary and permanent postmarks

Orange East NSW 2800 postmark

First day of use: 17 November 2018
Post Office: Orange East, NSW 2800
Type: Permanent pictorial with rolling date
Postmark text: Stamp & Coin Fair Orange East 2800 Orange
Pictorial elements: State of NSW with arrow and dot
Size: 36mm

 

Port Pirie SA 5540 postmark

First day of use: 1 November 2018
Post Office: Port Pirie SA 5540
Type: Permanent pictorial
Postmark text: Worlds Largest Lead Smelter Port Pirie SA 5540
Pictorial elements: Lead Smelter with ship
Size: 34mm

 

Broome WA 6725 postmark

First day of use: 1 November 2018
Post Office: Broome, WA 6725
Type: Permanent pictorial
Postmark text: Broome WA 6725
Pictorial elements: Diver with pearl
Size: 33mm

 

Bribie Island QLD 4570 postmark

First day of use: 1 November 2018
Post Office: Bribie Island, Queensland 4570
Type: State FDI postmark
Postmark text: Bribie Is. QLD 4507 Frist Day of Issue
Pictorial elements: Boat on water with pier in background
Size: 35mm

 

Jamison ACT 2614 postmark

First day of use: 1 October 2018
Post Office: Jamison Post Shop
Type: Temporary pictorial postmark, moveable date
Postmark text: Celebrating 100 years of Poland regaining independence Jamison ACT 2614 1918-2018
Pictorial elements: Map of Poland, and Polish Eagle
Size: 36mm

 

Wahroonga NSW 2076 postmark

First day of use: 22 September 2018
Post Office: Wahroonga Post Shop
Type: Permanent pictorial
Postmark text: First direct wireless message from UK 1918-2018 Mercury Monument Wahroonga. Wahroonga NSW 2076
Pictorial elements: Mercury Monument
Size: 36mm

 

Roma QLD 4455 postmark

First day of use: 20 September 2018
Post Office: Roma, Queensland 4455
Type: Permanent pictorial
Postmark text: Roma QLD 4455 postmark
Pictorial elements: Bottle tree
Size: 32mm

 

Bundaberg Qld 4670 postmark

First day of use: 30 August 2018
Post Office: Bundaberg Post Shop
Type: Temporary pictorial postmark, moveable date
Postmark text: Bundaberg Qld 4670 Celebrating 50 Years
Pictorial elements: Bottle
Size: 32mm

 

Maroochydore QLD 4558 postmark

First day of use: 23 August 2018
Post Office: Maroochydore, Queensland 4558
Type: Permanent pictorial
Postmark text: Maroochydore QLD 4558
Pictorial elements: Boats on the water with sun, & cliffs
Size: 38mm

 

Altona VIC 3018 postmark

First day of use: 16 July 2018
Post Office: Altona PO, Victoria 3018
Type: Temporary pictorial postmark, fixed date
Postmark text: St Mary’s School Altona VIC 3018 90th Anniversary
Pictorial elements: St Mary’s School logo
Size: 32mm

 

RAAF Tindal NT 0853 postmark

First day of use: 2 July 2018
Post Office:  RAAF Tindal
Type: Permanent pictorial with rolling date
Postmark text: RAAF Tindal NT 0853
Pictorial elements: F18 Hornet
Size: 32mm diameter

 

Alice Sprints NT 0870 postmark

First day of use: 2 January 2019
Post Office: Alice Springs
Type: Permanent pictorial
Postmark text: Old Telegraph Station Alice Sprints NT 0870
Pictorial elements: Old telegraph station buildings and morse key
Size: 38mm

 

Latest stamp show postmarks

2018 Macau stamp exhibition day 1 postmark

First day of use: 21 September 2018
Show: 35th Asian International Stamp Exhibition
Type: Stamp Show temporary postmark
Postmark text: 35th Asian International Stamp Exhibition Macau 21 September 2018
Pictorial elements: Koala in tree and Australia Post logo

2018 Macau stamp exhibition day 2 postmark

First day of use: 22 September 2018
Show: 35th Asian International Stamp Exhibition
Type: Stamp Show temporary postmark
Postmark text: 35th Asian International Stamp Exhibition Macau 22 September 2018
Pictorial elements: Koala in tree and Australia Post logo

2018 Macau stamp exhibition day 3 postmark

First day of use: 23 September 2018
Show: 35th Asian International Stamp Exhibition
Type: Stamp Show temporary postmark
Postmark text: 35th Asian International Stamp Exhibition Macau 23 September 2018
Pictorial elements: Koala in tree and Australia Post logo

2018 Macau stamp exhibition day 4 postmark

First day of use: 21 September 2018
Show: 35th Asian International Stamp Exhibition
Type: Stamp Show temporary postmark
Postmark text: 35th Asian International Stamp Exhibition Macau 21 September 2018
Pictorial elements: Koala in tree and Australia Post logo

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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