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: Land Snails
Issue date: 22 June 2021

Doves and Pigeons
Issue date: 1 June 2021

Cocos (Keeling) Islands: Manta Ray
Issue date: 18 May 2021

Migratory Shorebirds
Issue date: 18 May 2021

National Heritage Australia
Issue date: 10 May 2021

Lest We Forget
Issue date: 13 April 2021

Rotary Australia: 100 Years
Issue date: 6 April 2021

Australian Legends of Cricket
Issue date: 26 March 2021

Holden: Australian Icon
Issue date: 22 March 2021

HMVS Cerberus: 150 Years
Issue date: 22 March 2021

AAT: Arts Fellowship
Issue date: 16 March 2021

Edith Cowan: First Woman in Parliament
Issue date: 2 March 2021

Ramsar Wetlands
Issue date: 22 February 2021

Frontline Heroes
Issue date: 16 February 2021

Royal Australian Air Force Centenary
Issue date: 9 February 2021

Norfolk Island: Lizards
Issue date: 2 February 2021

Memorable Moments
Issue date: 25 January 2021

Christmas Island Year of the Ox 2021
Issue date: 8 January 2021

Latest temporary and permanent postmarks

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

 

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

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

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

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

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.

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.