Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Stamp to Celebrate 60th Anniversary of ANZUS Treaty

Released in Canberra yesterday (16 November) this stamp shows the military representatives of the ANZUS countries gathered in Honolulu for the first meeting in 1952: Lieutenant General SF (Sydney) Rowell (left), Australian Chief of General Staff, is greeted on his arrival at the airfield by Admiral Arthur Radford, US Commander in Chief Pacific (right), and Major-General Gentry, New Zealand Chief of General Staff.

Unfortuantely, it is very concerning that Australia Post writes that the stamp has been released to celebrate the visit of US President Barack Obama, and breaks Australia Post's Stamp Policy.

Impressions 2011 Range Now Online

At last Australia Post has put its Impressions range online (see

Lots of interesting (and expensive!) items, and the first time we've seen the AFL mini-maxi cards on sale.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

New Personalised Stamps for Christmas

Australia Post has surprised us with three new personalised stamps for Christmas. The two 55c designs (Christmas Ttree and presents) will be printed in the same sheet, while the 60c holly design will be printed in its own sheet. I should have stock of these by early next week.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Souvenir Stamp Sheet for Samantha Stossur's US Open Win

Australia Post was bound to celebrate Samantha Stossur's US Open Win with a souvenir stamp sheet... and here it is:
Available from today (29 September), no further technical details are yet available.

Cocos Colours Embellished Sheet Released 28/9

Australia Post finally released the Cocos Colours embellished sheet today. The $9.99 pack contains an embellished sheet of nine stamps, with nine greetings card.

Monday, September 26, 2011

New Postage Paid Envelope

Discovered a new postage paid envelope at my post office. The NSW Justices Association envelope is not mentioned in the current Bulletin.

The envelope was released on 13 September. It is designed by Lisa Christensen, and was printed by GEON Tasmania. As it is postage paid there is only a single version (i.e. no version with a first day of issue postmark, and hence a different barcode).

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

20th Anniversary of Wiggles Sheet

To celebrate 20 years of the Wiggles, Australia Post has released a special souvenir stamp sheet. The sheet is only released in a pack priced at $10.95. There is no on-sale date, but I have been advised by Australia Post Philatelic that these sheet were sent to post offices in mid-September, and I have been advised by Fremantle Post Office that they had these on sale from Thursday, 15 September.

The sheet contains 10 of the Balloon stamps from 2010, with tabs featuring the four Wiggles and the other cast members.

This sheet is the first source of the Balloon stamp with a tab (though the format of the sheet means that some stamps may have a tab attached to the bottom or left, rather than the usual right hand side), and the first time RA Printing has printed this stamp. The stamp itself is a very close match to the McKellar Renown printing, so I would advise leaving the tab on for identification purposes.

Collectors wanting a single stamp with tab should contact me.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

New International Rates from 4 July 2011

International rates will increase on 4 July due to the fuel surcharge. The new rates are (with old rates in brackets):
$1.60 ($1.50) International postcards and greetings cards
$1.65 ($1.55) Letter rate to Asian and Pacific countries (to 50 grams)
$2.35 ($2.25) Letter rate to Europe, Africa, America (to 50 grams)
$3.30 ($3.10) Letter rate to Asian and Pacific countries (over 50 up to 125 grams)
$4.70 ($4.50) Letter rate to Europe, Africa, America (over 50 up to 125 grams)
$1.50 ($1.35) Christmas Cards
$1.50 ($1.35) Aerogrammes
$1.60 ($1.60) Prepaid postcards (no change in price)
Prepaid envelopes, Registered Post and Express Post stationery will also increase. More information can be found at: New International Prices on the Australia Post website.

Collectors will no doubt have mixed feelings about this rise.

The 'old' rates shown above were only introduced on 4 April - probably making these rates the shortest lived postage rates since decimal currency was introduced. This will pose a challenge for postal history collectors, as covers showing the Lake Eyre $1.55, $2.25 and $3.10, Queen's Birthday $2.25 and Royal Wedding $2.25 correctly used in period very difficult to find.

We also have the peculiar situation that the 'old' $1.35 Christmas Card rate was only a rate 'on paper', having never been in used, as the rate only applies in November and December each year.

Stamp wise we will probably see at least three new values: $1.60, $1.65 and $2.35. Stamps for the $3.30 and $4.70 rates will probably also be issued. A Bush Babies issue is planned for release on 1 July, and it is likely that this will be theme of the new Internationals (I wonder if they will be similar to the 2009 issue?). Personalised stamps will probably be issued.

This rise also explains a number of perculiarities of the Lake Eyre issue. The issue was bought forward; the large size of $1.55 and $2.25 stamps was unusual; personalised stamps were not released; and as mentioned in my June Stamp News article it is known that more than one value was printed in the same sheet, a layout not normally used for Australian stamps. No doubt this is was done to avoid wastage with rates increasing so soon.

The recently reprinted $7.50 (5 x $1.50) booklet with new cover will probably become quite scarce, only being on sale for three months.

Finally, Australia Post has said on its website (link) that it will review the fuel surcharge after 3 months. Could we see a situation where international rates increase again in September, if the fuel surcharge increases?

Parcel, Registered, Express Post Rates to Increase 4 July

The ACCC has not objected to Australia Post increasing a number of domestic rates on 4 July. All the new rates include a fuel surcharge (see Australia Post website).

For postal stationery collectors, the small and large Registered Post envelopes increase by 10c each (to $3.70 and $4.90 respectively), as does the Registered Post prepaid label (to $3.05). The 500g Parcel Post satchel increases by 30c to $6.60, and the 3kg satchel increases by 50c to $11.20. DL and C6 Express Post envelopes increase by 25c to $5.05, B4 envelopes increase by 30c to $6.40, and satchels increase by 4.8%.

As all postal stationery is postage paid, there will be no new stationery.

However, there will be a rush of new stamps for the international rate rise...

Monday, May 30, 2011

Unexpected New Booklet

Did you notice the 1 koala reprint of the $7.50 (5 x $1.50) sheetlet/booklet in Stamp Bulletin No. 310?

If you collect booklets, then you will certainly want one. The front cover of the booklet has changed, indicating the $1.50 stamp is now for postcards and greetings card. The barcode has also changed.

Original booklet (top) and reprint (bottom)

The phosphor tagging is also denser on the reprint.

Northern Territory PPE becomes a PSE!

Today's prepaid envelope for the centenary of the Northern Territory has become a prestamped envelope!


As a result it has it's own first day of issue postmark (as shown above).

For collectors wanting to order this envelope the mail order codes are:
PSE postmarked - 6676144
PSE mint - 6676134

The postmarked envelope is not listed online, and 
may only be available by phoning up the Philatelic Bureau.

Colleen of OzPictormarks has also advised that Darwin is holding the postmarker for those wanting to get their own prepaid envelopes cancelled.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Stamp Issues for July to start of August 2011

5/7/11 Living Australia
5/7/11 Amnesty International
19/7/11 Skiing Australia
28/7/11 Colonial Heritage II - Emerging Identity
2/8/11 Centenary of Australasian Antarctic Expedition

Dates and titles are subject to change.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Stamp Bulletin 310 Now Online

Australia Post has published the next Stamp Bulletin online. Click here to download.