Stamp collecting is a popular hobby in many areas of the world. This is especially true in Australia, where philately is a common hobby among all types of people.
Popular Australian Stamps
There are a wide range of Australian stamps issued every year, and it is sometimes surprising to see which stamps prove the most popular. Each year, the most popular stamp in Australia is determined as thousands of Australians vote for their favorite stamp design. The winner is given the distinguished Australia Post Stamp Design Award. Past winners of this award include:
-Sports Treasures (2005): These were popular with sports lovers, because they included pictures of Lionel Rose’s boxing gloves, Sir Donald Bradman’s baggy green, Marjorie Jackson’s running spikes and Phar Lap’s racing silks.
-Working Dogs (2008): This set featured pictures of “working dogs” such as border collies and German shepherds. The favorite stamp from the Working Dogs stamp issue was one depicting a border collie.
-Australian Songbirds (2009): Featured birds from this beautiful stamp issue included the Scarlet Honeyeater, the Green Catbird, the Mangrove Golden Whistler and the Noisy Scrub-bird.
Rare Australian Stamps
Avid Australian stamp collectors especially enjoy finding and obtaining the most valuable and rare Australian stamps. These tend to be older stamps with especially distinctive or memorable designs. However, just because a stamp is old doesn’t necessarily mean it is valuable, especially if it was produced in large quantities. Scarcity is the determining factor of a stamp’s value. Some of the rarest Australian stamps are listed below:
-Inverted Swan stamp (1855): This extremely rare stamp was one of the first ever featuring a frame invert error. The Black Swan, an Australian symbol, was printed upside down. There are only 15 of these stamps still in existence, which is why each one is valued at US $60,000.
-King George V Head Stamps: There are a variety of stamps depicting King George V, but not all of these are valuable. The rarest examples of the King George V stamps include a dull green seahorse issue stamp from 1913 and a turquoise Royal Cypher stamp from 1912 that features an inverted watermark.
-Sir Charles Kingsford Smith (1931): Sir Charles Kingsford was the first living Australian to be featured on an Australian stamp. The most rare among these stamps is a set that was presented by the Australian postmaster general to Sir Charles himself
Where to Buy Australian Stamps
There are many places where you can buy australian stamps. Many Australian stamp collectors subscribe to “Stamp Bulletin” which features pictures of and information about a variety of stamps, and includes a mail order catalogue with each issue. Those who prefer to order online can visit the “Stamp Bulletin” website at www.auspost.com.au/stamps
Other places to purchase stamps online include eBay and the Australian Stamp and Coin Company website, at www.australianstamp.com
For a list of more general websites selling stamps online please visit my stamp collecting home page.
What’s my collection worth?
http://www.allworldstamps.com/ is a well known dealer in Australian stamps (among others) and has a valuation service, which you will need to subscribe to, to use
Stanley Gibbons offers a valuation service with a good database on Australian collectable stamps. Again you will need to subscribe to this service to make use of it
GlenStephens.com is based in Sydney and offers amongst other services, stamp valuations for insurance purposes and otherwise
Clubs and Societies:
The Australian Philatelic Society is based in Melbourne, Australia. They are dedicated to the research, study, publication and display of philately and postal history, of Australia and its States, and worldwide. They have an extensive website.
The Richmond Stamp Club is based in NSW and meets at 7.00pm on the 2nd Thursday of each month (except January) at various members homes.
There are many other clubs and societies available, for a full list click here.
One interesting piece of trivia that many Australian stamp collectors are unaware of: there have been many past attempts to forge rare Australian stamps. One of the most famous of these happened in 1932, when a fraudster attempted to forge the extremely rare “Two Pound Kangaroo on Map” stamp