Learn about the many types of stamps that you can collect.
There are many different types of stamps to collect and various ways to buy them. One of the easiest ways to start your collection is to ask friends and family to save their used stamps for you, or to swap stamps with friends.
Below is a list of the types and styles of stamps you may wish to collect.
Definitive stamps have commonly used values (e.g. 70 cents), so they stay in circulation for a long time. These stamps are mostly used for posting standard letters.
Commemorative stamps celebrate social or historical events of national importance.
These stamps have a common theme, such as animals, flowers, cars, dinosaurs, space travel or fairy tales. Stamp collections based on a particular theme will usually include stamps issued in different years by various countries.
Personalised stamps allow a photograph to be printed on the tab of a currently valid postage stamp and can feature photos of family members, friends or favourite pets.
Australia Post once had a rule that no living person (except the Queen and members of her family) could be shown on stamps in their own right. In 1997 the first "Australian Legends" stamps were issued honouring Sir Donald Bradman, Australia's most famous cricketer.
During the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games the world's first instant stamps were produced for every Australian athlete or team that won a gold medal. They were available for purchase the day after the gold medal was presented.
First day covers
These are available on the first day that new stamps are issued. They have a picture on the envelope and a special postmark that relates to the stamp issue.
These are small sheets of stamps, often designed so that the stamps form part of a larger picture.
These are picture postcards with one stamp and a special first day of issue postmark.
Souvenir stamp sheets
Special stamp sheets that are produced for a variety of reasons and events: charities, football teams, concerts and even movies.
These are folders containing a new set of stamps in mint condition. Information about the stamps is printed on the pack.
Small sheets usually with ten stamps that can be of the same or different designs.
If you are interested in stamps and stamp collecting check out our online magazine,
for information about stamp issues, coin releases and much more.