Australian FDC Guide

An illustrated guide to Australian First Day Covers.


Welcome to my illustrated guide to Australian First Day Covers.

This site aims to be a database of every FDC issued by Australia Post and private cover makers since cacheted FDCs became popular. The main focus is on the "official" first day covers (gummed, self-adhesive, minisheet, and prestige), but also lists the coin and stamp covers (PNC, "stamp and coin", and "stamp and medallion") and commemorative or souvenir covers. There are also common variations such as collector-created FDCs with booklet panes, Frama button sets and self-adhesive stamps. I've recently been adding covers from private cover makers, but the list is not complete and I add them as I collect them.

Australia Post (or the Post Master's General department before it) covers have gone through three phases:

  1. From the first decimal issues (and some pre-decimal) there were generic (aka shield) covers available that collectors affixed stamps to and had postmarked on the first day of issue (FDI).
  2. From the 1970 Expo issue (16 Mar 1970) the post office released issue-specific cacheted covers that collectors affixed stamps to and had postmarked on the FDI.
  3. From the 1987 Technology issue (19 Aug 87), Australia Post prepared covers with stamps affixed and cancelled for FDI in bulk prior to the FDI. This practice continues today.
So covers prior to 19 Aug 1987 may show variations in stamp placement although most covers from early 1970 had a consistent set of stamps on them. You could say that the "official" covers are those from the 1987 Technology issue, but those before used the official post office cachet (versus the private cachet makers like WCS and Royal).

The information has been gleaned from many sources including my own collection, the Australia Post Stamp Bulletins, covers on eBay, colleagues on, and the Australian Stamp Catalog (a very comprehensive list of stamp issues). The images of covers are scans of my collection.

The database is mostly up to date (late 2014). If I don't have a cover, there's a generic cover that will display. I'm focusing on the stamp issues that had covers, so I've not included re-issues, overprints or "P" (personalised) stamp issues. Whilst every effort is made to include every issue and cover, I can't guarantee I've got them all.

You can use the quick links in the box to the left or go straight to the Search page.