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From October 1989 Australia Post identified stamp reprints by the use of a small koala or kangaroo logos in the sheet selvedge (margin). These logos were introduced to allow for easy identification of reprints by collectors and Australia Post staff.

1 koala printing
1 koala = 1st reprint
2 koala printing
2 koalas = 2nd reprint
3 koala printing
3 koalas = 3rd reprint
4 koala printing
4 koala = 4th reprint
1 kangaroo printing
1 kangaroo = 5th reprint
1 kangaroo + 1 koala printing
1 kangaroo + 1 koala = 6th reprint
1 kangaroo + 2 koala printing
1 kangaroo + 2 koala = 7th reprint
Additional koalas and kangaroos are added to indicate later reprints.

Note: Small definitives (30 mm x 25 mm) with two kangaroos are the ninth reprint, as it is impossible to fit 1 kangaroo and 4 koalas in the selvedge.

Initially the logos were printed adjacent to every second row, but were soon printed next to every row. Some collectors also collect examples of the koala and kangaroo logos in the left and right hand selvedge.

Reprints of the Living Together and Sports definitives made before October 1989 were counted when the koala and kangaroo logos were introduced. For example, the first 80c Living Together definitive with koalas is the three koala printing (the third reprint), as two previous reprints had already been produced.

What is a reprint?
Technically, a 'reprint' is a stamp printed from the original plates, after such stamps have ceased to be current. This website uses 'reprint' in a broader sense, as employed by Australia Post and Australian collectors.

On this website, a reprint is any stamp that falls into one of these categories:

  • Koala and Kangaroo Reprints:
    These are reprints of current definitive (and some commemorative) stamps which are required for postal needs. Koala and kangaroo logos are used to identify each printing. These are sold at face value in post offices.
  • Reprints of Previously Issued Stamps:
  • Since 2005 Australia Post has produced a number of souvenir booklets and sheets which include stamps that have been previously withdrawn from sale. The production of these items involves the scanning of the original stamp into a computer. These scanned stamps are then arranged into booklet panes or sheets, which are then printed and perforated (often by companies different to the original). Because of these factors these reprints can easily be distinguished from the originals, either by perforation, colour, paper or size changes. These items are sold above face value and may have limited availability.

Why are stamps reprinted?
Australia Post requires a range of values to be stocked by post offices. Stamps are reprinted when existing stocks fall to a pre-determined level, and then held in reserve until required. As requirements of individual post offices vary considerably, it is not possible to have precise on-sale dates. Post offices do not receive all reprints automatically; instead, they receive stocks of whatever printing is currently held by the warehouse when the need arises.

What types of stamps are reprinted?
Most of the stamps that are reprinted are definitives. On occasions, commemoratives have been reprinted, when they have a value not available in the current definitives. Commemoratives may also be reprinted due to the popularity of an issue, or in souvenir booklets or sheets.

Are reprints done solely for philatelic purposes?
In the case of koala and kangaroo reprints - no. It is essential that each post office has a large range of values in stock. These include basic rate definitives; low-value stamps (generally up to $2) which are used for making up higher rates (called 'make-up stamps'); and high-value stamps (above $2) used for making up rates on heavy letters and parcel.

As for previously issued stamps reprinted in booklets or souvenir sheets - then, yes the reprint is produced for philatelic purposes. The face values of the stamps in such products often do not reflect current postal rates or needs, nor are the products containing these stamps sold at face value or in most post offices.

Why don't you class the stamps in Souvenir Stamp Sheets and some Prestige Booklets as reprints?
Since the introduction of personalised stamps in 1999, Australia Post has issued regular greetings stamps. At times these stamps appear in prestige booklets and souvenir stamp sheets which are sold above face. I don't class these as reprints, for two reasons: the stamp has not been reprinted because stocks have fallen below a particular level, nor has the stamp been withdrawn from sale. These stamps are still current and have simply been reissued in another format (more information). Australia Post still uses the original computer files to produce these products, and often the same printers, paper and perforations are used, though in some cases there are minor changes.

If you have more information, or spot an error, please e-mail me.

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Last updated 6 February 2011. Website comments and queries to stamps@chrisdehaer.com.au or PO Box 1448, Booragoon WA 6954.

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