South Australia

What Can Be Done: South Australia presents the similar challenges to the other Australian States.  South Australia produced most of their stamps locally, for non-philatelic purposes. Printing methods in Australia were not as refined as the finest European printers and changing postal needs and printing orders made for many printings and many varieties. South Australia has many shades and watermark and perforation varieties that distinguish only a few design types into over 150 major numbers. The stamps themselves make for good collecting,

Further, South Australia also has the most interesting Officials of any of the Australian states. Called Departmentals, these Officials consist of overprints on the existing stamps, with many of the various government agencies issuing their own stamps (this was how Officials were issued in the United States and Great Britain, but it is not the case with most of the rest of the world. Most countries either used regular issue postage stamps for postal purposes or else issued generic Officials that were used by all of the government). These Officials make for good collecting. They are hard to find but often surprisingly affordable.

Specialty Albums: Most collectors of South Australia in the United States use the Scott specialty pages. Most non US collectors make their own album pages.

Stamp Catalogs: The Scott catalog is pretty good for South Australia and the listings fit the Scott pages if you are using them. Most collectors use Scott.

Availability of Material: South Australia, like most of the Australian States, is the area that is actively traded. Philately is a big hobby “down under” and Australian Sates stamps are a very popular specialty there. So there are many Australian States specialty dealers. General dealers too usually have offerings. Many of the more exotic varieties are tough to find, if not very costly. And the country’s stamps are far more difficult to find mint than used, even if the price differential between the two is often not that great.

Expense: South Australia is expensive to complete. What some collectors do to make the task less costly is avoid the Postal Fiscal issues (stamps that were issued for both revenue and postal duty). Oddly, in the case of Queensland, Scott lists the postal fiscals in a separate category (as “AR” numbers) and for South Australia these same postal fiscals are listed as (expensive) major listing numbers. Such catalog inconsistencies (and Scott is not alone in this) and the refusal of the catalog publishers to make need changes (despite having had these inconsistencies pointed out for decades) is one of the things that can make this hobby annoying.

Overall Grade: B


Share on:
Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top