Australia - Personalized Stamps
Keith Larson

In March 1999 Australia was the first country in the world to introduce "personalized stamps" at the international exhibition in Melbourne.  Australia Post set up cameras and added pictures next to a real stamp.  The photo stamps can be used as se-tenant pairs with the real stamp on mail.  Collectors around the world could order these and other stamps online.

Polly Woodside
Polly Woodside (With Tab)

The 45c Polly Woodside stamp, released as part of the Sailing Ships of Australia stamp issue, was first issued with a tab attached to the left side of the stamp.  This tab featured the Australia 99 logo printed in gold and black.  It was also available as a Personalised Stamp in a sheetlet of 20.

Celebrate 2000
Celebrate 2000 (With Tab)

The Celebrate 2000 stamp reflects the innovations in technology and the changing of the year.  It features a hologram switching between the years 1999 and 2000 inset into the stamp and colourful fireworks.  The stamp also comes with a tab (reading 'Celebrate 2000') which is available for personalising using the Personalised Stamps service.

Full size sheet
Celebrate 2000 Jamboree M/S(With Tab)

Now Australia Post has another world first - portable personalized stamps.  The very first trial printing was at a Scouting jamboree in January 2000.  Australia Post took a portable unit to the jamboree, took photos of the people there and made a mini-sheet (M/S) out of it on the spot virtually.  As this was a trial, stamp collectors were only made aware of the existence of the M/S recently in the stamp magazines, and it is scarce.

When the Post Office receives the persons picture, they print out a proof run to make sure the photo is OK, and if it is all right, they then use the photo with their M/S - the proofs should then be destroyed, but this one was actually sent back to the people whose photo was taken.