Postal Markings
Describing Postal Markings
Pricing, Terms & Condition
Honolulu Postmarks
Town Postmarks
Service Marks
Auxiliary Marks
Foreign Postal Markings
Q & A
Local & Inter-island Mail
Routes & Post Offices
Maps of Hawaii
Q & A
Foreign Mails & Covers
Pre-Postal Mail
Mail Rates
Treaty Period
Inaugural Treaty Period
Early Treaty Period
Middle Treaty Period
Late Treaty Period
Convention Period
UPU Period
Soldiers Mail
Registered Letters
Q & A
Missionary Stamps
Boston Engraved Issue
Numeral Issue
Boston Lithograph Issue
Bank Note Issue
Provisional Government Issue
Pictorial Issue
Official Issue
Revenue Issues
Kahului Railway Issue
Q & A
Postal Cards & Envelopes
Postal Cards
Postal Envelopes
Q & A
News & Notes
Book Project
Current Exhibits
Hawaiian Philatelists
Resource Links
Collectors: A - F
Collectors: G - L
Collectors: M - R
Collectors: S - Z
Site Map

To Main Post Office
Postal Markings

Lahaina Custom Seal

Categories of Postal Markings

Markings found on Hawaiian mail fall into several broad categories.

  • First there are Postmarks, meaning a mark designating a post office name. Many but not all postmarks incorporate a date and may indicate the post office of origin, a transit mark to show the name of a post office along the cover's transit route, or a post office of destination. In this study, Hawaiian postmarks are divided into Honolulu Postmarks and Town Postmarks. Former studies refer to Hawaiian postmarks as town cancels but the label is incorrect. Cancels typically are used to deface the stamp and although postmarks sometimes served the purpose of a cancel, all cancels are not postmarks and all postmarks are not cancels. Therefore, this study treats cancels as a different category.

  • Next are Cancels, meaning a mark used to obliterate or deface a stamp to prevent its re-use. These marks have no post office name or date incorporated in them. Cancels used by foreign post offices are discussed below under Foreign Postal Markings.

  • Then there are Service Marks, used by the Hawaiian Postal Service to give information to the sender, recipient or another post office down the mail stream. See also, Registered Letters for that sub-class of Hawaiian service marks. Service marks used by foreign post offices are discussed below under Foreign Postal Markings.

  • Another broad category of marks are known as Auxiliary Marks and refers to marks placed on covers by non-official, semi-official or official non-postal sources. Many but not all auxiliary marks refer in some way to the condition or handling of mail.

  • Foreign postmarks, cancels, service marks and auxiliary marks appearing on Hawaiian stamps are vast and attempting to be complete would be quite challenging. Some foreign markings, particularly those associated with the West Coast exchange offices (the post office officially designated by a country to receive or send foreign mail) of San Francisco, Tacoma, Victoria and Vancouver, are described in Foreign Postal Markings. This group includes foreign postmarks, cancels, service marks and auxiliary marks placed on a cover by or in a foreign country. See also, NZMPO and Paquebot Marks and Registered Letters.

  • At the end of this section is a page called Mysteries. Unidentified marks will be posted there to encourage feedback that might help identify them.

  • For type references and rarity scales, see Describing Postal Markings.

  • For Postal Mailing lexicon and pricing, see Pricing, Terms and Condition.

  Home | Foreign Mails & Covers | Stamps | Postal Cards & Envelopes |
Local & Inter-island Mail
| News & Notes | Guestbook | Site Map | Feedback

This page last updated: 15 November 2009

Copyright © 1999 - 2009 POST OFFICE IN PARADISE. All rights reserved.
Website Designed by A. W. Associates