16 November 2010

Phnom Penh CPO Postmarks (Part 2)

(continue part 1)

Cambodia experienced high inflation from late 1980s to the first half of 1990s, subsequent high denomination postage stamp shortage eventually led to the introduction of meter stamps in 1992. These meter stamps did not only serve as postage payment indicator, they were postmark and killer. A brief introduction on this has been done before in my blog, please click here to read.

From 1992 to 1994, the majority of letters sending from Phnom Penh CPO were canceled by meter stamps. At the same time Lon Nol era style postmarks (1970-1975) continued to star on mail, especially in 1993 and 1994. Things only came to a change when a new postmark generation appeared in 1995.

The 2 Lon Nol era style postmarks shown above were particularly popular on 1993 and 1994 mail. They are characterized by thick rectangular border date dial and large fonts.


In 1995, a new generation of postmarks was born. It is bilingual (Khmer and French) just like generation I, the layout is very similar but now the country name in French is changed from "Kampuchea" to "Cambodge".

The change in country name was made by the government in 1989 but it was not reflected on hand-applied postmarks until 1995.

A notable difference from generation I is that all postmarks now bear acronyms which indicate the usage. This acronym is located above the acronym "RP." at the lower edge of the postmark.

"COD" is "Courrier Ordinaire Départ" which is for all originally outgoing mail. "CA" is "Cabine Arrivée" and "CD" is "Cabine Départ", they are the arrival and outgoing postmarks for registered mail and official mail.


In 1996 there was a replacement on all generation II postmarks. This new type B has comparatively short font height, and the spacing between the scripts and postmark edge is considerably wider than before. Another significant change is the arabic numeral font, it is now very much slimmer than that of the old type.

Dots are used to separate day, month and year. This is not the case in type A.

Just as type A, there are acronyms to indicate usage:

Type B is still in service now and it is a bigger family than type A. Other than the acronym postmarks, type B has numbered postmarks - RP2, RP4 and RP5. RP2 is exclusive to philatelic counter:

(to be continued)

Please click here for Phnom Penh CPO Postmarks (Part 1)
Please click here for Phnom Penh CPO Postmarks (Part 3)

6 November 2010

Cambodian Stamp Design Cloned

I will carry on with the Phnom Penh postmark series later. This time let's have something light.

Here is a set of 1999 Afghanistan Cacti 6v:

If you are a collector of Cambodia, you will find the stamp design very familiar, it is the virtually identical to the 1990 Cacti 7v set:

This is not the first time when two countries coincidentally share the same design without piror arrangement, but it is a first for Cambodia.

Both sets were produced by COPREFIL, however as stated in UPU International Bureau Circular #345 of 21st August 2000, from 1990 on the Kabul administration did not commission any printers to produce stamps, so the Afghanistan set is illegal. Afghanistan issued stamps again in 2002.