The aim of this article is to try and provide a basis for systematic study of one aspect of Omani Postal History through tracking changes to Registration marks from 1975 but possibly from earlier!
Registered mail post 1974 – type 1A
The common early mark is oval and is of approximately 4.8 mm in width with a height of approximately 2.6 mm.. The top is in Arabic and the bottom is in Latin script. The English reads ‘REGISTERED – POST OFFICE NAME / AREA’ at the bottom with date through the centre.
This type is definitely in use by 1975 and continues until at least 29.5.1986. Individual Post Offices names may change. For example Central P.O in 1975 becomes just C.P.O. in 1981.
Registered mail post 1974 – type 1B
The second type has the date compressed with lines above and below the date but it also has a ‘Regd- number’. It is only a single oval and is known used at Mina al- Fahal on 6.10.1983 as a backmark and since then at Ruwi and Muscat (13.3.84).
Registered mail post 1975 – type 1C
The third style of registration mark is known used 3.1.94 at Khasab.. It is linked to the first as it is still oval, with Arabic name at the top and the Latin script at the bottom. The main change is that there is an inner oval ring. The other change is the word ‘Registered’ has been removed from the perimeter of both the Arabic and English and placed as REGD. below the date in English and in Arabic above the date. This mark is known used at Khasab, Al- Murtafa and CPO Muscat (23.11.93).
Registered mail post 1974 – type 1d
The fourth type is a single oval mark but impressed in blue. At the top is the place name in Arabic, then the Arabic for Registration, a single line date in English, underneath the date is REGD. then the place in English . Known 20.1.2000.
Registered mail post 1974 – type 1e
The fifth type (27.02.01) is again a double oval type but with lines above and below the date. As well, no Registration number is given. So far it has only been seen from Ruwi.
Registered mail post 1974 – type 2a
Known from Greater Mutrah (24.4.85) are circular Registration marks of approximately three cm. in diameter. They are very similar to normal cds marks except the numbering begins with the letter R. R-1, R-4 and R-6 are known suggesting other numbers may be used.
Registered mail post independence – type 2b
Type 2b is known from Nizwa and Matrah. It is of the same diameter and structure as 2a except that below the date, REGD. appears with no number. The first known use is shown.
Registered mail post independence – type 3
The third type of mark is a large, purple, double circle mark from the CPO Muscat. It has a diameter of about 4.2 cm, has double circles with lined date in the centre and has an R-2 number below the date on the cover shown suggesting at least one other number would exist. The only known date is shown.
Registered mail post independence – type 4
At least one unusual cover was sent to Australia – it has an early CPO Muscat Registration label and a boxed bilingual On Postal Service mark in purple. It also has a large oval R mark in red, presumably indicating its registered status. It is from the Philatelic Department of the PTT (a large purple oval mark on the reverse clearly indicates this) but has no registered marks from Oman on it, only two Australian marks on arrival.
Therefore type four at the moment is for the oddities of the system!