What are Postal Markings?

Is it a postmark if it has no date or place name? Is it a cancel if it is printed over a stamp but displays full details on the date and location of mailing? Can cancels and postmarks be different but one in the same? It seems hopeless but we can proceed by setting up a few definitions to guide the way.

Since we are dealing strictly with Honduran philately, let's start off with a clean slate with the simple words "postal marking." We will define it as any marking placed on a mailing by a post office or postal agency. This includes alot of markings on covers but not all. We start here and proceed to name the various applications of these "postal markings."

If the marking is intended to be used to invalidate a postage stamp --it is a cancel. A BH72 has no other purpose than to be a cancel.
Postal marking 1A

If the marking intended to be a record of when and where mailed -- it is a postmark. A Tela LT is commonly a postmark.
Postal marking 1B

If the postal marking is not used as a cancel or postmark then it is used as a functional marking. There are many types to include certification or registration, late mailing, postage due, airmail, FDC, First Flight and propaganda etc. R. and A.R. are functional markings.
Postal marking 1C
With these definitions in hand it is time to reinterate that it is possible to find postmarks that are applied as cancels, or regulatory markings that also perform as postmarks. Except for certification markings these are very unusual. The key to follow will point out where these dual usages have occurred.

common Postal marking cover
Above is a clear example of the definitions. The BH50 serves as a cancel. The CM4 certification serves as a postmark and the rectangular certification weight and number is regulatory.

rare Postal marking cover
The above is rather unusual. One certification marking serves as both a cancel and a postmark. The number and weight registration is regulatory.

Anderson Catalog of Honduran Cancels by Craig Anderson © 2016.