At the conference of postal and telegraphic representatives from New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Tasmania, held in Hobart in March and April 1898, it was agreed that:

The first issue of NSW Specimens to the UPU under the new agreement was recorded in the letter from Under-Secretary S, H. Lambton of Finance and Trade on 19th June 1889 and covered 345 specimens of each postage stamp of the colony then in use. Total cost £713/8/6. They were received on 29/8/89.

Previously, under the UPU agreement, the NSW Post Office had to provide the Berne Bureau of the UPU with 810 of each denomination overprinted SPECIMEN.

The overprint was in red, lower case letters (except for the first letter), serif font and 16 mm long. This format was used in NSW for stamps and postal stationery from September 1896 to about 1899 (see Bell (2007, p. 19)).

The stamps for these puroses were those printed on the standard watermared paper and the usual perforation was used.

The stamps overprinted SPECIMEN are not rare but they are scarce in good condition. Less than five examples would be listed across the most prominent auction houses each year.

The only known multiples with the SPECIMEN overprint are from the Australia Post Archives. A pair of each denomination with lower selvedge was sold at the February 1987 Philatelic Archival sale held by Australia Post. The two pairs were also auctioned by Premier in the Rarities sale of January 2003 Lot 222.

Supplies of both denominations of the Charity stamps were exhausted very quickly after being issued and hence there were no stamps cancelled-to-order for collectors. There are some stamps with light corner cancels on the market at times but these were not prepared as C.T.O. stamps.