What are First Day Covers?

 

First Day Covers

 First Day Cover

 

First Day Covers are a unique facet of philately, entailing the collection of stamps affixed to envelopes (covers), and postmarked (cancelled) with the date and location the stamp was first issued. They can be simple covers (a stamp affixed to a plain envelope), or cachets comprised of thrilling creations of the imagination. Beautiful hand-painted designs spring from the minds of school children and professionals alike; computer-generated creations are becoming more and more common. All are created around a theme related to the stamp affixed on the cover.

 

In producing First Day Covers, customers have 30 days (from a new stamp's date of issue) to purchase stamps, affix them to covers, and mail them to the First Day of Issue city.  Covers are then canceled, overwrapped for protection, and delivered back through the mail stream.

  • The First Day Cover will be returned to you directly through the mail if you include your own information as the recipient on the item.
  • If you wish the cover (or covers) to be returned to you in a separate envelope, you must provide the additional self addressed stamped envelope.

 

Pictorial Cancellation First Day Cover imageFirst Day Cover imageFull Pane First Day Cover imageFull Pane Cancellation image
Pictorial Cancellation FDCFDCFull Pane FDCFull Pane Cancellation

 

Ordering First Day Covers with Traditional Black & White Cancellation  

Each cover must have sufficient postage to meet current First-Class Mail® and/or First-Class Mail International® requirements. Covers bearing previously cancelled stamps and postmarks may be serviced, provided sufficient additional new (mint) postage, equal to the current First-Class Mail or First-Class Mail International price is affixed. A previously canceled stamp cannot be canceled again.

Cachet envelopes bearing a design referring to the commemoration of a special event are available through cachet manufacturers, stamp dealers or stamp sections in department stores. These covers will be serviced; 6 1/2-inch cachets are preferable.

When ordering First Day Covers, customers have 30 days (from a new stamp's date of issue) to purchase stamps, affix them to covers, individually address covers and mail them to the First Day of Issue city. Covers are then canceled, overwrapped for protection, and delivered back through the mail stream. There is no charge for applying the First Day postmark. Each cover must have a filler card of Postal card thickness or index card inserted inside, with the flap tucked in.

Requests for customer-affixed covers should be sent to:

(NAME OF ISSUE)
POSTMASTER
(CITY STATE  ZIP)

 

Ordering First Day Covers with a Digital Color Cancellation

The Postal Service™ has now added a variable to the cancellations. Any customer may submit a request for the Digital Color Postmarks (DCP), including those that have only been sold in the catalog. There are some specific guidelines they must follow to receive these cancellations:

  • Envelopes must be a

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