Cover Collecting Basics
are many ways to collect First Day Covers. This
guide will discuss several major options,
available resources, general pricing advice and
How you collect is your choice. Whatever your
choice, you will be able to find a wide array of
material on Online Stores, eBay
and at your local stamp dealer
with which to build your collection.
Once you have made a choice we suggest you get
the 2007 U.S. Scott First Day
Cover Catalogue & Checklist which is available for
purchase in our Online Store. It provides updated
values for more than 10,000 cacheted and
uncacheted U.S. First Day Covers. Listings are
arranged by Scott Catalogue number and includes
brief description featuring denomination and
what is a First Day Cover?
The three basic elements of a first day cover are the
envelope, the stamp and the postmark. The postmark is the
critical element as it verifies the date on which the
stamp in question was cancelled and ties it to the cover.
If the date of the cancel is on the first day a
particular stamp design has been issued by the post
office, the evelope it is on is a First Day cover.
the US Post Office issues a stamp in only one city the
day before a new issue is put on sale in post offices
around the nation. The issuance of a new stamp is
frequently a cause of celebration, and as such the post
office often holds special ceremonies in the First Day
city. A special Ceremony Program has been used at most of
these events since WWII. These are also collectible.
You can click here to see the ones we have.
focus on first day covers themselves. Since 1923
first day covers have been decorated with a special
cachet (pronounced "ka-shay") printed, stamped,
pasted or drawn on the envelope which usually relates in
some way to the subject depicted on the stamp. These
designs vary from the crudely drawn to virtual works of
art in their own right. First day covers can be broadly
grouped into two primary groups: Cacheted and Un-Cacheted.
A number of individuals and companies have developed a
series of cachets over the years which they sold to the
general collecting public. Some first day cover
collectors specialize in collecting one or more cachet
maker, trying to accumulate as many different creations
of their favorite over time.
Forget Postal Cards
U.S. Postal Cards are an often forgotten aspect of first
day cover collecting. As a result, they offer the
collector an opportunity to build a significant
collection at a relatively low cost. Unfortunately most dealers
do not carry these, but we are in the process of adding
them to our site. You can see them here .
Among the more popular cachet makers are the following:
are perhaps the most numerous cachet available. Started
in 1939, Artcraft used plain black ink engraved designs.
Very clean and well executed designs were well recieved
by stamp collectors. After all stamp collectors have an
advanced level of appreciation for engraved art, like the
stamps they collected. Because they were produced and
collected heavily, they are among the most common first
day cachet on the aftermarket. At the same time, that
popularity has resulted in many people trying to collect
them all. The early issues from 1939 are more difficult
to come by. There are a number of variations available to
add to the enjoyment. With the exception of early issues,
you should probably insist on unaddressed material for
this cachet maker.
celebrated 50 years of First Days in 1996 our
first cachet was issued on May 9, 1946. Founded by Bob
and Mary Schmidt "in a filebox on the kitchen table,"
as the story goes, the business is still owned by family.
Uncle Bob and Aunt Mary were collectors themselves, and
always did their best to please their customers with
personal service. We try to do the very same today.
Artmaster envelopes are printed by offset in one or two
colors. On the reverse is a short biography or
description of the stamp subject. Early Artmaster covers
are single color engravings.
of Farnam is the very oldest continuously
produced cachet, founded by Dusty Farnam and his wife,
Vera, in Cleveland, Ohio on May 9, 1936. The business was
sold to John Halliday of Whittier, California in the late
1970s; then Artmaster assume production of Farnam covers
in 1988. House of Farnam cachets are multi-color
engravings and have a rich, distinctive appearance and
texture. Early Farnam covers are single color.
Craft Cachets is a line of covers founded in New
Jersey by Ben Schwartz in 1964. It has been a limited
edition version of Farnam since 1987; the line has been
produced by Artmaster since 1988. CCCachets are made from
the same engraving plates as Farnam covers; but feature
gray rather than white stock envelopes. Each comes with a
stuffer card detailing the number produced for that issue
as well as a short description or biography of the stamp
has made the finest First Day Covers in the business
since 1929 for more than 75 years. Fleetwood
First Day Covers are painstakingly crafted using
beautiful designs created exclusively for Fleetwood
collectors. Every Cover bears the coveted Fleetwood
watermark and uses fine linen-finish paper made to our
exacting specifications. Stamps are masterpieces in
miniature and are carefully affixed. Add to this the
authoritative narratives... the full-bodied feel and
enduring quality of the covers themselves...the official
postmarks...and you have the key reasons why Fleetwood-brand
First Day Covers are so popular among collectors.
Silk are this country's leading manufacturer of
full-color "silk" cachets for first day and
special event covers. Brilliant full-color art, dazzling
gold borders, and the unique look that only a "silk"
cachet can offer, have made COLORANO the choice of
knowledgeable collectors for more than 25 years. Browse
our web site and you'll soon see why COLORANO covers are
considered by many to be the finest available in the