What is a First Day Cover?

When a new postage stamp is first issued, the United States Postal Service (USPS) offers a special postmark that says "First Day of Issue." An envelope with that new stamp and cancel is called a First Day Cover (FDC).

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The American First Day Cover Society, has been promoting this specialty of the stamp collecting hobby since 1955.

What is a Event cover?

Many cachet makers will honer certain persons or events in someones life such as mile stones and or Death with an Special event cancellation, these are not first day covers but EVENT COVERS, although they may have a pictorial cancel mentioning the event. Below you see one event cover.


Issued by SPI (Sports Philatelists International) to
honor Jim Thorpe.

The stamps were issued way before
the cancel date


What is a First Day cover with a Pictorial cancel?

You will notice the cancel does not specify
that it is a First Day Cancel. We know that this stamp was issued on the date it was cancelled
Same here, no mention of First Day Cover.
Many collectors will collect these pictorial cancels


The USPS issues a bulletin that shows all upcoming Pictorial cancels.

Here is the link. http://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin/pb2011.htm

How to Collect

You pick what you like and collect it. Sound too simple? Choices are infinite, but collectors usually focus on one of these categories:

• a particular stamp issue
• a favorite topic on many stamps (anything you can think of)
• all the covers made by one cachet maker
• covers from a certain year or decade

• all available cancels

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