This month’s First-Day Covers column continues where the June 2 column left off, explaining terminology used in cover collecting.
Combination (or combo) first-day covers have stamps affixed other than the new issues. These additional stamps are tied to the cover by the first-day postmarks of the new issues.
The stamps are usually related to the new issues by theme, such as birds, trains, planes and so on.
The United States Postal Service is the only major country postal agency that will service such FDCs, and it will even allow the inclusion of stamps from other countries. If the foreign stamp is to be struck with a U.S. postmark, however, the postmark must also touch a U.S. stamp.
FDCs that are struck with two or more different first-day postmarks, or with both a first-day postmark with non-first-day postmark, are described as dual-canceled.
Shown in Figure 1 is a Queensbury Cachet by artist Jack Davis. The 1981 18¢ stamp honoring White House architect James Hoban (Scott 1935) was canceled with the circular date stamp for the first-day city, Washington, D.C., while the 20¢ James Hoban stamp (1936) was postmarked on the issue date in Whitehouse, N.J., about 200 miles away. The latter postmark on the Figure 1 cover is also an example of an unofficial FDC, as described in the previous First-Day Covers column.
A joint issue consists of stamps with the same subject and (usually) similar designs issued by two or more cooperating countries.
Figure 2 shows a 1991 joint issue FDC by Panda Cachets. The U.S. stamp (Scott 2532) and Swiss stamp (888) mark the 700th anniversary of the founding of Switzerland. The U.S. stamp also sports a UO (unofficial) cancel from Geneva, Ill. The official first-day city was Washington.
In the early days, FDCs had to be serviced by a collector or dealer in the first-day city on the first day of issue. The U.S. Post Office Department later changed the rules to accept mail-in requests, with sufficient payment for the stamps to be affixed.
Starting in 1977, the U.S. Postal Service established a 15-day grace period, during which collectors could buy the stamps at their local post office, affix them to covers and submit them for servicing.
Today, the grace period is usually 60 days for collectors, and twice that for dealers.
blogAs stamp collectors, we become the stewards of postage stamps and postal history. We passionately protect our stamps and covers. We recognize that these fragile objects are ours to cherish for a brief moment in time before we pass them along to the next generation. Read More ›
blogOn June 28, 1914, by assassinating Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, Yugoslav nationalist Gavrilo Princip with the squeeze of a trigger sparked would become to be known as “The Great War” and “The War to End All Wars.” Read More ›
blogEleanor Roosevelt said, “Great minds share ideas …,” and Linn’s is fortunate to have thoughtful leaders of the stamp hobby on its Editorial Advisory Board. Board members participated in a lively discussion of “The State of the Stamp Hobby” Aug. 21 at the American Philatelic Society Stampshow in Grand Rapids, Mich. Read More ›
August 19, 2015 01:58 PMIn an unusual development for our hobby, the Office of Inspector General of the United States Postal Service is blogging about stamp collecting. Read More ›
Watch as Scott catalog senior editor Marty Marty Frankevicz discusses the controversy in Canada over increasing postage rates, the elimination of home mail delivery and the erecting of cluster boxes.
Watch as Linn’s associate editor Michael Baadke discusses happenings at the recent APS Stampshow from the show floor.
Watch as Linn's/Scott editorial director Donna Houseman discusses the early release of the new U.S. Elvis stamp, the possibility of a Peanuts stamp and Linn's at the upcoming APS Stampshow.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News managing editor Chad Snee discusses highlights of Robert A. Siegel Auction Rarities Week sales in late June, and reports that the 49¢ price for a first-class United States stamp will remain in effect until April.
It is always a treat to get to see stamp dealers’ own collections.
In the recently concluded Linn’s United States Stamp Popularity Poll, the Circus Posters set of eight stamps was chosen as the overall favorite issue of 2014.
Dispersal of the splendid Daniel B. Curtis collection continued March 25, with Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries gaveling items from United States back-of-the-book and possessions.
The 175th anniversary of the first postage stamp, Great Britain's Penny Black, is May 6, but the stamp was placed on sale May 1, 1840, for mailers to use beginning on May 6, the designated issue date.