Thursday, July 1, 2010

What is an FDC?

The first day of issuance of a stamp is the day on which a postage stamp, post card or stamped envelope is placed on sale. The issuing country usually holds a first day ceremony in a specific city and the stamp is only available for purchase in that city on that day. It is made available throughout the rest of the country on the following day (second day of issue).

A first day cover (FDC) is an envelope that has a stamp postmarked (or cancelled) on the day of issuance. An official postmark is applied in that city on the first day. An unofficial first day cover may be created by taking the stamps to other cities to obtain a first day postmark, by placing them in the mailstream or bringing them to the post office.

The artwork added to the first day cover is called the cachet and can be hand drawn, printed, rubber stamped or an other method a collector can think of.

An event cover is one that is produced to commemorate a special event (space launches, sporting events, political events, etc.). Pictorial postmarks are ones that feature artwork and are created by the post office for special events and at times first day of issuance.

The above cover is from my own printed artwork (under the name Robinson Stamps) for the 1995 Classic Comics first day of issue, with the Yellow Kid stamp.

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