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A Dealer Said My First Day Covers Are Worthless. Why?

how to value first day covers

By John Finch. Stamps Expert

Question: A Dealer Said My First Day Covers Are Worthless. Why?

Question: "I spent a lot of time and money over the years, going to the post office, buying new stamps, putting them on clean white blank envelopes and sending them away for a first day of issue cancellation. But when I recently tried to sell the collection to a dealer he said my covers were worthless. What's the deal?"

In recent years overall cachets covering all or most of the envelope have become popular. These include the artist "hand-painted" covers which usually command a premium over such mass-produced fare as that marketed by Artcraft, Artmaster, Fleetwood and other popular brands.

As supply

and demand dictates price the limited artist covers, almost without exception, sell for more than their numerous commercial counterparts. In any event, blank first day covers with only stamp and cancel are virtually worthless in today's stamp collecting marketplace.

In general, only stamps first day canceled pre-1920s -- before the cacheted cover came into vogue -- are deemed collectible without a cachet.

But take heart! If you are of an artistic bent you might consider putting your own stamp-related artwork on a cover. Thanks to the ease of printing with computers we are in the age of the "add-on cachet." If you can draw, print and paint your first day cover collection might not come up blank after all!

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