First Day Cover (FDC)
A First Day of Issue Cover or First Day Cover (FDC) refers to a postage stamp on a cover, postcard, or stamped envelope franked on the first day the stamp is authorized for use within the country or territory of the stamp-issuing authority.
There will usually be a first day of issue postmark, frequently a pictorial cancellation, indicating the city and date where the item was first issued, and "first day of issue" is often used to refer to this postmark. Depending on the policy of the nation issuing the stamp, official first day postmarks may sometimes be applied to mail weeks or months after the date indicated.
Postal authorities may hold a first day ceremony to generate publicity for the new stamp, with postal officials revealing the stamp and with connected persons in attendance, such as descendants of the person being honored by the stamp. The ceremony may also be held in a location that has a special connection to the stamp's subject, such as the birthplace of a social movement, or at a stamp show.
Usually the ceremony of a First Day of Issue is sponsored by the Postal Authorities or the organizations that is connected to the release of this stamp. This event is very colourful and exciting so that a lot of collectors from around the world flow to the city where ceremony is held. During this ceremony the philately lovers get the unique opportunity to buy newly issued items as well as special souvenirs connected with them. The most appealing thing for the collectors in this ceremony is that it is absolutely free.
Usually First Day Covers are more valuable than ordinary used covers, postcards, or envelopes with cancelled stamps. Some rare examples of FDCs have been valued at a few thousands of dollars.
What is cachet and why it is significant?
Cachet is special mean to enhance the first day cover and make it more attractive. This philatelic item complements the cover and stamp on it as well as adds some spicy flavor to it. The cachets are very various in form and themes and they are produced specially for each newly issued philatelic cover. The choice adds an exciting dimension to the hobby.
How Do I Choose a Cachet?
The designs of cachets are very different and they come in all shapes, colours and sizes. The methods that are to release these popular philatelic items may be the following ones: printing, engraving, thermographing etc. Some collectors make their own. One collecting challenge is to see how many different cachets can be found for a particular stamp.
How Do I Obtain FDCs?
Where can you obtain FDC? Some collectors purchase envelopes, apply the stamp on it and then send them to the Postal Service for cancelling. There are also special instructions designed by the USPS that can be found it its bulletins as well as in in collector publications or websites. Or the covers may be purchased ready made from cachetmakers or stamp dealers.