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Stamps (Philately)/cancelled vs. non-cancelled stamps

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Question
Dear Mr. Leon;
I don't consider myself a philatelist, but I'm trying to learn more about the hobby of stamp collecting. I have been buying first day covers from the USPS.  They offer both cancelled and non-cancelled. Which are preferred by seasoned stamp collectors and why.  Thank you for any help you can give me in understanding this distinction.

Answer
Kirby,

The very definition of a first day cover is an envelope bearing a stamp cancelled on the first day of issue, so I don't know what USPS first day product would be uncancelled.  First day cover collectors prefer unaddressed envelopes, usually with an attractive cachet (printed design), with an eye-appealing official cancellation that ties the stamp to the cover.

-Mark Leon

I deal in United States Stamps
http://www.forwardedge.com/usmints.html
American Art Glass
http://www.forwardedge.com/accent.html
and Halloween Costumes!
http://www.forwardedge.com/costumes.html

Stamps (Philately)

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Mark Leon

Expertise

I am a collector of United States postage stamps, and also a stamp dealer. I`m a member of the American Philatelic Society (APS). My principle area of interest and expertise is in United States Stamps.

Experience

I've been selling stamps on the internet since early 1996. I maintain a stamp web page that concentrates on mint US stamps issued generally between 1890 and 2009. I'm an active seller on ebay.com since 1996, under the user id "mleon". You can find my web page at http://www.forwardedge.com/usmints.html

Education/Credentials
I have a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, 1984.

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