Stamps (Philately)/First day covers


A few years ago I was given 7 shoe boxes full of first day covers some on plain white envelope some on cachet.  All were cancelled in the state and post office designated as the official site for first day cancellations. The previous owner had visions of becoming a stamp and coin dealer in his retirement but never lived to fulfill his dream.  I am getting on in years myself and would like to sell these covers but have no idea of the value. There are several duplicates, and sets sets that were issued on the same date.  What would your advice be on determining a fair price large collection?  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Bill gibbons

Hello William,

Thanks for your question.   It's one that comes up often and it is good to review.  

First, take a deep breath as I am aware it can seem overwhelming at times.  Finding the value of what you have is as close as your nearest library.  Check out Scotts Specialized Catalogue of U.S. Stamps & Covers.  It is considered the "holy bible" of stamp collectors.   In this user friendly book, you can find almost every postage stamp ever issued.   There are pictures to help with identification as well as values for each item in both mint and used conditions.  In the middle is a section that you are asking about.   It is totally dedicated to First Day covers.  It offers such information as the Scott number of the stamp, the date it was issued, where the official first day of issue city is and the approximate number of covers cancelled that day.  There is also a list value for the first day cover!   

A word about list values in the book---they are a rough guide as to what you can expect to pay for an item if you were to buy it at a stamp dealer.  Selling that same item to a stamp dealer will usually net you 20% to 30% of the list value depending on condition and demand.

Thanks again for your question and let me know if I can be of any more help.  Good luck!!

P.S.  Please remember to rate my reply to your inquiry.  Appreciate it.  

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Terry Tipton


I have been involved in philately for most of my 56 years. I specialize in United States Issues and Postmarks. I have numerous reference sources to research if I do not know the answer. I am organized and promise swift courteous answers. I am a member of the American Philatelic Society. I also have my own philatelic mail order business.


As I mentioned, I have been collecting philatelic items for most of my 56 years. I have several albums of United States issues (most of them are pages I designed myself) and I also have numerous albums of postmarks sorted and researchhed by state.

American Philatelic Society, All Nations Stamp Club and Harford County Stamp Club

Linn's, All Nations Stamp Club Website, and local Newspaper

Awards and Honors
Board of Directors for Christmas in April 1990-1996

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