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United Kingdom FDCS Stamps

First day covers (also known as FDC) began in 1840 when the United Kingdom issued the first stamp: the one penny black. The penny black holds special significance due to its status as the first stamp. It also existed before the date of issue was postmarked onto the cover, which can damage the collectible value for most other early stamps.

Cover collectors prioritize the historical importance and the overall aesthetic of the cover very highly. Something as generally insignificant as the quality of the penmanship in the address can influence the value of a cover depending on the individual collector's personal taste. The alignment of the stamps can also be a factor. Neatly aligned straight stamps are generally preferred.

Other qualities of first day covers include the specific postmark that is present as well as ordinary versus official covers. Five different postmarks exist within United Kingdom first day cover collecting. Covers can have multiple elements present: the counter date stamp, slogan, first day of issue, special handstamp, and meter marks. Some are discontinued, such as the first day of issue postmark, which ran from 1964 to 1998. Official covers are produced by the same entity that created the special handstamp, while ordinary covers are produced by the Royal Mail post office.

Quick Facts

  • In recent years, collectible first day covers have been issued for internationally popular and significant movies, including films from the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings series
  • Unused penny black stamps are exceedingly rare and are generally worth around $3,000. The value of a penny black cover is also quite high, although it can vary depending on the quality of the piece
  • Official covers tend to be quite rare and desirable, although producers such as Benham and Bradbury are on the common side and can be acquired cheaply. Official covers are more elaborately and crisply designed, commanding a premium over ordinary covers

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Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd

Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd