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Collect the first 140 Years of United States Stamps.

First Day Covers (FDC) 2019 - 2020 Ordering Calendar

What are First Day Covers? | Collecting First Day Covers | How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Digital Color or Traditional Postmarks

Healing PTSD Forever Stamp, USPS, 2019
Digital Color Pictorial

Healing PTSD - Issue date December 2, 2019.
FDCs to:
FDOI — "Healing PTSD" 2019 Stamps
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900
FDC deadline April 2, 2020


Healing PTSD Stamp, USPS, Black and White Cancel 2019
Black and White Pictorial

Healing PTSD - Issue date December 2, 2019.
FDCs to:
FDOI — "Healing PTSD" 2019 Stamps
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900
FDC deadline April 2, 2020


Year of the Rat color cancel, USPS 2020
Digital Color Pictorial

Lunar New Year: Year of the Rat - Issue date Jan. 11, 2020.
FDCs to:
FDOI — "Lunar New Year: Year of the Rat" 2020 Stamps
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900
FDC deadline May 11, 2020


USPS - Lunar New Year: Year of the Rat, 2020
Black and White Pictorial

Lunar New Year: Year of the Rat - Issue date Jan. 11, 2020.
FDCs to:
FDOI — "Lunar New Year: Year of the Rat" 2020 Stamps
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900
FDC deadline May 11, 2020


USPS, Big Bend First Day of Issue, color cancel, 2020
Digital Color Pictorial

Big Bend - Issue date January 18, 2020.
FDCs to:
FDOI — "Big Bend" 2020 Stamps
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900
FDC deadline May 18, 2020


USPS, Big Bend black and  white cancel, 2020
Black and White Pictorial

Big Bend - Issue date January 18, 2020.
FDCs to:
FDOI — "Big Bend" 2020 Stamps
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900
FDC deadline May 18, 2020


USPS, Grand Island Ice Caves color cancel, 2020
Digital Color Pictorial

Grand Island Ice Caves - Issue date January 18, 2020.
FDCs to:
FDOI — "Grand Island Ice Caves" 2020 Stamps
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900
FDC deadline May 18, 2020


USPS, Grand Island Ice Caves black and white cancel, 2020
Black and White Pictorial

Grand Island Ice Caves - Issue date January 18, 2020.
FDCs to:
FDOI — "Grand Island Ice Caves" 2020 Stamps
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900
FDC deadline May 18, 2020



Digital Color Pictorial

Made of Hearts - January 23, 2020.
FDCs to:
FDOI — "Made of Hearts" 2020 Stamps
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900
FDC deadline May 23, 2020


USPS, Made of Hearts black and white cancel, 2020
Black and White Pictorial

Made of Hearts - January 23, 2020.
FDCs to:
FDOI — "Made of Hearts" 2020 Stamps
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900
FDC deadline May 23, 2020


USPS, Gwen Ifill, color cancel, 2020
Digital Color Pictorial

Gwen Ifill- Issue date January 30, 2020.
FDCs to:
FDOI — "Gwen Ifill" 2020 Stamps
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900
FDC deadline May 30, 2020


USPS, Gwen Ifill, black and white cancel, 2020
Black and White Pictorial

Gwen Ifill- Issue date January 30, 2020.
FDCs to:
FDOI — "Gwen Ifill" 2020 Stamps
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900
FDC deadline May 30, 2020


USPS Let's Celebrate color cancel, 2020
Digital Color Pictorial

Let's Celebrate! -   Issue date February 14, 2020.
FDCs to:
FDOI — "Let's Celebrate!" 2020 Stamps
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900
FDC deadline June 14, 2020


USPS Let's Celebrate color cancel, 2020
Black and White Pictorial

Let's Celebrate! -  Issue date February 14, 2020.
FDCs to:
FDOI — "Let's Celebrate!" 2020 Stamps
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900
FDC deadline June 14, 2020


Digital Color Pictorial

Wild Orchids -  Issue date February 21, 2020.
FDCs to:
FDOI — "Wild Orchards" 2020 Stamps
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900
FDC deadline June 21, 2020


Wild Orchids cancel in black and white

Black and White Pictorial

Wild Orchids  - Issue date February 21, 2020.
FDCs to:
FDOI — "Wild Orchids" 2020 Stamps
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900
FDC deadline June 21, 2020


Arnold Palmer color cancel

Digital Color Pictorial

Arnold Palmer  - Issue date March 4, 2020.
FDCs to:
FDOI — "Arnold Palmer" 2020 Stamps
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900
FDC deadline July 4, 2020


Arnold Palmer black and white cancel

Black and White Pictorial

Arnold Palmer  - Issue date March 4, 2020.
FDCs to:
FDOI — "Arnold Palmer" 2020 Stamps
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900
FDC deadline July 4, 2020


Maine Statehood color cancel

Digital Color Pictorial

Maine Statehood  - Issue date March 15, 2020.
FDCs to:
FDOI — "Maine Statehood" 2020 Stamps
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900
FDC deadline July 15, 2020


Maine Statehood black and white cancel

Black and White Pictorial

Maine Statehood  - Issue date March 15, 2020.
FDCs to:
FDOI — "Maine Statehood" 2020 Stamps
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900
FDC deadline July 15, 2020


Contemporary Boutonniere First Day of Issue in color

Digital Color Pictorial

Contemporary Boutonniere  - Issue date April 2, 2020.
FDCs to:
FDOI — "Contemporary Boutonniere" 2020 Stamps
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900
FDC deadline August 2, 2020


Contemporary Boutonniere First Day of Issue in black and white

Black and White Pictorial

Contemporary Boutonniere  - Issue date April 2, 2020.
FDCs to:
FDOI — "Contemporary Boutonniere" 2020 Stamps
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900
FDC deadline August 2, 2020


Garden Corsage First Day of Issue in color

Digital Color Pictorial

Garden Corsage  - Issue date April 2, 2020.
FDCs to:
FDOI — "Garden Corsage" 2020 Stamps
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900
FDC deadline August 2, 2020


Garden Corsage First Day of Issue in black and white

Black and White Pictorial

Garden Corsage  - Issue date April 2, 2020.
FDCs to:
FDOI — "Garden Corsage" 2020 Stamps
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900
FDC deadline August 2, 2020

Earth Day, Color Cancel, USPS 2020

Digital Color Pictorial

Earth Day  - Issue date April 18, 2020.
FDCs to:
FDOI — "Earth Day" 2020 Stamps
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900
FDC deadline August 18, 2020

Earth Day, Black and White cancel, USPS 2020

Black and White Pictorial

Earth Day  - Issue date April 18, 2020.
FDCs to:
FDOI — "Earth Day" 2020 Stamps
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900
FDC deadline August 18, 2020

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What Are First Day Covers?

First Day Covers are envelopes that bear a stamp cancelled on the first day it was issued.

Over the years the form that these covers take has changed. Covers that come down to us from the 19th century would have been those that happened to be commercially used—that is not prepared by collectors—on the first day the stamp was issued.

In many instances, even into the 20th Century for some stamps, the precise date of issue is not known, so Earliest Known, or Documented, Usages become the next best thing to FDCs.

As they were not intended to be collectibles, those early FDCs do not bear the First Day Cancellation that we see today. Instead, we see whatever cancel happened to be used where the cover was processed.

Those covers also would have come from whatever city the stamp might have been available, as opposed to the “Official First Day of Issue” sites that have become customary for most issues.

(Even today, some collectors who prefer postally used FDCs seek commercially used covers instead of those with the USPS First Day Cancellation.)

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Collecting First Day Covers

As FDCs became a popular collecting area, the Post Office Department began producing special First Day of Issue cancellations, and arranged for collectors to send in their covers to receive the FDOI cancel. Those early FDOI cancels did not bear an illustration; today, the cancellation incorporates a design that is related to the stamp subject.

At first, collectors were required to send in the covers before the stamp was actually issued. Those rules were later relaxed so that today for most stamps, collectors have 60 days after the date of issue in which to submit their requests. However, those covers must bear the stamp(s) to which the FDOI cancel is to be applied.

The U.S. Postal Service also now sells its own FDCs for a modest premium over the face value of the stamp(s); however, those covers are blanks, and do not have the cachets—that is the designs printed or painted on the left side of, or all over, the cover—that most collectors prefer. Such cacheted covers may be obtained from Stamp News First Day Cover advertisers.

Another wrinkle added by the USPS are digital color cancels. For an extra $1.50 collectors can have a specially designed color cancel instead of the standard, free, black cancel that most collectors still use.

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How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Digital Color or Traditional Postmarks

Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmarks by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office™, by telephone at 800-STAMP-24, or at The Postal Store® website at www.usps.com/shop.

Traditional Postmarks
Customers should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address them to themselves or others, or provide a self-addressed return envelope with sufficient postage large enough to accommodate the canceled item. Mail the request to the address provided by the Postal Service as provided in our First Day Cover Ordering Calendar. There is no charge for the first 50 postmarks. There is a 5-cent charge for each additional postmark over 50. For more than 50 postmarks, customers should submit a check, money order, or credit card for payment. After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service™ will return the envelopes to the customer by U.S. Mail. (Note that you can provide a postpaid envelope in which your covers can be returned.)

Digital Color Postmarks
Only select stamp issues offer a digital color postmark. Customers may submit #6 or #10 envelopes with stamps affixed. The envelopes should be constructed of paper rated as "laser safe." The Postal Service recommends envelopes of 80-pound Accent Opaque, acid-free, 9/16" side seams with no glue on the flap. The maximum size of all digital color postmarks is 2" high x 4" long. Allow sufficient space on the envelope to accommodate the postmark. Do not use self-adhesive labels for addresses on the envelope. Two test envelopes must be included. There is a minimum of 10 envelopes at 50 cents per postmark required at the time of servicing. Customers should submit a check, money order, or credit card for payment.

The Postal Service reserves the right to not accept hand-painted and other cachet envelopes that are not compatible with their digital color postmark equipment. The Postal Service also reserves the right to substitute traditional black rubber postmarks if use of non-specified envelopes results in poor image quality or damage to equipment.

Tips for Collectors Seeking FDC Requests
To send the cover to the address to which it must be sent for the FDOI cancel, your FDCs should be sent in an outer envelope.Covers will need an address to which they should be returned. Since unaddressed covers are the standard collecting form for FDCs, a peelable label is the suggested form for black and white postmarks. For color postmarks, labels are not allowed. Nowadays, to prevent an additional cancellation's being applied in transit, or other damage to the cover, some collectors send along another return-addressed envelope in which the FDC can be returned by the USPS. 

If a cover is damaged, or if you do not receive all of your covers, submit a full description of your request to Stamp Fulfillment Services, Cancellation Services, P.O. BOX 499992, Kansas City, MO 64144-9992. The description should include the stamp issue, a description of the envelope, the number and placement of stamps, quantity of covers, and any other information that may assist in locating or replacing your covers. Requests for exchanges or claims must be received within six months of the issue date. 

Covers sent for cancellation must bear sufficient postage to cover the First Class rate. This is important for stamps with a denomination less than that First Class rate.

In addition to the new issue for which the FD cancel is being sought, you can place other stamps adjacent to that stamp. Even used or foreign stamps are acceptable, as long as there is sufficient unused postage to cover the First Class rate, and those used or foreign stamps are affixed in such a way that they will not be cancelled by the FDOI cancellation.

Each cover must have inside a filler card of index or postal card thickness, with the envelope either sealed or with the flap tucked in—the latter being the preferred collecting format.

The addresses to which covers should be sent are supplied by the U.S. Postal Service. They are published in Mekeel’s & Stamps as they are received, and they are posted to our online: USPS New Issues Calendar.

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U. S. Stamp Reference Manual