Fighting for First Day Covers…

Fighting for First Day Covers…

On Saturday 9th June the personal finance section of The Times ran a feature entitled Stamp collectors don’t expect a cheque in the post. Where Times Commissioning Editor, Carol Lewis quoted our trade society, the PTS, stating First Day Covers and commemorative issues are ‘of little value’.

This was as part of an article stating that over the last year stamps had risen 1% in value compared with fine art 21%, but over 10 years stamps had increased 103%, compared to 78% for art.

The comment on First Day Covers of course is what stuck out for me as untrue. Yes there are some that have little or no value, but many others do and as a market leader in the industry we spend tens of thousands of pounds each year buying in collections. The article needed a lot more information to explain what was meant.

What I will first say is that nobody knows what will go up in value and this should not be the first reason for collecting anything.

We have always said there are covers you should not collect. As an example, if you are lucky enough to live in Canterbury you could go to the local Post office and get the First Day of Issue postmark for every issue, which is fine, but to a dealer or people outside Canterbury they would have little or no value. The Philatelic Bureau makes collecting very easy, but there are thousands done for each issue so we don’t buy them. You may be happy writing your address in pen across the front of your cover, but will it appeal to someone when your collection is sold? Undoubtedly not.

As I have said I don’t know what collectors will want or what will have increased in value in ten years’ time, but a little research and thought should at least get you in the right direction. You could ask us to supply your covers, I have to say this, but if you are doing your own First Day Covers a few simple tips should improve your collection;

  • Lightly pencil your address on the cover so it can be rubbed off
  • Take time to stick the stamps on neatly and get a connected postmark
    • If there are cathedrals on the stamp then Canterbury would be a good postmark, but if the issue features British sheep maybe you should be looking elsewhere.

Here at Buckingham Covers we buy and sell thousands of covers a year, so to simply say that they do not sell is wrong and to make such a general statement in a national paper shows a lack of understanding of the hobby.

First Day Cover collecting is a hobby still enjoyed by thousands of people and if you want pointing in the right direction, contact us for a copy of our ‘Why Collect Covers?’ booklet and we will also include completely free of charge a copy of our Collector’s Guide listing all covers from 1840 – 1970 (worth £9.95) free of charge to help you search out those rarities.

We take great pride in both the new covers that we produce and the older ones we buy and sell, and getting more people promoting the hobby, encouraging and educating new collectors is very important to us.

I hope that helps us to fight the corner for First Day Cover collecting.

All the Best,

Brian Austin

Director at Buckingham Covers

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