First Day Issue Stamps

Written by Amy Hall
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The first day of issue is essentially the day that a particular postage stamp, postal card, or cover is officially offered to the public for sale. In most cases, first day issue stamps begin their journey in a particular city, usually within the county of the authority issuing the stamp. However, it does happen on occasion that first day stamps are issued from an authority overseas in a foreign office.

In addition, first day issue stamps can also be introduced to the public in various cities simultaneously, which are either located within one state or nationwide. Stamps that are assigned to one city for initial release do eventually become available to a wider arena. The first day of issue refers to the postmark, which frequently depicts a pictorial cancellation indicating the city and the date where the item was issued.

There is also such a thing as unofficial first day of issue stamps. This happens when a stamp collector purchases the particular stamp of interest from a post office in the first day of issue city and then brings it to another post office in a different city to have it canceled. For collectors, it is important to realize that the earliest known use of a stamp (EKU) may or may not be the same as the first day of issue.

Buying First Day of Issue Stamps Online

First day of issue stamps are highly prized by many stamp collectors, who go to great lengths to get specific issues. Stamps that come with a bit of history are of particular interest to many collectors who appreciate the story behind the stamp. Collectors often covet stamps issued during periods of civil upset, as they are a fine representation of America's history.

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