Sep 24, 2010


Mint FDC

Many have repeatedly ask me on First Day Covers over the years. Some believed that FDCs are a great investment. SOrry guys/gals, FDC is definitely not a great investment unless you are talking about rare FDCs like the letter carrying Penny Black sent on the date of issue or any classic materials before the concept of FDC was introduced to the world. However, modern FDCs can be scare but i guess it all boils down to your expectation of the ROI. If you think or dream that modern FDCs can fetch a fortune from the Spinks; I'm sorry to say that you will rather be disapointed.

So, if FDC is not really a great investment, why then people collect them? I think its obvious as FDC has everything; stamp, pictorial cancelation, cover and not forgetting the information brochure itself. However, when it comes to advanced philatelist mattering not traditional or thematic, FDCs tend be a distance away. This is because their postal purpose is questionable. Technically, they are considered CTO. Ooops, I know! I know! Some of you will argue that FDCs are not CTO but rather a 'Favour cancel. I guess this is another area where we can really debate on especially when it comest to CTO (definitely on of the grey areas of philately).

Even worst when FDCs are not allowed in philatelic exhibitiom. This was definitely one of the root cause on why FDC's popularity has drastically went down over the years. However, FDCs can still play an importan part in a exhibition but only if you window the cancellation. As a thematic philatelist, I have to stress that though we can use FDC by windowing the cancellation, a postally used cover with pictorial cancellation is still prefered.

Over the years, FDC collectors has truly revolutionized these particular area of philately. FDC collectors today insist on "REAL POSTED FDC". Real posted FDCs are FDC posted on the same day as date of issue. Please take note that the FDC must include both the pictorial cancellation and CDS cancel. In addition, some very creative collectors have taken more effort by creating their own unique cachet.

Real Posted FDC with signature of the artist

Posted FDC but not Real Posted (Pls check the two dates)

Addressed FDC

FDC with normal cover

I guess IMHO, FDC's should be accepted for what they are; a collector's item commemorating an event. We have to acknowledge that FDC is the best and most effective way to promote philately among the young. The sad part is when dealers try to manipulate collectors that FDC will gain value over time hence more than not, a great disapointment to many young collectors.

Back to the question everyone tend to ask, should we still collect FDC? My answer is simple, collect them if they make you happy. That's the essence of philately. Please remember, philately is always about having fun and treasuring the little things in life and definitely not about investment only.


Anonymous said...

1. Any reasons why FDC is not allow in exhibition? Any official explanation? There must be a reason behind it. If you can enlighten us that will be good.

2. Postally FDC got commercial value? Why all UK FDC is addressed?

3. Philatelic covers got commercial value? Why it is getting very popular? What drive this trend? Any details study?

The above is good to discuss.

ronny said...

I will try to answer your questions. However, pls take note Im still very much an amateur.

1. You can checkout the official FIP rules in their official site. As for FDCs, you can use them provided they are windowed to show the postmark. Definitely, one of the obvious reasons why FDC are not accepted in exhibition is bcuz its postal purpose is very much questionable.

2. I normally dont like to value philatelic by dollar and cents but for your question are they commercially valuable? I can tell you that no many philatelic materials can be valuable. How many really scare materials do we really have in the philatelic world. My advice is that rather than focusing on the value, its better to focus on the beauty of this real posted FDCs.

Im not too sure if all UK FDC is addressed. I do have mint ones. Hopefully, other philatelist can elaborate on this...

3. Again, philatelic covers are collected not bcuz of its value but rather its fun. Pls remember that Postal Covers are always more valuable than philatelic covers. Philatelic covers are normally over paid and sometimes with private cachet. Again, postal purpose is questionable.

Why it is getting so popular? I not sure about you, but in Malaysia its so hard to get postal covers with commemorative stamps hence philatelic covers are the best source to get really used commemorative stamps. Besides that, its easier to trade with partners as sending covers dont really cost too much. Hence everyone can be part of the cover circuit.

More importantly, philatelic covers has no limitation. You can just do wonders to it...

Im sorry if my answers are not comprehensive enough. I hope others can contribute to this interesting discussion.