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For broadcast on CBS Radio Stations
June 6-7, 1998:

The birth certificate of a stamp.

The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries.

They're called "first day covers."  "First day" for the
first day a stamp is on sale, and in stamp collecting, a
cover is an envelope.

The simplest first day cover is a plain envelope with the
new stamp and a cancellation...but most F-D-C collectors
look for something more elaborate. There's usually a design
on the left side of the envelope, called a "cachet." Cachets
can be printed, hand-drawn or even miniature paintings. 

In this country, most first day covers use what's called a
Number six-and-three-quarters envelope.  That's note size.

I haven't said anything about an address.  For the last
50 years, it's been the custom in this country to collect
UN-addressed first day covers.

You can submit the envelopes to the postal service yourself,
or subscribe to a service that will do it for you....or
wait and buy the first day covers at a store or show.

One of the joys of first day cover collecting is the
creativity and doing it yourself...and, after all, if you
make your own stamps, you can get in trouble.

And that's stamp collecting this week.

I'm Lloyd de Vries, CBS News

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