Great Britain First Day Covers

Great Britain First Day Covers

Add to your collection or buy a beautiful decorative piece to frame in your home with Great Britain First Day Covers.

About First Day Covers

First Day Covers are specially designed envelopes that feature newly issued postage stamps. These stamps were postmarked on the first day that the stamps officially went on sale.

Make sure you do your research and check the stamp and date of release to ensure that it matches, as First Day Covers often get confused with Souvenir Covers which are made to coincide with an event or anniversary.

Standard Covers

Standard covers are covers where collectors have bought blank envelopes to which they have affixed their stamps and arranged to have them postmarked. As well as Royal Mail envelopes, over the years, there have been Cotswold, Stuart, Mercury and Philart branded covers.

Official Covers

Produced by special organisations, official covers featured special hand stamps on their covers which were sponsored by the company that made them. These were made by companies whose brand would relate to the theme of the stamp.

Commemorative Stamps

Dating back to 1924, commemorative stamps are issued for anniversaries or events. The first stamp depicted the Wembley Exhibition, but it wasn't until 1963 when commemorative stamps were released regularly.


The most popular collectors items, however, are special hand stamp postmarks. These pictorial designs are applied by specially trained staff at one of the Royal Mail's Special Handstamp Centres, of which there are five.

You'll also find First Day of Issue postmarks, which were made when the Post Office first realised that they needed to officially postmark mail. These are circular in design with the date of issue along with the location and were withdrawn from use after the Christmas 1998 issue.

Some collectors prefer counter date stamps as they believe that they look more authentic than special hand stamps. These were applied by normal post office counters around the country and therefore there is no guarantee of a good print or impression.