U.S. Covers & Postal History
While it’s true that collecting U.S. covers no longer has the widespread popularity it once did, many collectors see this as an opportunity to dive into a little-appreciated corner of philatelic history. When collecting U.S. covers, a key concern is the provenance and quality of the envelope — for example, when and where the stamp was cancelled play a key role in determining the cover’s rarity and value, rather than the stamp itself. As such, it could be argued that U.S. covers present an even richer avenue for philatelists to explore.
U.S. Covers and Postal History
Covers speak to a country’s postal history in a unique and meaningful way. This is evident in the variety of collectible stamp covers, which include:
- First day covers — featuring a stamp cancelled on its first day of issue.
- Advertising covers — featuring an illustrated envelope advertising a product or service.
- Military covers — including mail sent from army or military post offices, or from prisoners of war.
- Event covers — featuring mail postmarked on a notable day, such as the Apollo moon landing.
- Disaster covers — including mail salvaged from tragic events such as the Hindenburg fire.
Covers can also chart geopolitical changes, such as U.S. Territory covers. They can also highlight technological innovation, such as the American Zeppelin covers issued in the 1930s. Another interesting aspect of cover collecting is that covers predate the first use of stamps. Prior to the invention of adhesive postage, mail carriers employed various methods for confirming payment. Seeing these as they were used is one of the many joys of collecting stamp covers.
Where to Find U.S. Stamp Covers for Sale
As one of the leading philatelic auction houses in the world, Apfelbaum, Inc. regularly has collectors’ covers for sale. We offer several convenient ways to shop, including buy-it-now sales and our online store. We also provide appraisal services for anyone wondering what their collection of U.S. stamp covers or other philatelic artifacts is worth.