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Promoted item:1861 Civil War Free Franked Cover & Enclosure - Wm Helmick

1861 Civil War Free Franked Cover & Enclosure - Wm Helmick

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  • 28d 18h 58m
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About Postal History Cover

Philatelists often examine what are known as stamp covers for clues into the histories of particular issuances. First day covers, as these stamps are sometimes known, mark the entrance of stamps into public use. For instance, Canada recently unveiled its most expensive stamp ever, an eight dollar piece honoring one of the country's national symbols, the grizzly bear.The first day opening for Canada's grizzly stamp was held in 1997 in the small town of Banff, Alberta. Hard-core Canadian philatelists actually trucked up to Banff for the stamp's unveiling. Some collectors exclusively go after covers of important stamps. Others consider covers to be ''ancillary.''Technically speaking, a postal history cover can be any envelope or parcel post decorated with stamps. One famous French philatelist got into collecting unopened covers that had been canceled or sent back by recipients. Some of these unopened letters and parcels contained letters written by scorned lovers. Others contained critical tax information. Still others are still sealed--complete mysteries.Canceled stamps may be valueless or incredibly valuable, depending on their rarity, city of issue, and date of cancellation. If you come in possession of canceled or dated stamps, don't throw them away or relegate them to the bottom of your collection. Peruse them with the help of a philatelist expert. Don't steam cover stamps off old envelopes or clean them on your own. Inaccurately ''touching up'' stamps can dramatically reduce their value.