Different Kinds of First Day Covers

Browse an issue of Mystic’s Stamp Showcase or MysticStamp.com and you may notice offers for First Day Covers described as made by Fleetwood, Mystic, “Silk” or “Classic.”  Those terms all refer to the cachet maker that produced the cover. Here’s the differences:

Fleetwood First Day Cover

Fleetwood began producing First Day Covers in 1941 with the Vermont Statehood issue.  Mystic acquired Fleetwood in 2007 and is proud to continue its tradition of excellence today.  Many Fleetwood cachets (designs) are full-color works of original art.  Most Fleetwood First Day Covers feature interesting information about the stamp subject.  Fleetwood First Day Covers are produced for both commemorative and regular issue U.S. stamps of all denominations.  Fleetwood covers may be addressed or unaddressed.

Mystic First Day Cover

Mystic began producing First Day Covers in 1992 with the Pledge of Allegiance issue and ended in 2007 with the Henry W. Longfellow issue.  With few exceptions, Mystic First Day Covers have full-color cachets, neat information about the stamp subject, and feature commemorative U.S. stamp issues at the first class rate.

Colorano “Silk” First Day Cover

“Silk” First Day Covers produced by Colorano were introduced in 1971 with the America’s Wool issue  and finished in 2016 with the Snowflakes issue after Mystic purchased Colorano’s stock in February 2016.  Each color illustration is printed on  satin-finish fabric, fastened to the cover and surrounded by a luxurious gold embossed border.  “Silk” First Day Covers feature regular issue and commemorative stamps.  They have no additional information about the stamp subject.

Mystic and Silk First Day Covers are unaddressed.

Classic First Day Cover

Classic First Day Covers are from various sources and can date from the 1920s to the present. Classic covers are interesting because of the diversity of their cachets.  Classic First Day Covers  may be addressed or unaddressed, illustrated or unillustrated with printed or rubber design in one or more than one color.  They may feature regular issue or commemorative stamps. (Important note – because of their nature, Classic cover cachets will likely vary from those pictured.)

Share this Article


  1. Thank you for the above article. It was very helpful to me as have been a lot to the
    stamp information you include in the Mystic Catalog.

  2. I have two questions that I desperately need answered. First when was the first FDC ISSUED IN the U.S? Who is the best FDC CACHET MAKER in the US? Thank you for your time.

    1. George Linn, the founder of Linn’s Stamp News, is widely credited with producing the first commercial cacheted First Day Covers. Linn’s cover was for the Harding mourning stamp, U.S. #610, issued on September 1, 1923.

      Today, all of us at Mystic think Fleetwood covers are the very best!

      1. I started collecting stamps then my Gramps got me a Fleetwood Marquis I I (2) back in the early 70″s. I have a First day issue of the 200th Anniversary of Lafayette from 1957 in Louisville, Ky. Does anyone know where I would be able to pursue purchasing the Marquis I, hard cover green, like the second one. It would be such a Blessing. Thank you for your kindness ~ Jeana-Lane Dimmett

    1. Yes. Please call 1-866-660-7147 (M-F 8 am – 6 pm eastern time). A customer service representative can help you get started.

      Happy Collecting!

  3. Are the Fleetwood line of cachets actively being produced for newly issued commemoratives and standards by US Postal Service? Could not find any info ref this on Mystic web pages.

    1. Hi Kelly,

      Yes, Mystic Stamp Company produces the Fleetwood First Day Covers. Mystic took over Fleetwood FDC production in 2007 and continues to make the Fleetwood cachets for all commemorative and standard issues released by USPS. The first Fleetwood First Day Cover produced by Mystic was for Scott #4125.

      The Mystic website lists all formats and conditions of stamps by Scott #. So if you search for #4125, for example, you’ll see the Fleetwood First Day Cover listed under the “2 More – Click Here” button.

      I hope this helps. Happy Collecting!

      1. Thanks! Your reply was indeed helpful and clear. I had not considered searching by individual Scott#s. Your example is “spot on!” I had fixated on searching for a dedicated FDC section or tab area.

  4. I note that you have helped a number of people with their questions. Can you tell me anything about the cachet artist, C. George, AKA C.W. George? Or can you direct me to someone or some organization that could help me. Thank you for your time.

  5. Hi, I have a lot of first day cover stamps from 1937, I have been collecting for years but I am getting old and want to sell my stamp collection. Would you be interested in buying? I don’t want to sell one by one one eBay so if you are interested please let me know
    Thank you

    1. You can request a FREE U.S. Stamp Catalog here: https://www.mysticstamp.com/Advertisement-Response/FREE-US-Postage-Stamp-Catalog/SC2J/

      I recommend using the Advanced Search function is you’re looking specifically for U.S. First Day Covers. https://www.mysticstamp.com/Products/AdvancedSearch.aspx If you search for “First Day Covers” all the results will include one or more First Day Covers in their listings.

      The Mystic website lists all formats and conditions of stamps by Scott #. So if you look at U.S. #5038, for example, you’ll see the Fleetwood First Day Cover listed under the “4 More – Click Here” button. https://www.mysticstamp.com/Products/United-States/5038/USA/

      Happy Collecting!

    1. Mystic has an extensive stock of Colorano Silk First Day Covers. If you a list of Silk FDCs, please click on the Advanced U.S. Stamp Search, which is located at the top, right-hand side of the website under the regular site search. You’ll see “FDC – Silk Cacheted” as one of the Format choices. Every result from that search will feature a Silk FDC. We recognize this isn’t very convenient. In the near future, we plan to make changes to the website to make it easy for First Day Cover collectors.

      New Colorano Silk First Day Covers are available from Oakmore Stamp Co. You can can email Ron Sobel from Oakmore Stamp Co. at oakmore@earthlink.net or find them on Ebay.

  6. I have a Masonic Cachets FDC from the Forest Conservation issue of 1958. An article in AFDCS First Days magazine indicated that they were “serviced by” Fleetwood, but do not indicate the type of printing method use for the cover. Offset, litho, etc.? Any guesses?

  7. At what point in time did the post office begin to issue first the covers after the actual first day of issue?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *