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Servicing John Cabot Joint Issue First Day Covers Will Be Difficult

Cachetmakers and FDC collectors who want to service dual-canceled first day covers for the Canadian and Italian John Cabot stamps next month will have to work extra hard. In response to a query I received, Jim Phillips, Manager of Stamp Marketing for Canada Post tells the Stamps, Coins & Postal Forum FDC servicers can buy each country's stamps from CPC and affix them, but will have to submit dual-canceled covers TWICE -- once to each postal authority. [Click here to see a hi-resolution image of the Cabot stamp]

John Cabot There is a charge of 5c if the stamps are affixed by the customer, 20c if Canada Post must affix them.

Canada Post will not be canceling the Italian stamp or affixing it. "We don't affix anything we don't cancel," Phillips said. "We never affix other stamps or cancels [for joint issues]."

However, the agency will be selling the Italian stamp, probably at $1.25 Canadian and probably in quantities as low as one. There is a 50c handling charge on orders smaller than $5. Phillips says the telephone order-takers at the philatelic center in Antigonish (1-800-565-4362) won't need an item or catalogue number.

Here's how I'd handle this: Order both stamps from Canada Post, and affix them to the covers. Then submit them for servicing of the Italian stamp to the Italian postal agency.

Canada's first day cover servicing grace period is one year: the entire time a stamp is on sale. When the covers return from Italy, send them to Antigonish for the Canadian cancel.

the Virtual Stamp Club will try to obtain instructions for submitting FDCs for servicing by the Italian postal ministry.

Canada Post also plans to sell its own first day covers for this issue: With just it's stamp at 75c each, or dual-canceled FDCs with both stamps and cancels at $2.00. All prices given are in Canadian dollars.

Canada Post is only receiving a limited number of the Italian John Cabot stamps, and Phillips recommends collectors order the stamps as early as possible; both may sell out. Also, Canada Post's policy is to service individual and smaller orders before large commercial ones.

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