Jim Forte Postal History

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P.O. Box 94822 Las Vegas, NV 89193

Date

2c Washington Franklin 1909 Chicago, Ill. PPC to First Infantry, U.S. Embassy, Tokyo, Japan.

This is the date of cover.

Take the date from the origin cancel.

Sometimes, the date is not in the cancel or is in the cancel but cannot be read. When this happens, get a date from

  • A receiving or transit market

  • Docketing

  • Contents

You must always come up with a date.

If all this fails you must make up a date.

5c Indigo Garfield Banknote c1885 Boston, Mass. to Paris, France.  Inscribed per S.S. La Gascoigne.

When you make up a date, use a small c before the date with no space. The c stands for circa.

If the cover is franked with a commemorative stamp, make the circa date one date after the stamp was issued. If the stamp was issued in 1934, use c1935.

If the cover is franked with a definitive stamp, make the circa date about halfway between the date the stamp was issued and the date the next definitive stamp was issued. If the stamp was issued in 1922, and the next definitive stamp was issued in 1938 use c1930.

You can use rate knowledge for a more accurate guess for the year date.

Unless you have specific rate knowledge that can more accurately pinpoint the date of a cover, it is better to use a date in 5 year intervals, like c1930 and c1945. This helps identify that the date is imprecise.

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER use the year of issue of any part of the franking for a circa date.

Introduction Franking (Previous) Origin (Next)