First Day Coin Covers are one of the more interesting product offerings of the United States Mint. The product provides a unique combination of numismatics and philately, or coin and stamp collecting, by mounting one of more coins on a special holder that is stamped and postmarked. The source of the coins and date of the postmark are usually of particular significance, and the coin covers are generally available in limited numbers.
Similar products had been created and marketed by private companies over the years, but the first official US Mint produced coin covers were released for the 50 State Quarters Program. The initial release featured Delaware State Quarters from the first day of mintage, mounted on a card that was stamped and postmarked on the official circulation release date. The entire maximum production limit of 100,000 units was sold out.
The success of the 50 State Quarters Program First Day Coin Covers paved the way for similar products to be offered for other coin releases and numismatic programs. A coin cover was available for the first year of release for the Sacagawea Dollar, for each design of the Westward Journey Nickel series, and for each of the Presidential Dollars. The one year District of Columbia & United States Territories Quarters Program also saw the offering of coin covers for each of the six different designs.
Over the years, production limits for coin covers have been reduced to significantly lower levels than the earliest releases. In the future, it is possible that the relative scarcity of some issues will come to be recognized.
Collecting First Day Coin Covers can be a fun and interesting pursuit. For ongoing programs, the United States Mint offers subscription programs so collectors can acquire each cover as it is released. For completed programs, most issues can be acquired relatively affordably on the secondary market. A complete collection provides a unique look at some of the most popular modern coin series and makes for a wonderful display.