Are Caribbean Stamps Collectible?

Just like stamps from all around the world, Caribbean stamps are very collectible. Philatelists (stamp collectors) enjoy collecting specimens in good condition, with many people specializing in stamps from the British West Indies, including Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and the Cayman Islands. Old stamps in good condition are hard to find, which increases their value. Many collectors are particularly interested in first day issues.

What Are First Day Issues?

First day issues, or first day covers, comprise a set of stamps affixed to an envelope or card canceled with a postmark on the first day of release. Older first day issues are often plain envelopes with the canceled stamps affixed, but modern issues tend to be attractive envelopes with artwork that matches the theme of the stamps. Collectors should look for clean covers with well-situated stamps, and the most interesting ones have postmarks that relate to the stamps and the cover in a thematic way. First day covers look similar to commemorative covers, but there is a distinct difference.

What Is a Commemorative Cover?

A first day cover celebrates the release of a new stamp set and has a postmark from the first day of issue. Conversely, commemorative covers are philatelic products that commemorate an event, such as the inaugural flight of a plane or a famous birthday. In this case, the stamps do not relate to the event, and the postmark bears the date of the event rather than the date the stamps went on sale. Philatelists are usually more interested in first day issues than commemorative covers.