First day covers are the center of attention at Americover, the first day cover portion of Great American Stamp Show. It's also the annual convention of the American First Day Cover Society. Admission is always free.

Now part of GASS, for more than 25 years, Americover was an independent World Series of Philately show that moved around the country. By incorporating it into GASS, the AFDCS hopes to bring all the fun of Americover to a much larger audience.

The four-day event includes three World Series of Philately exhibitions, including the Americover one devoted to FDCs. The Grand Award winners of the Americover exhibition are eligible to compete for the WSP Champion of Champions trophy as the best exhibit in North American philately.

Americover@GASS also features the most FDC dealers of any show in the world, both in its main bourse and its cachetmakers bourse. The latter is by far the biggest and busiest cachetmakers bourse of the year, as FDC producers showcase their latest efforts. There is also a silent auction of first day covers.

Each year, the Cachetmakers Contest awards are announced at the show.

The AFDCS and several of its affiliated philatelic organizations conduct a number of meetings and seminars during GASS. There's a youth area where children can make their own cachets and learn about stamp collecting.

But for many FDC collectors, Americover is as much a social gathering as anything else, a chance to renew old acquaintances and meet new people. There's a hospitality suite every night and all sorts of informal get-togethers, and an off-site dinner the night show closes.

GASS is held in a different part of the country each year, usually in August. Special hotel rates are available to those attending the show.

Dealers interested in participating in the bourses should contact the APS at or call (814) 933-3803, extension 218.

For general questions about Americover and AFDCS participation in GASS, e-mail

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