About Doris

Hi Mom,

I was just able to take some time to look at the Owney cover and read the inserts. I believe it isn’t until one takes the time to read the inserts, one can actually appreciate all the work that goes into each and every one of your covers. I really appreciate all the time you take to research the stamp subject. The information, history and stories included in your inserts truly make your covers come to life!! Your covers are educational, as well as beautiful works of art.

I love the detail and colors of Owney’s special harness with all his medals. The yellow color background is soft and warm. Owney is such a precious dog with a heartwarming story and your depiction of him is fantastic. The postal clerks and mailbag on the cover round out the cachet. I believe this cover and cachet is one of my very favorites, as our pets are truly our “Forever” friends.

I am so proud of you and all of your work over the years. I am lucky to have an award winning MOM, who has been recognized and admired by numerous First Day Cover collectors and the American First Day Cover Society. I am a number One Fan, who has seen your talent grow from your early days of painting murals on walls, to 3-D collages, sewing, knitting, decorating, finishing wood furniture among other things, and First Day Cover cachets. Your artistic talents over the years are numerous, but nothing can compare to the dedicated, loving, caring, patient, understanding, kind, and decent human being and Mom you have been over the years. Though we live thousands of miles away, you are and always have been there for me- as you are only a telephone call or an e-mail away.

Your loving daughter and admirer,


An in-depth article, ‘A Tribute to Doris Gold‘ appears in the July 15 issue of the American First Day Cover Society Journal, First Days, on pp 62-67.

An Interview

Where have you lived?
I was born, raised and lived in the Chicago area until 1985, at which time I moved to La Mesa, CA.

When did you first take an interest in art?
My mother, father and two sisters were all artistic, each in different areas. My first commercial endeavor was Murals by Doris (decorative paintings on home and office walls). Next, I also made three-dimensional collages which were offered at art fairs in the Chicago area. When I started doing cachets, all other art forms took a back seat.

How did you become interested in FDC’s?
A gift subscription of Linn’s Stamp News aroused my interest in postmarks and FDC’s. Wanting originality, I hand painted my envelopes, and soon became immersed in a new hobby. In the early years, I wasn’t aware that there was a “standard size”, so for the most part, #7 size wedding-invitation envelopes were used (I liked the quality of paper). In 1976, some of my cachets to Greater Miami Cachets (GMC) for their Bicentennial postmark were returned with an “offer I couldn’t refuse!” Join the GMC Bicentennial art staff, and design a cachet — no pay, but a lot of publicity. 1,800 “Women in the Armed Forces Salute the Bicentennial” were sent out by GMC. This was my first design to be commercially reproduced. Through the years I have run the gamut of cachet production — printed multicolor from my drawings with hand color-separations for the printer (DG); printed outline or silhouette, then hand-painted (DGHC); Color reproductions from my HD/HP artwork (DGX). All current DGX covers are done in very limited editions, and each is numbered, signed and given “Touch of Gold” — a dab of gold paint. I have also done many Hand-drawn/hand-painted one-of-a-kind (HD/HP) custom covers for special events, special occasions, and/or FDC for older issues (add ons). I have made some topical themes: one with over 50 different HD/HP covers was Travel Around the World Without Leaving the United States, showing the customs and costumes of different ethnic people of America. These were mostly Event covers. More recently, over 35 different HD/HP Add-on Marine related covers mainly of Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal have been made. Also, custom-made Birthday and Anniversary cachets, as well as various other event or FDC selected from the USPS stamp programs were made. I have many uncacheted back issue FDC’s to which an Add-on can be applied.

How long have you been painting covers?
I did my first HD/HP cover in 1974. In 1976, I did some HD/HP (issue size 5 or 6) which were offered to collectors. This was done for several issues. I started the printed cover (DG) in 1977 with #1710 Lindbergh Transatlantic Flight, went to Hand Color (DGHC) with #2250 Caruso in 1987, then to Color Laser (DGX) with #2445-6 Movie Classics. Though I have used different methods of cachetmaking over the years, the HD/HP add-on has been ongoing “as time permits.”

What is your favorite cover(s) that you have done?
All of them are “favorites” for different reasons.

Which was the most difficult to do?
A subscriber asked that I do a special cover in honor of his son who was killed in action in Vietnam. He sent me photos, stories, and much information. I became so deeply touched by the heroics of this young lad who I had never met, I felt as if I had suffered a great loss. I couldn’t work on that cachet for some time, and when I finally did, I also dedicated a poem to George “Bubba” Wilson. This was, and I believe will always be, the cachet which has most moved me.

How long does it take to produce one of your covers?
Time is never a factor. Sometimes it just flows (if not, I do something else, then come back to it). I usually become so engrossed that everything else becomes secondary.

What media do you use?
I enjoy using watercolors and mixed media. As much is dependent upon how wet the surface is, how much pigment is applied, etc., the exact same result is never duplicated.. There is an excitement in the unknown, of experimenting with different media. When a special effect is achieved, it gives a feeling of satisfaction.

Are there some stories that you can share about a particular cover?
Every cover has a story. This story remains with me from since my early days. I did research and painted 12 different cachets depicting vintage aircraft. They were intricate and colorful. When I realized that I could not attend the Sc#1684 Commercial Aviation FD Ceremonies, about a 1/2 hour drive, I mailed them at the pickup box inside the Post Office. It was Sunday, and the Post Office was closed, so it could not be insured. This occurred before the 30-day grace period was instituted, and covers had to be postmarked by FD in order to receive FDC canceling. That was the last I heard of those covers. They have never been found. To this day, it hurts when I think of them.

Do you have any comments you would like to share with our readers?
Years ago art on cachets was looked down on by FDC “purists.” There is room in our hobby for all types of collectors, and I believe that the beautiful artwork which adorns CoverNews month after month proves that there is a viable place in this hobby for this special type of art form. One can feel proud to be counted in such talented company.

Doris Gold has been presented with the following awards/honors for her work related to cachetmaking:

  • 1976 Interphil Postmark Design (Writers Day)
  • 1976 Aerophilatelic Federation of the Americas Distinguished Service Award
  • Top Honors Linn’s Favorite Cachetmaker Poll – 1979, 1980, 1981
  • 1981 First Day Cover Hall of Fame
  • 1981 AFDCS Service Award – Cachet Information Chairman
  • 1983 Chicago Museum of Science & Industry Official Cachet Designer, and designs for MSI Zephyr, MSI India
  • 1990-98, AFDCS Board of Directors
  • AFDCS Cachetmakers Competition 1991; 1992; 1994 (2 categories); 1995; 1997; 1998; 1999; 2000 (2 categories); 2001, 2002 (2 categories), 2005, 2006 (2 categories); 2007, 2008; 2010 (3 categories, 4 awards).
  • 1994 AFDCS Court of Honor #14 cachet designer