Sunday, August 1, 2010

which tools shoud you need for collecting stamps?

Taking the stamps off the envelopes.

You can save the whole envelope (remember this is your collection) or you can take the stamps off. The method I use is soaking.
This is how :
1. Cut the corner of the envelope off close to the stamp. Be careful you don't cut the stamp.
2. Separate out the stamps that are on colored envelopes as these might run and color the other stamps.It is best to soak each of these stamps alone.
3. Fill a shallow bowl with warm water and place the stamp in the bowl face down. The stamp will sink in a few minutes.
4. Wait a few more minutes for the stamp to become unstuck and then lift the stamp out with a pair of tongs (metal tweezers work fine) or just use your fingers.
5. Place the stamp face down on a clean paper towel and put another paper towel on top. A heavy book on the top of everything will help the stamps to dry flat ( the phone book works great )
6. Leave the stamps to dry overnite and the next morning you will have stamps for your collection.

Putting the collection together.

Now it's time to organize the collection. You have to protect the stamps so some type of an Album is needed. You can simply use a notebook or you can buy a Stamp Album. A stamp album usually has pictures for each of the stamps and you just have to match the stamp to the picture. Stamps are placed into the book using something called a Hinge. Hinges are small folded pieces of paper with glue on one side. The reason for using a hinge and not just tape is that the stamp can be removed without wrecking the stamp or the album.

What else do I need ?

Here is some other things that you may want to get to help with your collection. All these things can be found at your local stamp shop or right here on the internet.

1. Stamp tongs : these look like tweezers but have special flat ends. These makes it easier to handle the stamps. Using your fingers may put grease or oil on the stamps and cause them to change color.
2. Glassine envelopes : these are special clear envelopes that protect your stamps until you can place them in the album.
3. Magnifying glass : take a close look at the stamp. Each stamp is a tiny work of art.
4. Stamp catalog : this is a book that lists all the stamps. This is a great place to identify the stamps you have. Most libraries have these books.

Getting help .

If you have questions the best place to get an answer is from another collector. Look in the phone book for a stamp shop. Ask friends and relatives if they collect stamps or follow some the the links in the next section. You can always contact me and I will try to get you to the right person. The most important part is to have fun. Drop me a note and tell me how your doing.


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