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More Tools You May Find Useful
When you visit dealers' stores, you will find other tools used by collectors. Some are expensive and are used by more experienced collectors. An example would be the ultraviolet light. This tool is used to find phosphor stamp marks put on stamps so they can be sorted by postal personnel. You must take great care not to expose your eyes to the ultraviolet light.

Color guides are also available to compare the shade of a stamp. Some are like paint charts. They have holes punched in them to place over the stamp to compare it's color. It is best to work in good daylight by a north facing window when examining a stamp with a color chart.

Some of your stamps may have watermarks. These marks are added to the paper before the stamp is printed. Some postal authorities use them to prevent counterfeiting. To find the watermark on a stamp you will need a dark watermark tray and fluid, a handheld watermark detector, or one powered by electric under which you place a stamp or cover to see the watermark. In using the tray and fluid you simply place the stamp face down in the tray, add a drop of fluid, and presto up comes the watermark.

Some also use "stamp lift", a chemical that will lift a stamp from whatever surface to which it is attached. This liquid is brushed on the stamp and loosens the stamp. While this is an easy tool to use, it can change the color of some stamps.

Pen and stencil sets were used at one time to letter album pages, but this method has been largely replaced by using the computer. You will find the computer a helpful tool as you become a more expert collector.

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