|Finally we get to the fun part.
Soaking stamps! How do we begin? The first step is to determine whether we should soak or save the stamp as is on the envelope
(Envleopes with stamps on them are known as "covers."). If you are not sure about removing a stamp, ask an experienced collector.
Once we have decided we can soak the stamps, then we will sort
them. Discard all torn or heavily canceled stamps, after first checking they for any errors in printing. Separate any duplicates
for trading or giveaway at this time.
Prepare a pan with lukewarm water and put your stamps into the
pan. The water will soften the gum and the excess paper will separate from the stamp. Carefully use your fingers to remove
the stamp from the water. Be very gentle with the stamp as you lay it face-down on a clean white paper towel. The towel will
pull the moisture from your stamp. Place your stamps in neat rows, and make sure they do not touch each other.
Gently rub them to be sure all gum has been removed. Move the stamps
to another dry paper tow?, again placing them face-down. Place another dry paper towel on top of the stamps, and then find
some heavy books like dictionaries or encyclopedias to pile on top. After twenty-four hours carefully remove the books and
paper towel, and your stamps will be dry and ready for further sorting.
Separate the stamps by country or topic, placing them in envelopes
marked with country names. Or use stockcards that are cardboard pages with sleeves to save your stamps