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Proper Care of Stamps
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Proper Care of Stamps

Because stamps damage easily, always use tongs when handling them. Unless they are rare or unusual stamps, those that are torn, creased, or otherwie damaged, and those that are heavily postmarked should not be saved. They have no value and will downgrade the appearance of your collection.To pass them on to children is a mistake. Why start a new collector off on a bad first step?

Mint or soaked stamps are ready to be mounted into albums.Those which have been soaked will usually be mounted using hinges. Hinges are pieces of glassine paper which are gummed and folded for mounting stamps. The shorter side will mounted on the top backside of the stamp, about 1/8th inch from the top. You will then mount the stamp to your album. When affixing the hinge, be sure to moisten the gum lightly. Too much moisture will cause the hinge to not set firmly on the page. Once a stamp is mounted, do not remove the hinge for at least 10 minutes. By removing the hinge too soon, you will tear off some of the paper on the back of the stamp. This is call thinning, and nobody will accept a stamp that is thinned.

When mounting unused stamps, it is wise to use stamp mounts. These are pockets in which the stamp will fit. Mounts are pregummed. Cutters are available to make straight cuts on mounts, or mounts can be purchased precut. Corners are also available for mounting covers or larger pieces.

A most important rule of stamp collecting is: Under no circumstances use cellopane tape -- Scott Brand is the best known -- around your stamps. Many collections have been ruined by using ceollphane tape to mount stamps. To see the effect of the tape, look through a photo album. The brown blemishes on photos is caused by using such tape on them.

If you are not ready to mount stamps, store them in a stockbook.This will keep your stamps safely stored until you are ready to mount them

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