Stamp Collecting Tools Required For Collecting
Thank goodness, stamp collecting is not as expensive to pursue as skiing or golf, where the tools and equipment can cost thousands of dollars. Plus ski and golf clothes can be expensive in their own right.
Stamp collecting is what could be called a “financially comfortable” hobby. Unless you desire to join the big leagues of stamp collecting and treat it as an investment, collecting stamps shouldn’t cost you the proverbial “arm and a leg.”
At some point in time as you progress in your stamp collecting, you’ll have to fish out your stamps from that old shoe box or other container you are using to store your collection so that you can properly mount them in a stamp album. Much like a photo album, stamp albums are a means of storing your stamps safely and to organize them in any way you want.
A good quality stamp album must have plenty of space for a growing collection, and have a strong binding that won’t separate the album sheets easily. Each page must be sufficiently thick with acid free paper.
Stamp albums are specialized and you will find a wide variety of albums sold by stamp retailers. Through their experience and conversations with collectors, manufacturers understand the important features of an album suitable for collectors.
Stamp catalogs are essential tools for collecting. Catalogs are excellent references for knowing the present value of stamps, and they provide information on how to identify them and collect them properly.
If you are not prepared to invest in your own stamp catalog, your local library is likely to carry a current or near current stamp catalog. Some stamp catalogs come in five or six albums.
If you want to examine the printed pattern that was embossed on a stamp, you can use a watermark detector. Not all stamps have watermarks, but identical stamps may have different watermarks. Watermarks can help detect forgeries and can assist in identifying stamp varieties.
If you handle stamps with your bare hands, you could be leaving dirty finger prints on the stamp, thus decreasing their value. To avoid this, you need to use stamp tongs, which are tweezer-like instruments that are used for handling stamps. Do not use real tweezers as a substitute for stamp tongs. Tweezers can damage your stamps.
If your collection has been appraised for a high value, the last thing you want to do is NOT use stamp tongs! Collectors can choose from either stainless steel or plastic tongs.
Many stamps are so tiny you can’t even see the letters on them with the naked eye. Plus your own eyesight is not anywhere near that of an eagle’s. A good magnifier should solve this problem.
A magnifier will enable you to see details that you might otherwise overlook or will help you to examine the stamp’s characteristics, as well as its condition.
As we mentioned earlier, perforations differ in size and type. A perforation gauge helps collectors separate stamps on a sheet and helps in identifying which stamp is which. While stamps may look identical, they may have a different perforation.
Before mounting your stamps into an album, you need to store them somewhere safe. This is the purpose that glassine envelopes serve. They are thin, transparent envelopes and come in various sizes.
Before they are ready to be mounted in albums, stamps need to be sorted by a theme or by country. Glassine envelopes are ideal for this task. You can also use glassine envelopes to mail stamps to other people.
When someone sends you stamps that are still on the envelopes, you can remove the stamps with the use of stamp-lifting fluids. Thee substances are used to “lift” stamps off from various forms of paper without damaging the stamps. They are used when water will not achieve the desired lifting.
Stamp Hinges/Safe Vinyl Mounts
When you are ready to mount your valuable stamps in an album, you will need hinges or safe vinyl stamp mounts. These hinges are sold already per-folded to make the collector’s like easier.
The smaller segment is moistened and then pressed into the center of the stamp, upper portion, after which the larger segment is also moistened, and then the stamp is mounted.
Care must be taken in moistening as the gum on a mint stamp may stick to the album page as well, thus making it difficult to remove the stamp later.
Making your collection into an intelligent collection requires literature that you can refer to. Hence stamp periodicals, newsletters, and magazines can open doors for you as desire to expand or branch into other fields of stamp collecting.
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