Things to Avoid With Your Stamps
Remember that stamps are frail and can be damaged within seconds. Here are a few things that you should avoid at any cost when you are working with your stamps so as to ensure their safety:
Handling Stamps with Your Hands
Remember that even clean hands contain lots of oil. You can’t do anything to avoid that. This oil teamed with dirt and dust that accumulates in your hands can obliterate your stamps.
Hence, you should never pick up stamps using your hands. Stamp tongs are a better choice because they ensure safety and also help you pick out the specific item with ease.
Not Checking Your Envelopes
An interesting stamp can make you forget everything. In your haste to cut the stamp out from the envelope you might ignore the envelope all together. That is wrong. You must always check the envelope because it might be a treasure in itself. The envelope could be something special such as an Event Day Cover or First Day Cover.
A postmark or cancellation will signify the special place that it may have come from. It might also be a wartime mail or a balloon mail with censorship markings or anything else with rich postal history. Thus, don’t ignore the envelope ever.
Trimming Stamps on Envelopes Too Closely
It is obvious that you might want to remove the entire excess envelope while soaking stamps or mounting them. Here you have to be extremely careful not to cut the stamp all together. You have to be very careful with the perforation to start with.
These days, you will find irregularly sized and shaped stamps and cutting them off neatly is difficult. There are many stamps that have labels with some writing around them. Before cutting them off, make sure the writing or the attachment is not a part of the stamp.
Gluing or Taping Stamps to Your Album
This may seem strangely funny to you but there are many new collectors who commit this mistake. Many don’t know how stamp mounts and hinges work and they end up gluing or taping the stamp to the album.
Of course the stamp will be secure but it will be nigh impossible to remove it without causing serious damage to it. When one starts collecting, this should be the first thing to avoid.
Storing Loose Stamps in a Box
Storing loose stamps seems very easy especially when you don’t have the time to sort them out and file them. But storing them in this manner can cause a lot of damage such as curling and bending.
The perforations may also be damaged. Storing them in boxes for long without touching them is also wrong because the acids and dyes in the box can damage your stamps. Hence, you should buy glassine envelopes and secure them safely in a safe container.
Using Too Small Mounts
Stamp mounts are probably the best way to secure your stamps because they protect your stamps and also aid examination and removal with ease. You can find stamp mounts of various sizes. There are also do-it-yourself and precut options that you could choose.
You need to have many different sizes at your disposal so that you use the right mounts. If the mount is too small, it will cause creases and damage the perforations. Be very careful when you put the stamp in the mount. Check twice before securing it.