Apart from being a fun and great hobby, collecting postage stamps can also be considered an important and financially rewarding leisure pursuit. For one, there’s very good money in keeping and selling commemorative or rare postage stamps. Also, stamps may be small and simple but they stand for a piece of history, a certain individual and a country. Hence, it’s important to value every postage stamp.
There are a number of ways to take care of these valuable collectibles. First off, you can buy a waterproof stamp album. Make sure that you buy enough pieces so as to accommodate your entire collection. Alternatively, you may want to purchase a stock book with small pockets you can insert the stamps into. Choose an album that has enough space for each stamp. Let the stamp “breathe”. Besides, it would also look better if each and every stamp gets “featured”. Keep the album off a busy desk and keep food, cigarettes, lighters, matches and drinks at bay. Avoid accidents! Secondly, don’t use your fingers in handling stamps. Experts of philately (the study of stamps) say that any outside matter such as a fingerprint can decrease the stamp’s value. This is why experts discourage the mere use of fingers to take a stamp off an envelope. They reckon that the best way to take it off is to let the stamped envelope undergo a process called “steaming”. Ask where you can buy a pair of flat bladed stamp collector’s tongs. Use this to transfer each stamp. Avoid using the regular pair of tweezers! The tweezers’ sharp points may damage the stamp.
Thirdly, avoid using both sides of an album page. Doing this allows the stamps on one side to come in contact with the stamps on the other side of the page. Don’t let that happen since it may decrease the value of the stamp. Fourthly, use inserts for the album. Place them in between pages to further keep the stamps from coming in contact with each other. An ideal insert can be as thin as onion skin paper. Don’t hesitate to ask the local school supply store which inserts are usually bought by stamp collectors. Fifthly, purchase stamp mounts or clear plastic sleeves with gummed surface. Use these to handle the precious stamps that are still in mint condition. The mounts can help protect the stamps since the gummed surface can maintain the adhesive on the back of the precious stamp. Lastly, never let your stamps get in contact with direct sunlight. This can cause discoloration and can also melt the adhesive on the back of the stamp.
Preserve your stamps by following these steps. Your collection deserves nothing but proper care.