Philatelic and Postal History Primer
Getting Started
Introduction//Stamp Types//Collection Types//Getting Started//Associations

Getting Started with your Stamp Collection

Getting Started//Storage & Care//Accessories

In Getting Started, we talked about some of the things that might damage or harm your stamps. Illustrated below is a cover that shows both toning and staining, two types of damage that can lower the value of  covers or stamped envelopes. This was caused by prolonged exposure to excessive humidity and light. Age and the type of paper used in producing the envelope also contributed to the damage.

If you decide to collect mint stamps, (unused stamps with full glue) you should not use hinges to mount them. Polystyrene Stamp Mounts, such as those made by Showguard should be used for mounting your mint collection.  Stamp Hinges are fine for mounting a used stamp collection and cost a good deal less than the polystyrene mounts.

Dust, humidity, excessive heat, and light cause damage to your stamps over the long term. Storing your stamps in albums that include a dust cover or in a cabinet that has a closable door or cover will protect your stamps from dust. Normal indoor light, (non-florescent) will not harm your stamps, however avoid exposing them to florescent  light or direct sunlight. If your home is Air Conditioned, as most are today, humidity should not be a problem. (Exposure to High Humidity can cause your stamps to stick to the album or to each other.)

Another area of damage is caused by handling your stamps with bare hands. Your hands contain a natural oil that will over time damage and prematurely age your stamps. The best way to avoid this is to always use a good pair of Stamp Tongs when handling your stamps or covers. Do not use regular tweezers as they usually have sharp points which might tear or puncture the stamp. Stamp Tongs are made especially for handling stamps without damage and can be purchased from any stamp dealer.

After you decide on the type of stamp collection you want to start, you should buy the largest Album/s you can reasonably afford. If you purchase one that is too small, you will soon have to transfer your stamps to a larger one increasing the possibility of damaging them. 

Stamp Collecting Accessories, our next section covers the albums and stamp collecting supplies that will enhance your collecting experience and protect your investment.

Getting Started//Storage & Care//Accessories

Introduction//Stamp Types//Collection Types//Getting Started//Associations

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