Caring Your Stamps

Caring Your Stamps

Caring Your Stamps:

To have the best stamp collection , organising and caring of stamps is very important.

Stamp collection is real fun and has it own challenges of  Organising , Caring / Preserving and to Display the collection for easy viewing.

The stamps accumulated over many years will need time to arrange and organize , only then we can protect stamps from damages.

Always Organising and keep the stamps in acid-free album pages with binder and slipcase of good quality .

Some of the key elements that contributes to deterioration of stamps are listed below:

S:No Key Elements that deterioration of Stamps Quality Remark

1 Touching stamps with fingers / bare hands As our skin has natural oil & dirt from the hand can get to the stamp , so need to wash the hands clean .Use a pair of white cotton gloves & using stamp tweezers like a 120mm long cranked spade end can help for safely picking up stamps without touching them with your fingers. The pointed tips can be used for holding small stamps and spade tips can be used to hold bigger stamps.

2 Direct Light / Heat Extreme temperature changes cause rapid deterioration when like you store in an attic ,so do not store albums in the Attic as this can disturb the gum conditions of MNH stamps and the color. Keep the temperature between 25c - 28 c & store in a darkened area.

3 Humidity / Moisture Extreme moisture / humidity changes cause rapid deterioration when like you store in your basement so do not store albums in the basement. Store stamps in a humidity-controlled environment with Silica gel or dehumidifiers , use slipcases for your stock-books/stamp albums. Keep the humidity below 55% - 60%

4 Plastics covers made from PVC (polyvinylchloride) are commonly found at store emits hydrochloric acid over time. Can use plastics made of polyester, polypropylene, or polyethylene. You can keep a polyester film between two sheets. Glassine envelopes and cover sleeves are used to store stamps.

5 Acids in Paper used in Stock pages and stock books Use Stock pages and stock books that are acid-free. Also Glassine envelopes and cover sleeves are to be from good quality paper/plastic.

6 Pests like Silver fish & other small insects that spoil papers When we buy old collections of stamp albums / books / stock cards from on-line seller , they mostly come with insects hiding inside and can spread into your collection archives. Much more care needs to be taken when keeping adding books taken from common library as there are high possibility of pest and insects coming from these places.

7 Adhesives used in hinges and albums kept over each other Use good quality hinges , corner holders & do not keep the albums over each other and pressing the stamps inside. As this can cause the stamps to stick together.

8 Smoke and dust due to pollution. Store stamps in acid-free stock pages in a good quality Slipcase away from dust / smoke .keeping stamps collection in a darkened and dust free environment with some fresh air.

9 Foxing / rusting (reddish-brown spots on paper and textiles) When you find any such infection in the stamp collection , it is like thins or creases faults that you find in your collection . So first isolate them immediately into a Glassine cover & you may keep it till you get a better replacement .
There are also lots of chemical methods / solutions (like Foxit, Chloramine-T, Hydrogen Peroxide etc) to stop the foxing process, and remove/ lessen the signs of foxing. Sometimes a simple quick bath in boiling hot water is enough to remove any signs of the staining. Do not treat stamps from chalk paper or in fugitive ink & do not treat rust on mint stamps it is a crime.
It is better to discard these stamps as you have a risk of infecting the rest of your collection.

10 If stored along with other objects like Pen / ball pen that can leak ink on to the paper over time & paper clips or razor blade that can rust over period and can affect the paper. Don't keep objects along with stamps that could damage the stamps over period.

Will keep adding and updating more points with photos soon.