First you need to figure out if you should remove the stamp from the envelope at all. Some stamps are worth much more attached to the original envelope. A stamp may be worth a few dollars, but attached to an envelope that shows it place in history it might be priceless. In some cases damaging the envelope would not only ruin potential value but may damage a historical document. Be sure you know what you have before you do anything.
So have you evaluated the stamp decided removing it from the envelope will not damage any value and now you need to know how to remove a stamp from an envelope for stamp collecting. Start by cutting the corner of the envelope off. Be sure to leave plenty of room around the stamp, you want to avoid damaging the stamp.
Next place the stamp in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes. If the stamp is old you will want to use cold water the ink on older stamps may run in warm water. If you are lucky the stamp will release itself and float to the top. Some stamps may need a bit of encouragement to release. This is often the case with the recent peel and stick variety of stamps.
Now carefully remove the stamp from the water. Be gentle the stamp has the potential to be very fragile at this point in the process. Move the stamp to a paper towel and gently blot it. A good tip is to line a cookie sheet with paper towels that way you can line up several wet stamps and move them to a secure location when done. Leave the stamps in a warm dry location overnight.
The next day you will find you now have dry stamps. They will also be very curly stamps. This is the part of the process that requires a lot of patience. Find a very heavy book and place your stamps in the middle of the book. Close the book, and place a weight on top of it. Now wait three weeks. When the three weeks are over you will you now have nice dry flat stamps.
Now you know how to remove stamps from envelopes for stamp collecting. It is fun and I bet it is easier than you thought it would be. Have fun stamp collection.
Photo Credits: Mr. T in DC
Originally posted 2010-06-01 03:45:13.This post involves:
Next: How to Make the Most Out of Your Stamp Show Experience