There are three basic types of stamp collecting. You can collect stamps from a specific country; maybe one you have visited or have a special interest in. Another type of collecting is by date. This can be a specific date that is special to you or by a special event. You can also collect by themes. Examples would be animals, flowers, or trains.
Before you start collecting, there are a few tools that will help you to take proper care of your collection and make it more enjoyable. Stamp tweezers are a special tool used to handle stamps. Even if you wash your hands, your stamps can become damaged from the oils on your hands. A magnifying glass will give you a better look at your collection. Hinges are small folded pieces of paper with glue on one side. These will allow you to remove your stamps later without damaging them. A stamp catalog lists all of the stamps that have ever been made. It may help you to get an idea on what type of stamps you want to collect. Glassine envelopes are special envelopes that can protect your stamps until you are ready to mount them. In addition to these basic tools, you will also need a place to mount your stamps to keep them protected.
A stamp album is a special album used to collect stamps. Stamp albums have pictures of all the stamps made. With a stamp album, you just simply match your stamp to the picture of the stamp in the album. You can also use a stock book. A stock book contains a heavy card material that will keep your stamps safe. This is better than a regular notebook. The pages in a notebook are too thin to protect your stamps. The card stock will keep your stamps from getting creases or bend in them. Stock books also allow you to arrange your stamps however you want.
You will find more enjoyment in your collection if you take the time to organize it. There are lost of fun and different ways to organize your collection. You can organize it by date, theme, or you can create a story line with your stamps. While organizing your stamps, be sure to take into consideration the size, shape, and color of your stamps. You may want to take the time to arrange them before actually mounting them in your book. This way, you can rearrange them easier. Once you have them arranged in a way that you like, you can mount them in your book. You also might want to take the time to write a small bit of information about your stamp. This can be done either by writing directly in the book or by typing it on the computer and then pasting the strip to your book.
Before you can mount your stamps, it is important to know how to properly remove them from an envelope. The most common method used is called soaking. To start, you will want to cut the envelope as close to the stamp as possible. Be careful to not cut the stamp. It's also a good idea to separate out the ones on colored envelopes. The reason is that the dye from the envelope can ruin your other stamps. Next, place your stamp face up in a shallow bowl of warm water. After several minutes, the stamp will separate from the envelope. Never force it off. This can damage the stamp. Now you can remove the stamp from the water with your tweezers. Place your stamps between two clean paper towels. Then, place a heavy book on top of them so that they dry flat. Leave them to dry overnight. The next morning, they will be ready to mount.
Starting a stamp collection is easy and fun. Once you have started, you will want to share it. Sharing your collection with people you love is the only thing more fun than actually collecting! Have fun collecting!
Photo Credits: Dan Harrelson
Originally posted 2010-08-26 03:49:19.This post involves:
Next: Handling Stamps is Easy!