Caring for Your Stamp Collection Maybe you’ve inherited an luxurious stamp collection and are unsure what to do subsequent. Maybe you’ve had a longstanding interest in philately — the collection and have a look at of postage stamps — however handiest now had the approach of taking your series to the next degree. Regardless, some simple knowledge of the way to preserve your stamp series is essential to protecting your funding for the long time. While stamps must be sturdy enough to undergo the rigors of mail shipping, even the ones printed especially for the collector’s market are simply skinny portions of paper that could tear or damage without difficulty. Many veteran collectors have heard of — or even skilled — horror stories about rare or brilliant issues that noticed their value sink appreciably due to careless dealing with or extended garage in bad conditions. With that in thoughts, in this newsletter we strive to offer a fundamental postage stamps evaluation of the whole lot you want to understand about the way to keep and hold stamps. Keep studying to study extra, and make sure to share your recommendations within the remarks beneath! Stamp Handling Basics Touching your stamps is harmful The maximum crucial and frequently first aspect beginning philatelists are informed when gaining knowledge of a way to take care of a stamp collection is straightforward: Don’t contact the stamps. No fingerprints are alike but one component they all have in not unusual is how a great deal grease, dust and dust covers them. To prevent this from unfavourable your sensitive collection, constantly use stamp tongs — now not tweezers. These tongs characteristic unique smooth jaws that prevent tearing, but are skinny sufficient to pick up a stamp without problems. Despite this, however, the usage of tongs well calls for a chunk of finesse — starting creditors are frequently advocated to hone their talents on troubles which might be much less precious or are effortlessly replaceable. It is possibly unsurprising to study that, in a interest targeted exclusively on high priced minutia, a huge range of very fancy and tremendously specialized stamp tongs are available for buy. A brief Google seek will flip up numerous alternatives at various rate levels. Knowing the Enemy Things which can ruin your stamp series The U.S. National Postal Museum identifies 10 “retailers of deterioration” that they are in particular vigilant in guarding towards when managing, mounting and storing stamps. While by no means an exhaustive list of everything which could doubtlessly damage a stamp, it affords a very good evaluation of some of the principle things to appearance out for: Does Humidity Damage Stamps? Humidity is possibly the maximum important environmental element to be privy to, specially whilst storing your series at home. While temperatures in maximum homes continue to be stable over the route of the yr, humidity can vary wildly, causing warping, mold and mildew increase, and different conditions which can have a critical effect at the value of your series. High humidity can also damage the gum causing a massive reduction in fee. If your own home is especially liable to shifts in humidity, recall installing an environmental control, along with a humidifier or dehumidifier, to preserve moisture content ranges between 35 and 55 percentage. Humidity Harms Stamps Collections How Does Temperature Affect a Stamp Quality? Excessive high or low temperatures and — extra considerably — frequent shifts between extremes can damage stamps. Temperature adjustments purpose positive materials to extend or settlement, accelerating deterioration. For this motive, philatelists need to by no means keep their series in an attic, basement, garage or other place of the house where temperatures have the capability to fall outside the variety of sixty five°F to seventy two°F. Does Light Exposure Damage Stamps? Most humans understand the damage lengthy-term exposure to daylight could have on upholstery, paintings and other printed or dyed substances. Stamps aren't any one-of-a-kind — immoderate sunlight can motive fading, shade modifications, yellowing and cracking. Minimizing the quantity of time your series spends within the direct daylight is a key precedence of long-time period storage. While it could be tempting to mount your favourite troubles in a conspicuous spot where guests can see them, it’s better within the long term to save them in a dark cupboard. Stamps are broken by way of long-time period publicity to sunlight How Does Water Damage a Stamp Collection? The damage water can do to an luxurious stamp collection must be obvious — warping, deterioration, fungal infections and gum damage are all not unusual consequences of an unintended spill. To minimize hazard, don’t preserve drinks close by while running in your collection. Taking steps to prevent flood harm — consisting of storing your stamps greater than 6” off the ground always — is any other top idea. Water can damage your stamp series How Do you Protect Stamps From Chemical Damage? Chemical exposure: Chemical harm to stamps can appear in many methods, from the presence of aerosol sprays and perfumes within the air to the dust and dust handed by managing without tongs. These chemicals can connect to sensitive paper stamps, causing them to interrupt down over the years. Storing stamps in an airtight box is the high-quality way to limit long-term publicity, and final vigilant whilst cleansing or running around an uncovered series allows. How Can you Protect a Stamp from Improper Handling? Force: Using proper handling techniques is the best way to restriction damage with the aid of force — a huge class that includes rips and tears, stressing, warping and scratching. To save you these and different damages, buy a great set of tongs and learn how to use them nicely. Make positive your series is stored in a safe location wherein it isn’t reachable to untrained handlers and is not going to be stricken by vibrations or surprising impacts. If you store your stamps in an album, open it periodically and flip through the pages to prevent them from sticking together. How Do you Keep your Stamps Safe From Pests? Pests including mice, insects and microorganisms are drawn to natural material inclusive of paper. The damage they can do to a stamp collection in a brief amount of time is frequently irreversible. To avoid this, by no means store your series in cardboard or different paper containers. Take fundamental steps round your home to save you infestation, such as sealing off entryways. Avoid the usage of aerosol pest manipulate merchandise if feasible, as they can also damage your stamps via chemical publicity.