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Caring for Stamps in Albums

Stamp collecting remains one of the world’s most popular hobbies, and despite the raise in importance of technology, continues to attract new enthusiasts everyday. People will a sparse knowledge of stamp collecting may believe that stamp collectors simply stick stamps down in stamp albums in order to display them. Most stamp collectors of course wouldn’t even consider directly sticking stamps down as there is a proper way to care for stamps in albums.

Stamp albums have been the traditional method of housing stamps. Stamps normally being attached to stamp album pages through the use of hinges. The hinges are licked or made damp so that stick to the back of the stamp and the page of the album. Although a better method than glue, the hinges do leave tell-tale marks on the backs of stamps. It is these marks that change the description of a stamp from unmounted to mounted. It is preferable to make use of stamp mounts. These mounts can be glued to the pages of the stamp album, but the stamp itself fits loosely inside it. If stamp tweezers are then used when handling the stamps, the stamps should remain in perfect, mint condition.

Modern albums are made from pages that are acid free, but again in the past such care was not always taken and so older stamp albums can cause some damage to the stamps they are designed to protect.

Although a rarity there are stamp albums that house stamps so that they face each other on opposite pages. These albums though have proved to be dangerous where the stamps damage each other.

Stamp albums should be stored in an upright position, normally on a shelf. This helps prevent stamps being crushed beneath the weight of the album pages. It is important though that the room that houses the stamps are climate controlled. The stamps can become damaged if they get too hot or too cold, and in the same way must be held in a humidity controlled environment. Heat and humidity can easily cause the gum on the back of stamps to become active and thus they could become stuck to the pages of the stamp album.

Many stamp collectors no longer use stamp albums and instead make use of stamp stock books. Stamp stock books contain pages that house stamps behind clear plastic, and the stamps are therefore not fixed in place. This proves to be a safe method of storing stamps, and allows stamps to be easily seen but also easily moved if needed. If using the stamp book though, the stamp collector needs to bear in mind the same storage techniques as are applied to stamp album usage.

Stamps though should be aired out frequently; this will help prevent them becoming stuck together within albums or stock books.

Stamp albums remain the most popular, and in many people’s eyes the best method of storing and displaying stamps, with proper usage and some care, the stored stamps will remain in pristine condition.

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