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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Removing Stamps From Paper and Drying Stamps Part I of III

Removing Stamps From Paper and Drying Stamps… Part I of III

For those who are new to collecting stamps, you might wonder how you can remove the stamps from the paper envelope. It is often a tricky endeavor, but with patience and practice, you will be able to accomplish this task.

Firstly, always resist the urge to try to take a stamp off paper by pulling at it, even if it looks like it will come off easily. Stamps should be trimmed first. Be careful not to cut the perforation off of the stamps as this will reduce its value.

Once you have trimmed the stamps, you can begin the process of removing them from their paper backing. You should soak the stamps in clean water that is about the temperature of your body. Many people have made the mistake of soaking the stamps in warm or hot water. Even though it is faster, doing so could easily damage the cancellation ink or the delicate stamp itself. This may also cause the ink in the paper backing to run. Be sure to use a good amount of water. Your goal in soaking the stamps is not only to dislodge them from the paper; but also to remove any residual adhesive from the stamp. You may need to change the water often so that there is not as much glue floating around.

Just as you sort your personal laundry, do the same with stamp sorting. Put like colors together. You should group colored paper backing stamps together as well as stamps that have the rubber stamp ink together.

Check back on Friday for Part II of this series.

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