Basic Tools For Stamp Collecting

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There are no specific tools used for stamp collecting. However, great majority of collectors used few helpful tools that are essential for making a stamp collecting hobby hassle free, and it also minimize damage infliction to your collections.

Most postage stamps enthusiasts like to invest in a few items for the better display, preservation and inspection of their stamp collections. Here are some of the most commonly used materials and tools for stamp collecting.

1. Magnifying glass - Gives you a magnified view when picking postage stamps from envelopes, it minimizes damage infliction.  There are also Magnifying glasses available that include LED lights built into them giving you greater visibility when using them to identify small faults of flaws.

2. Microscope with light box allows you to get right up close, I like to use one produced by "Lumagny" which has 50x magnification the strength of this extreme magnification allows you to view the pores in the paper of the stamp.

3. Stamp tongs with rounded tips also known as Tweezers - helps prevent damage and stains from skin oils and rough handling.

4. Perforation gauge - Also known as an odontometer. Use to measure the perforation of postmarks.

5. Archival stockbook/stamp album with clear plastic pockets - This is one of the safest means of postage stamps storage. By using this, your collections will be free from humidity, light, and heat.

6. It is also advisable to invest in glassine envelopes for storing your extra stamps. These envelopes are made for stamp collecting and they are semi-transparent. The glassine material is found to have no harmful effects on the stamps it stores.

7.  Bottle of Shellite also known as lighter fluid,  I like to use this to detect hard to see watermarks in the stamps.

First pour a small amount of Shellite onto the back of a stocksheet or onto cardboard.

Using Tweezers/Stamp tongs place the stamp onto the Shellite face down, Look for the Watermark as soon as the stamp has been placed into the Shellite, as the Shellite evaporates quickly so you also need to be quick.  In this example you can clearly see the watermark of the stamp in the Shellite which is a small multi watermark.

Do not attempt to move the stamp until the Shellite evaporates, once the Shellite has evaporates you are able to pick up your stamp and store it back with the rest of your collection.

This method of detecting watermarks using Shellite can be used on Mint stamps with full gum and the Shellite will not affect the gum on the reverse of the stamp.  Just remember to wait for the Shellite to evaporate before trying to pick up your stamp.

Your postage stamps collection can be displayed whatever you want them to be seen, let it be by country, by topic, or even by size, such a way that it pleases your eyes and make stamp collecting a rewarding hobby for you.

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