Collectors should always exercise caution when handling and storing their stamps. Sometimes practices that seem harmless can cause a great deal of damage. A stamp’s value will plummet along with its quality no matter how rare it is. Here are a few things that should be avoided when thinking of how to store your stamps:
Many collectors like to stack their albums on flat surfaces, but this is inadvisable; pressure tends to damage stamps, so storing them this way is sure to lower their quality. This is one of the simplest and most basic stamp storage guidelines, but it’s nonetheless of the utmost importance.
If you decide to frame and hang your stamps, be careful about where you choose to do so. It’s usually a good idea to avoid windows where a lot of sunlight leaks through. Direct exposure to the sun’s rays can cause the stamps’ colors to fade. Try to display them in moderately shady areas so they’ll continue to look the way they did upon production.
Stamps aren’t as hardy as coins. Because they’re made of paper, stamps are easily damaged by water. Don’t fall into the trap of assuming that framed albums are safe; if you store them in bathrooms or other humid, steamy areas, you’ll undoubtedly encounter trouble after a while. Moisture can also damage the adhesive gum holding the stamps in place, so be sure to keep them somewhere dry.
Hinges were once a popular way to attach stamps to album pages. Recently, though, they’ve fallen out of style—and with good reason. Many new collectors aren’t aware that even damage that can’t be seen from the front can reduce a stamp’s market value. Hinges can wear out the back of a stamp and should be avoided whenever possible.
Coins of the Realm has something to offer just about every collector out there. We’re an authorized dealer, having been in business since 1974, and we’re among the most knowledgeable businesses in Gaithersburg when it comes to grading coins, stamps, and jewelry. If you’re a numismatist or philatelist, don’t hesitate to call (301) 340-1640 or visit us online.