If you're like most stamp collectors, you'll probably enjoy arranging and filing your stamps in tidy ways for viewing. By doing so, you'll not only have your stamps organized for easy access, you'll also be protecting them from damage. The following steps can help you neatly and safely salvage stamps as they come into your hands.
As you accumulate stamps on envelopes sent through the mail, you might want to remove the stamps and add them to your collection. To remove a stamp, cut the right-hand corner of the envelope and place it under a few inches of lukewarm water for several minutes. Soon enough, the stamp should float free; when it does, carefully remove it from the water and set it aside to dry. You can do this with several envelopes at once, though colored envelopes should be done separately from regular ones.
Now that your stamps are free and dry, you'll want to arrange them in a sensible order. Some collectors arrange stamps by country, while others sort by topic, postage date, or even by the type of postage (airmail, special delivery, parcel, etc.) If any of the stamps are damaged, separate them from your primary collection and then store the latter in an album for safe-keeping and viewing.
Stamps can be attached to the pages of display albums with hinges or mounts, which make it possible to remove stamps from an album. Hinges are translucent strips of paper with adhesive gum on one side that can hold stamps in place, though the gum could possibly rub off on the stamps. Mint collectors prefer mounts, which function as transparent sleeves for storing stamps in an album.
Are you looking to have your stamp collection graded? Coins of the Realm is the leading stamp grader in the Gaithersburg area. For more than 40 years, we've been professionally grading stamps, coins, jewelry, and other collectibles. To learn more about our grading process, come to our store or call us at (301) 340-1640.