Heat and humidity are enemies of stamp collections. Careless exposure to summer weather conditions can result in stamps that lose gum, curl or stick to album pages. Below are some tips to help you maintain your collection in these extreme conditions.
Air conditioning, of course, eliminates virtually all problems of album storage during the hot months, but collectors who do not have the benefit of cooled and dehumidified air can take simple measures to combat the damage that threatens their collections.
The albums you use to organize your stamps should be stored upright on a bookshelf and not stacked on top of one another. Stacking may destroy your collection and when partnered with heat and humidity, the damage may intensify. Stamps may lose stickiness and curl or leave residue on the pages causing them to stick together.
Always place your stamp albums in the coolest room of your house and not in the attic or basement as protection against burglars. Placing interleaf tissues between pages of mint sheets helps prevent stickiness. Another safeguard against the weather is silica gel, which is a drying agent that absorbs moisture around albums.
Never handle stamps with fingers; use stamp tongs, a tweezers-like instrument. In cooler months, collectors will pick up stamps without any apparent harm or stickiness, but on hot days tiny oily deposits remain on fingertips even after hands are washed and scrubbed.
Stamp collecting serves as an enjoyable and fun hobby that can lead to valuable and interesting finds along the way. Ensure you properly care for and store your stamps to keep your collection safe for many years to come.
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