Essential Tools for Every Stamp Collector

Gearing up the right way for anything that you have set your minds on always comes in handy. For example, if you’re a cricketer and decide to walk into the field without padding up, you are risking a serious injury. Same is the case with cooking your favourite food, what if your kitchen table is not set up with all the required ingredients? You would end up spoiling the broth or you would be content with a compromised decision of going ahead without something that you don’t have.

If you say that you love collecting stamps or have just started this hobby recently, here’s a list of ingredients that will ensure that you pursue it tastefully!

Ting Tong, Get the Right Tong

Oil or sweat on your fingertips, when comes in contact with dust can result in stains which is generally not noticeable to the naked eye. But when oily fingertips come in contact with stamps, it can really ruin the beauty of your collection. You won’t even realise it and over a period of time, your stamps will lack its freshness or lustre permanently. That’s the reason why handing stamps without touching them is very important. This can be achieved by using a sturdy pair of tongs. Choose a longer pair of tongs which grasps the stamps even with a gentle squeeze.

Beginners who are still learning to handle stamps without damaging them, can go for tongs with rounded or blunt tips. Advanced collectors generally prefer longer tongs with slender tips.

If you are still confused whether you are a beginner or an experienced collector, don’t look for any convention; choose a tong that makes you feel comfortable while handling stamps. Remember, practice makes a man perfect; so if you want, you can practice using your new pair of tongs on pieces of paper before you actually go ahead and pick stamps with them.

Sherlock’s Favourite... The Magnifying Glass

The intricate designs of the stamps can be examined using a magnifying glass. Also when you are out for exhibitions or shows, the quality of the stamp can be double-checked only if you have a look at them through a magnifying lens. These days, there are different kinds magnifying glasses that come in the market, some have a little torch attached others are the regular ones in different shapes. The point is it should magnify images well to that you get to see the details.

When Beauty Lies in the Details, a Perforation Gauge Helps

To understand and study the subtle aspects of stamps, a perforation Gauge helps to a great extent. Within the space of 2 centimeters, the number of perforation holes or die-cut valleys for self-adhesive stamps can be accurately counted using this measuring device. You could opt for a perforation gauge printed on clear plastic so that you can read the results easily.

The correct way of reading the perforation value is by placing the stamp in such a way that the lines in the centre of the gauge run through the centre of the teeth of a stamp. The value that the gauge indicates on the left is the correct value that you are looking for.

How to Gear up for a Philately Show?

Always prepare a list of stamps that you already have with you. You wouldn’t want to regret about the fact that you purchased something that you already have in your collection. Make a handwritten catalogue or prepare a systematic spreadsheet, the choice is all yours. The other ways is to prepare a list of stamps that you are looking for, considering that this list would be smaller and easier to prepare.

Carry stamps along with you, probably extras or duplicates, which you think you can trade for something that you are eyeing. Trading stamps for other stamps is a good way to enhance your collection.

A stock-book with clear plastic pockets is one of the safest ways to store stamps. Some collectors prefer a traditional stamp album.

A good study yet spacious handbag is another thing that you would need to keep not just your collection safe but also to carry brochures and other such interesting material that you would receive.

And last but not the least, try carrying your business card which mentions your contact details like phone number and email id. This will help you keep in touch with fellow collectors whom you meet at the event.

Apart from that, you might want to carry your tongs, magnifying glass and perforation gauge along.

Now that you know how you need to be prepared to follow your passion, stock it all up and make your friends jealous by showing them your new stamp-collection kit.

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