Stamp collection is an amazing hobby, as it helps you utilize your time in a constructive manner. It can be a stress reliever, as you will be so engrossed in arranging your collection in the best way that you will not think about worldly problems. And that is the purpose of starting a stamp collection. Now, whether you’ve started collecting stamps yourself or you’ve inherited a collection that you want to grow, you can always consider buying online stamps, and an even better option is to print stamps online using a variety of sites.
While printing stamps online is a great way to expand your collection, you have to understand how to take proper care of them. Most people are of the view that stamps they print online are quite strong, which they are, but at the end of the day, they are just a thin piece of paper. You can tear or damage those precious stamps with mishandling. Keep in mind that careless handling and poor storage conditions can lower the value of your stamps. Here are a few things to help prevent any bad thing happening to your collection of stamps you’ve printed online.
Know the Basics
Always do the basics right and you will end up extending the life of your stamp collection. For instance, you should avoid touching your stamps as much as possible, as dirt, grime, and grease on your fingers may get transferred to the stamps and eventually damage them.
If you’re starting a collection, it is always a good idea to invest in some good quality tongs. Remember, you should avoid tweezers here and opt specifically for tongs that come with smooth jaws and lower risk of tearing.
Tongs are usually not that expensive, but depending on the money you can spend, you may find some high-end tongs designed to handle expensive minutia. Be sure to practice a little on something invaluable because using prongs may require some skills. Stamps that you print online are reasonably durable, but still, using the right tools to handle them will extend their life considerably.
Protect from the Elements
Because of the easy access to the internet, printing your stamps online has become a lot simpler. However, it is also a great idea to buy old stamps using the right sites. But remember, even those collectors’ items require delicate handling. Once you have found those stamps and used your fancy tongs to put on your albums, the next step is to protect those precious stamps from the elements. There are different agents of deterioration that can damage your collection over time. For instance:
You won’t be able to enjoy your collection for long if you do nothing to protect it from humidity, which is probably the most important environmental factors that can damage your printed stamps. When you’re selecting stamp collection as a hobby, it is natural to keep your collection at home, and that is when the humidity can cause some serious concerns. It is true that the temperatures usually stay quite stable in most homes, the humidity levels can vary greatly. Due to these changes, your stamps are always prone to warping. You may also end up experiencing other issues such as mold and mildew growth.
It is also important to protect your collection against humidity because it can damage the gum, ultimately lowering the value of your stamps. Therefore, you should seriously consider if you experience significant shifts in humidity throughout the year, and if that is the case, be sure to invest in a dehumidifier or humidifier for better environmental control. The idea is to maintain the moisture content somewhere between 35% and 55%. Keeping humidity levels within this range is also good for your health.
Don’t expose your printed stamps to excessive temperatures. Too low or too high, extreme temperature changes can damage your stamps, as the change may cause your stamps to contract or expand, which is going to accelerate deterioration. This holds true for all types of stamps – printed or otherwise. Therefore, it is a good idea to avoid storing your collection in your basement, attic, or garage. Ideally, you should pick an area where the temperature changes stay within 65F and 72F range.
You may already be aware of how dangerous exposure to direct sunlight is. Not only can it damage paintings, upholstery, and dyed materials, but it can also damage your skin. Stamps are no exceptions here too. Not avoiding excessive sunlight can cause the color of your stamps to change. You may also notice fading, cracking, or yellowing of those precious stamps because of overexposure to sunlight. What it means is that instead of proudly showcasing your collection in an open area of your home, you will be better off storing it in a dark cabinet to extend its life.
Well, that’s a no brainer, isn’t it? Under no circumstances should your stamp collection be exposed to water or you will end up experiencing issues, such as fungal infections, deterioration, warping, and gum damage. Even accidental spills can cause serious problems, which is why you should take the necessary precautions and never keep drinks near your collection. Moreover, if you’re in a flood-prone area, you may want to store your stamps at least 6-ft higher than the floor to prevent water damage.
Other than these points, you should also take steps to protect your printed stamps against chemical exposure and pests. The presence of aerosol sprays can damage your stamps over time. Similarly, pests, such as insects, mice, and microorganisms attracted to organic material can cause irreversible damage to your stamp collection. Dealing with pests is important but avoid using aerosol-based products for obvious reasons. You can talk to a pest control company if you’re currently dealing with a large infestation.
The fact of the matter is that starting a stamp collection is often easy but maintaining and protecting it from obvious dangers is the real task. You can now easily buy and print stamps online, but even they deserve proper care. Invest in a good quality album and store it properly. You may want to go for a waterproof album to prevent water damage, which is the most common issue for printed stamps. Similarly, storing it in a dry, dark place will also extend its life. So, keep these points in mind and you will notice your stamp collection growing year after year.