National Stamp Collecting Month: Hinges, Mounts & the Faroese Overland Postman

In the earliest stamp albums introduced in the 1860s, stamps were adhered to the pages using either their own gum (as if put on an envelope) or glue. Stamp hinges — small, folded, transparent, rectangular pieces of paper coated with a mild gum — were introduced soon after, allowing stamps to be removed without major damage to either the stamp or the album page. In the second … Continue reading National Stamp Collecting Month: Hinges, Mounts & the Faroese Overland Postman

National Stamp Collecting Month: The Magnifying Glass

Most lists of useful stamp collecting tools include some form of magnifying glass or loupe as essential to the collector. This is the primary tool for examining condition and authenticity of any stamp or philatelic material, particularly when at stamp shows or visiting your local stamp dealer. Philatelic writer Michael Baadke once wrote “though a magnifier doesn’t protect stamps from damage, it can protect you … Continue reading National Stamp Collecting Month: The Magnifying Glass

National Stamp Collecting Month: Stamp Tongs

There are a number of tools used by stamp collectors and philatelists. Aside from the stamps themselves, I would argue that the most essential item needed by a collector would be a good pair of stamp tongs —  the “tweezers” used to handle postage stamps. The jaws of stamp tongs are smooth in contrast to the striated jaws of the type of tweezers one might use … Continue reading National Stamp Collecting Month: Stamp Tongs