The Condition of Stamps - page 2

You want to make sure that your stamps stay in the best condition they can. Oooops, didn't we say there are no rules? Well, there aren't, but it makes sense to take care of our stamps, doesn't it?

When you are "working" on your stamps (funny that we say that, cause it's fun, not work, right?), you want to protect your stamps. Try working with them on a cleared table, after you helped with the dishes, of course! Don't have that glass of pop sitting where you might tip it over! Tell the cat to stay off the table!

Use tweezers if you have them, and be sure to handle the stamps carefully without jabbing the tweezers into them. Do not buy tweezers you use for removing slivers from your finger! Buy tweezers that are also called "stamp tongs". You can lift a stamp with tongs and gently set it on the back of your hand, if you are careful. That way, any perspiration in the palm of your hand won't touch the stamp, and you can examine the stamp while it is resting on the back of your hand. Now, don't sneeze!!

If the stamp is mint, be very careful not to touch the gum on the back. Your fingerprint might harm the gum.

Now, suppose you do accidentally spill something or accidentally tear a stamp. Don't get upset!! Chalk it up to experience. Everyone makes mistakes.

Here's a mistake I made. I put some special mint stamps in an album into a metal container and locked it up. And I forgot about them! A long time later, I opened the locked container and found that the moisture of the air inside had made my stamps stick to the album pages!! Yikes!! Many of the stamps were damaged, and I learned a lesson. But I didn't stop collecting stamps.

When you have finished with your stamps, don't leave them loose on the table. Take the time to put them safely away. You should find a safe place to keep your stamps and album when you are doing other things. Maybe a drawer in your room?

Sometimes you will want to take your stamps out of the house. Like when you visit a friend, go to a stamp club, or take them for "show and tell" at school. For this, you will need an album, or maybe a good box with a lid. And what if it rains? Make sure they are protected.

And, remember, if some of your stamps are very special and maybe valuable, ask for advice from an adult about keeping them safe.

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