Getting Started with Stamp Collecting - page 2

for pre-teens

There are lots of ways to get stamps for your collection. Maybe Aunt Bertha gave you her collection, or part of it, to get you started. Maybe you just went to a stamp store and bought some. Maybe you went through your parents' mail and soaked off the stamps from the envelopes. Maybe you just printed some of your own ..... oh, those don't count, forget them!

Maybe you went to the Post Office and bought some new stamps. New stamps with gum (sticky stuff) on the back are called "mint" stamps. Stamps that have been already used on envelopes are called "used" stamps. But you already knew that - right?

Some people collect only mint stamps, some collect only used stamps, some collect both. It's your choice!

OK, now here is a strip of 3 stamps on an envelope that arrived yesterday. The stamps add up to 73 cents - wow - that must have been a heavy envelope!

By the way, if you want to remove stamps from envelopes, and have permission to do so, cut out the stamp, leaving lots of envelope attached, because you don't want to risk cutting into the stamp. Place what you cut out into a dish of water and wait maybe half an hour or more, until the stamp has floated free from the paper. Now you have a soggy stamp!

If you just let it dry, it will curl up and look funny. If you are into collecting funny curled up stamps, there you go!! But if you want nice flat stamps, you have to dry them and press them. Get some help doing that. I put them on a clean unwrinkled dish towel or piece of blotting paper, put more blotting paper or towel on top, and stack books on them. Don't use your schoolbooks, because you will probably want to do homework while the stamps are pressing.

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