Your stamp supply shopping list
Collecting stamps is a great hobby that people from all over the world enjoy. It doesn’t matter if you are young or old. This hobby is not only fun, interesting but you can also learn a lot. There is a whole wide world collecting stamp community for you to be part of. The key for collecting stamps is the variety you can collect. In this case you can certainly say more is better.
If you are new to this hobby you have must realize that you have to have stamp collecting supplies ready before you start your collection of stamps. Here is a list of supplies that you will need for your hobby. Stock books, stamp hinges, stamp tongs, magnifiers, glassing envelopes, blank pages, drying books, perforation gauge, water mark detector, stamp mounts, stamp catalogues, binders and of course stamp albums. This may look like big shopping list but there is no reason to be panic. Not like many other collecting hobbies, this hobby doesn’t have to be expensive at all.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on expensive equipments and supplies. There is of course a list of items no stamp collector can do without. Let’s start with the one item that collectors can not do without and that is a stamp album. The stamp album keeps your stamps safe while at the same time it enables you to organize your collection and to display your stamps in an attractive manner. Look for something that is high in quality. What you should look for is an album that contains plenty of space for your stamps and have strong bindings with thick pages made from good quality acid free paper. Another smart item you can not do without is a stamp hinge. A stamp hinge is a small, folded, rectangular piece of paper or glassine coated with a gum. One end of the hinge is gummed onto the back of a stamp and the other end is gummed onto the album page. This helps to firmly hold the stamp on the page.
These hinges are very inexpensive and around a thousand can be purchased for a few dollars. Stamp tongs look like tweezers, but these are specially designed for picking up and handling stamps. Tongs are available in both stainless steel and plastic. Either type will do, but make sure you choose tongs that do not have sharp edges, as they may tear and ruin your stamp. If the value of your collection is important to you then a stamp catalogue is a must. The stamp catalog will help you identify a stamp and will also give you a rough indication of its current value. So you exactly know how valuable your collection is in the world of philately. What you also need is a magnifying glass. This will help you to examine the inscription and design closely, the feature of a stamp as well as its condition. Also the magnifying glass would help you spot the creases or printing error of a stamp.
All of these factors have an impact on a stamp’s grade and its value. Glassine envelopes are translucent and available in various sizes. They are useful for sorting and storing the stamps before you place them in the album. You can also mail stamps in these envelopes. Some other gadget you will need is a perforation gauge. It measures the number of holes per two cm length of the perforations on the side of the stamps. Stamps differ in the number of perforations each have, which even helps distinguish between two identical looking stamps and also influence the relative rarity. A water mark detector is useful in detecting forgeries and identifying stamp varieties. In hobby shops and on the internet all these tools are easy to find. Remember that these tools don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg.
To start your hobby you will need these stamp collecting supplies and have fun while collecting.