In the last edition I discussed choosing a way of storing and displaying your philatelic items. This time I will talk about how to use some of those storage media for your stamps, covers, and collateral material. First, since stamp albums are probably the most popular method of storing and displaying a collection, I will discuss the ways of mounting items in a traditional stamp album. The three principal methods employed to mount items in an album are stamp hinges, stamp mounts, and mounting corners. Which of these methods you use depends upon personal preference, the amount of disposable income available for purchases of supplies, and the types of items to be mounted. Following, I will discuss each of these approaches including any benefits and/or limitaions associated with the approach. First, I will discuss the use of stamp hinges to mount your philatelic items. Stamp hinges are small rectangular pieces of glassine paper with a water activated adhesive on one side. To mount a stamp using a hinge, you first evenly fold the top third of the hinge over so that the gummed side remains up. You then then lightly moisten (by licking or a sponge) the smaller portion of the gummed side and gently position it slightly below the top of the stamp in the center of the rear of the stamp. You then lightly moisten the bottom (i.e., larger) portion of the gummed side of the hinge and gently position the bottom portion of the hinge on the album page so that the stamp, when laid flat, will rest at the center of the album space in which it is being mounted. DO NOT moisten the entire bottom portion of the hinge as that will make it difficult to lift the stamp once it is mounted and could increase the risk of adhering a gummed or partially gummed stamp to the album page in a manner that will make it difficult to remove the stamp without damaging it or the album page. Stamp hinges are the least expensive way of mounting your stamps in an album and are the preferred way of mounting used stamps. Although stamp hinges can be used to mount mint stamps, keep in mind that once the hinge is attached, the stamp is no longer considered a mint (i.e., as issued) stamp, which is likely to have a bearing on the stamp's resale value. For inexpensive stamps that are unlikely to have any significant appreciation in value, hinges may still be the choice of some collectors rather than purchasing expensive mounts that could cost more than the stamp.

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Pederson Stamps
PO Box 662
Clemson, SC 29633
E-mail: rich@pedersonstamps.com