Stamp Identification

Stamp Identification


Using stamp tongs, sort stamps into three separate piles. 

  1. Stamps you can identify as to the country of origin.
  2. Stamps you think you know but are not quite sure of.
  3. Stamps you cannot identify at all.

Put aside piles 2 and 3 and concentrate on #1. Sort into separate piles by country.  If the pile is a big one,  sort by country alphabetically and then separate each letter into separate countries.

Open album and find the proper country.  Search for the illustration matching the stamp you want to mount.  If identical, mount on top of the illustration.  If not but similar, mount near or in a blank space.

Study info in your album carefully to add to your pleasure and knowledge and it will help you identify some of those in piles 2 or 3.

Pictures on stamps have great stories and are educational!  

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Soaking & Drying


Surplus paper adhering to used postage stamps can be removed by immersion in plain water.  Stamps on fugitive or aniline inks or stuck to colored paper or  cancelled with violet ink, should never be totally  immersed, but should be “floated off”.  Salt should be added to the water to slow up any running of color and to freshen up the stamps.  Colored linings of airmail envelopes and some brown wrapping papers  are  particularly prone to staining – not only to the attached stamps, but the water also thus tinting and ruining the whole batch of stamps. A humidor or sweat-box is the modern and preferred way for water soluble inks.

Boiling in pure distilled water is often recommended as a “kill or cure” treatment for an old copy very badly soiled.  A few seconds immersion is usually sufficient  to loosen the obstinate accretions of dirt and paper, etc.


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Soaking & Drying



Storage & Mounting



Album:  Blank or Illustrated book with pages designed to hold and display a collection of postage stamps. Printed or Blank:  general or specialized stock pages.  

Hinges:  Oblong tough, thin paper gummed on one side  and designed for neat mounting of stamps in the album.

Quality Mounting:  To preserve the condition and value of stamps in a collection it is important that stamps be correctly mounted in the album.

Hinge Use:  If pre folded, the short end goes on the stamp. Unfolded hinges, hold over the top quarter of the hinge, lightly moisten and affix to the top of the stamp.   Next, lightly moisten the other end of the hinge.  Then, holding the foot of the stamp away from the album page with stamp tongs, press the hinge (not the stamp) firmly to the page. To remove hinged stamps, be sure to wait until the gum or hinge is thoroughly dry or stamp or page may tear.

Alternative:  (more expensive method) is to place stamps in mounts which are then mounted on the album page. Protective mounts in various sizes are good for expensive and mint stamps.



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In addition to the cover (envelope or card) in the form of a printed, embossed, impressed, or hand struck inscription, or device to authenticate, date, or publicize an event or exceptional philatelic circumstance connected with the mailing of that particular cover or card.

In particular a cachet is frequently employed for First Day Covers, Philatelic Exhibitions, First or Special Airmail Flights, Commemorations, etc.


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Cachet Covers