Kawartha Stamp Club
Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

R.P.S.C. Chapter # 58

Summary of Stamp Collecting Tools

Tool Purpose Tips
Stock sheets Sorting & organizing stamps Displaying stamps for sale Manila recommended for sorting Plastic recommended for selling
Tongs Hold stamp without damaging it Avoid pointed end tongs; keep the ends clean; stamps are easier to remove from stock sheets using bent tongs; longer tongs are easier to use
Magnifiers To see details for grading/valuing and identifying varieties At least 10X, preferably with a light; do not use in bright sun
Watermark fluid To identify watermarks Cheaper than watermark machines; use in well-ventilated area
Mount cutter (guillotine style) To trim mounts for individual stamps neatly Take stamp out of mount before cutting
Blade style cutter used by scrap bookers To trim mounts for mini-sheets and souvenir sheets neatly; multiple shapes (rectangles, circles) for exhibiting stamps Purchase at craft store e.g., http://store.scrapbook.com/f- 01-005249.html?t2=tools
Stamp catalogues & magazines Find values of stamp; identify stamp varieties Used copies are much cheaper & Club keeps copies
Removable tape Mounting NH stamps without damage; much cheaper than mounts for mini-sheets Be cautious with expensive stamps--some are concerned that damage may not be visible until years after use
Ruler To measure perforations; to differentiate stamps of similar design that vary in size Most differences in stamps are expressed in mm by catalogues
Sweat box Removing mint stamps stuck to paper with minimal gum disturbance Dry stamps by gently pressing them between waxed paper or plastic
Glassine envelopes Organizing & storing stamps without damaging them; available in many sizes Glassines are not eternal— replace stained glassines
UV lamps To detect tagging and paper fluorescence Light with two wavelengths is best
Stock books Sorting purchases at Club and shows Sort by topic, country or other set of categories
Perforation gauge Identify stamp perforations Graduated plastic type can handle a wide variety of perfs; need a good light source (e.g., lighted magnifier)
Post Office bulletins Information about upcoming issues; background for stamp exhibits Free from some countries (e.g., Canada) or for modest subscription
Digital microscope Magnifies 20-200X & projects on computer monitor to identify stamp varieties Use with a specialized catalogue