Home Forums General Discussion To soak or not to soak


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    Bret Evans

    How do you keep your stamps? On cover or, and it can be a challenge with self adhesive stamps, soaked off and mounted? I know some people say keep it on cover to save the postal history, but how much history can a modern letter have in these days of machine sorting and cancelling?



    I have acquired a number of stamps on paper from mixtures and find that sometimes the attached paper is as interesting as the stamp. For example
    removing the paper may remove some of the cancel which shows the city, year, etc. To display the stamps I put them into the black sheets with the
    clear mylar pockets to show off the stamp as is. Sometimes I may trim the paper down around the stamp.


    Big Mac

    All Canadian stamps are soakable in hot (70 C) water. The water activated ones peel off after about 1 minute, the self-sticks take a little longer. I process them in batches of 25 stamps at a time. It takes less than 10 minutes to complete the soaking. Many self-sticks have a kind of gum that converts to what I call “rubber cement gum” in the hot water and any adhering gum can be rolled off between thumb and forefinger, just like you used to peel the rubber cement off your fingers (back in those days, if any of you remember them!).
    I save, as cut squares, only those stamps which have a CLEAR postal cancellation on them. I use hinges to put them on quadrilled stamp pages and enter pertinent information below the stamp.


    I read soaking stamps in hydrogen peroxide can help reduce discoloration (ie, those rust spots) is any of this true? I read the risk being it can lose the original gum.. Do you dilute with water? If anyone can shed some light on this, it’d be very helpful!

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