FAQ-What is a die-cut stamp?

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Image:ClipArtBest

Modern printing has had a huge impact on stamp production and philately. Experienced collectors and philatelists are now finding themselves having to learn new philatelic terms and definitions. For example, many new stamps are die-cut. What does that mean?

Simply put, die-cutting is a method of stamp separation designed for self-adhesive stamps. Older, gummed stamps are perforated so that you can separate them one from another (see article: FAQ-What are stamp perforations? ). Modern self-adhesive stamps are very rarely perforated, instead they are die-cut. In other words, a metal die cuts out the sides of the stamps. Continue reading

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REVIEW: The Lighthouse Hingeless Canada stamp album

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Image:ClipArtBest

So you want to take good care of your precious stamp collection and ensure that it stays in top notch condition for a long time? Without a doubt, the best storage solution is a stamp album. With all the options on the market, it can be difficult to decide which one to get. For the serious collector of Canada stamps, Arpin Philately recommends the Lighthouse Hingeless Canada stamp album–a stamp album fit for the Queen herself!! Continue reading

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UPDATE: How to remove self-adhesive stamps from a paper backing?

Image:ClipArtBest

Image:ClipArtBest

Canada Post is issuing more and more self-adhesive stamps and a lot of you have asked how to remove them from a paper backing (such as an envelope). A previous article discussed how to do this using Bestine, a chemical solvent. For obvious reasons, many of you would prefer not to use something chemical.

I am very grateful to Claude Favron for posting his suggestion in our comments section. We tested Mr. Favron’s method at Arpin Philately and found that it worked beautifully. I am reproducing his tip below and hope that you find it useful too. The key to success is Continue reading

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FAQ-How to care for your stamps properly?

Caring for your stamp collection

Caring for your stamp collection

Now that you have spent good time and money on your stamp collection, you want to take care of it! What are some of the things you should never do a stamp? Some of these points may seem basic to an experienced collector, but newer collectors may appreciate them. Here goes!

1) Never use scotch tape or a glue stick to mount a stamp on a page. This may seem obvious, but Continue reading

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FAQ-Why should I use stamp tongs?

Stamps!

Stamps!

If you are going to invest in a hobby like stamp collecting, it only makes sense to take care of it. One of the worst things you could do when sorting and handling your stamps is to use your bare hands and fingers. Even if you wash your hands properly, you still risk transferring oils from your skin to your stamps. It may not seem like such a big deal, I mean, most stamps have been handled at some point, right? However, you may not feel the same if you leave a big, nasty fingerprint on a valuable stamp. Continue reading

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FAQ-Is a stamp catalogue really necessary?

Unitrade Specialized Catalogue of Canadian Stamps

Unitrade Specialized Catalogue of Canadian Stamps

The short answer is YES! I’m not just saying that to sell catalogues. I really believe it to be true. I was only introduced to philately in my 30’s and if it hadn’t been for catalogues I would have been lost. I learned a lot from my stamp catalogue. Here is a short list of why they are so necessary. I’ll be concentrating on catalogues for Canada stamps, such as the Unitrade Specialized Catalogue of Canadian Stamps.
Continue reading

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Brand New Website – Lots of new features

Our new website

Our new website

We’ve been working hard lately and we now have a fully operational new website interface. Apart from the new colors, the website uses basically the same easy to use navigation as before, but we’ve added lots of additional features to polish things even more.

 

Click here to vist Arpin Philately.

Continue reading

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FAQ-How do I detect a stamp watermark?

Stamp with Crown CA Watermark

Stamp with Crown CA Watermark

Now that we know what a stamp watermark is, let’s talk about how we can detect one. A previous article briefly outlined how you can use watermark detector fluid (see article FAQ-What is a stamp watermark?). Is this the only method available to stamp enthusiasts?

Here are 5 different ways to detect a watermark on a stamp:

1) Not always reliable, but certainly the simplest way, is to hold the stamp up to a bright light with the back of the stamp facing you. In some instances bright light will show through the thinner areas of the paper and reveal a watermark. You can also try laying the stamp face side down on a black surface. The darker background sometimes shows through the watermark. Continue reading

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Stamp album slipcases – luxury or necessity?

Slipcase for a stamp album

Slipcase for a stamp album

I guess you could say that slipcases are a «necessary luxury». Does that make any sense? Actually, I do believe that slipcases are a worthwhile investment. After all, they are made to protect your stamp album binders and after all that you’ve spent on them, it only makes sense to keep them in pristine condition for as long as possible.

 

So why are slipcases practical? Consider the following reasons: Continue reading

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Inverted Jenny Plate Block breaks US Record!

Inverted Jenny Plate Block

Inverted Jenny Plate Block

Last month one of the very few infamous inverted Jenny plate block (#Scott C3a) was sold and it set a new US philatelic record. The block sold for more than $4.8 million, becoming the second most expensive stamp in the world,  just after the 1856 1¢ Magenta British Guiana who sold for $9.48 million this summer (see our article on this subject).

The sale was conducted by Mr. Sundman of Mystic Stamp and was a complete shot out of the dark. In fact he was planning to exhibit the stamp when he received an unexpected offer that he could not refuse. The phone call took place in late september and the buyer requested anonymity. Continue reading

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