You’ve invested in a stamp collection—now you want to keep it in pristine condition. Here are some tips to help you keep your stamps in tip-top shape.
Keep your stamps somewhere where you can control the temperature. Ideally, you should keep the room your stamps are in at 18°- 20 °C. Extreme heat or cold, or constant temperature fluctuations, can damage your stamps. If you store your stamps in bookshelves, try to keep them along the interior walls of your home and not exterior ones.
Keep your stamps where you can control the humidity level—ideally 35%-60%. High humidity levels can encourage the growth of certain moulds and fungi which could stain your stamps or deteriorate the paper. For example: foxing (a reddish-brown stain) is caused by fungal growth. So, no damp basements!
Air pollutants such as cigarette smoke can damage stamps, staining the paper and leaving behind a strong odour.
Don’t keep your stamps in direct light, whether it be artificial or sunlight. Direct light can fade colours and melt gum.
Always mount and store your stamps on acid-free paper. Paper can contain highly acidic chemicals that can leach onto your stamps and damage them. Arpin Philately sells many different kinds of acid-free paper and album pages.
If you have to store stamps or stamp albums in a box, make sure it is not a cardboard box. The best would be a plastic storage bin with a solid lid. Standard box cardboard is highly acidic and it can attract pests who like to nibble on stamp paper!