Stamps Are Art

Protection, Preservation, and Care

Precipitation-Humidity

Protect and preserve your rare stamps, comics, and baseball cards by limiting their exposure to harmful humidity.

Preservation and Care of Stamps, Comics, Baseball Cards and Paper Based Art Collections

Welcome to Stamps Are Art.  Let’s begin your visit with a bright and illuminating statement …. “by lowering the amount of light your stamp, baseball cards, comics and art are exposed to, you can increase your collection’s value by a factor of 100x, or even more” Need/want proof? …  watch the Scott #10 stamp to the right as it fades ”magically” before your eyes.  This is an example of how one of the P’s known as (P)hotons can cause damage to your philatelic, stamp, and art collectibles. Would you expect that the amount fading the Scott #10 stamp exhibits could occur in less than 1 year or, under the wrong conditions, even quicker.  At Stamps Are Art you will learn why and how this, and other types, of damage can occur so rapidly.   Does it make sense that the faded version of the stamp would be worth much less? Now imagine if a rare Jenny Invert stamp or Horus Wagner baseball card was mistreated in the same way – oh the horror – but it’s being allowed to happen every day, not just by amateur collectors but, as well, by experts in their field. Are you interested in protecting your stamp, baseball card, comic book collection from the type of damage the stamp above has experienced? Do you want to maintain the rarity and increase the value of your collection, comic book, baseball card and stamp Art? The pages that follow (or that will be added overtime) will provide you as a stamp, baseball card, and comic book collector with easy (and some not so easy) steps that you can take to preserve the contents of your stamp albums and collections. Let’s consider the  Scott 121b stamps shown to the right and below.  Can you identify which of the stamps sold for $9000 and which sold for $40,000? Might any disparity in their price and value be due to the fading of color that one of the stamps experienced? Could the damage caused by fading have been caused by exposure to light, and if so, how much light could have caused the stamp to fade? By reducing exposure of your philatelic items, and other light susceptible items, to light, you can take your first step toward preserving and increasing their rarity and value … not just via an increased likelihood that your care will help preserve your collectible longer into the future but, as well, via the reduced damage your philatelic or other paper based art will sustain. By reducing exposure of your philatelic items, and other light susceptible items, to light, you can take your first step toward preserving and increasing their rarity and value … not just via an increased likelihood that your care will help preserve them longer into the future but, as well, via the reduced damage your philatelic items will sustain over the same period of time . The posts and pages that follow and that will grow with time intend to provide information and resources to those of you that may be unaware of the 4P’s (P)hotons, (P)aper, (P)lastic, and (P)recipitation, and the damage the 4P’s are capable of inflicting on your stamps, comics, baseball cards and art collections.    


Paper Based Collection Preservation Care Tips 5-6 | Avoid Exposure to High Humidity

Care tips 5-6 summarize how to protect your stamps, baseball cards, comic books and other art from exposure to (P)recipitation/Humidity. Care Tip 5. If you choose to encapsulate or encase (slab) your baseball cards, comic books or stamps, you should do so with the understanding that a harmful “micro-climate” may become formed within the encapsulating plastic or glass material that is used. The sealed environment that is formed within such encasements/slabs can under many conditions accelerate harmful chemical processes that are inherent to the organic matter that your paper based rarities and collectibles are made from. If you choose to slab your stamps, comics or baseball cards, always ensure that they are provided with a means by which they can be regularly ventilated. Care Tip 6. Store and display your comic, baseball card, and stamp and philatelic collections under as steady an environmental condition as possible, preferably at about 68 degrees F and between 30-55 % relative humidity (RH).  Just as when you encapsulate a stamp or other collectible, if you choose to store them in a stamp album or other container, the container should be periodically ventilated to avoid mold and moisture formation. For more information about the harmful effects of humidity, our posts by the tag “humidity”.  


Paper Based Collection Preservation Care Tips 7-9

Use the final care tips 7-9 to preserve, protect and maintain your art collections for you grand children to enjoy. Care Tip 7. Store and display your comic, baseball card, art, philatelic, and stamp collections in as pollutant or pollution free environment as possible (i.e. sans smog, cigarette smoke, ozone, incense …) Care Tip 8. For stamps, minimize, and preferably eliminate, exposure of your stamps to the residues of watermark fluids, cleaning fluids, tap water, archival sprays and other chemistry experiments you may be tempted to deliberately or inadvertently perform on them. Use of these common used stamp procedures WILL leave residues that cause degrading reactions that over time WILL build up and WILL damage your philatelic and stamp collections.  Did you know that for every sale of a valuable or rare stamp, the stamp will have been dipped in a water mark fluid by its prospective buyer (which can number in upwards of 10 soakings per auction). Over the life of such a stamp, the stamp will have been exposed to the chemicals in the watermarking fluid hundreds it not thousands of times !!! Care Tip 9. Keep in mind that all paper based collections are fragile art; treat your stamps and philatelic collections as you would the Mona Lisa. Will failure to follow tips 1-9 affect the future value of your baseball card, comic book, stamp or art collection?  Sort our posts using the tags, “light”, “plastic”, “paper”, “humidity” to learn more.  


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