Stamps Are Art

Protection, Preservation, and Care

Why You Should Use Alkaline Buffered Paper Storage Products and Stamp Album Pages

May 27, 2014

In my previous post, I discussed paper products and how they can damage to your collections, whether they be stamp or other art based; here’s a summary of the previous post:

1. If you mount acidic items on or store them in “acid-free” and “pH neutral” products, they will  will not last as long as if mounted in/on archive grade alkaline buffered paper products.

2. Archival grade alkaline buffered philatelic paper products should be used to provide extended permanence to the acidic items in your collection (stamps, baseball cards, comics, art prints, movie posters, magazines etc.)

(However, there is one Warning: the alkaline reserve within buffered paper can harm textile based and photographic based collections; DO NOT use alkaline buffered paper with textile based and photographic based collections).

Gross Z grill 1868Miller 1868 1c Z grillAre you still sitting on the philatelic paper fence? … then you may want to try to imagine a day in the future, a day that you may decide to revisit your stamp collection, only to open your stamp album or philatelic storage box, and instead find a damaged version of a formerly pristine treasure.

The only two 1868 Z-grill stamps known to exist illustrate that the type of stamp care you lavish on your philatelic collection can be repaid not just in value, but in aesthetics as well.

The leftmost stamp has been in the care of museums for a large portion of its life, while the rightmost stamp has been held mostly by private collectors. I do not presume to know the actual reason(s) for the difference in appearance between the two stamps. Nor do I presume to make a conclusion as to which of the two are the more attractive. But, despite our lack of commitment, there “is” a reason for the difference in their appearance.

Perhaps the reason stems from photographs that do not accurately reflect true colors or condition of the two stamps.

Or perhaps the difference in appearance resulted from exposure of the stamp plastic, pollution, improper humidity and temperature; or excessive exposure to VISIBLE light or ultra violet UV light.

Or just possibly the difference in appearance was caused by storage of one of the stamps in/on “pH neutral” or “acid free” stamp album page or container?

Given a choice between archive grade alkaline buffered stamp pages and the currently sold and commonly used “acid free” and “pH neutral” album page products, use of alkaline buffered paper is a protective choice that should be implemented by you sooner than later.

By doing so, you will not only extend the life of your philatelic and stamp items, but as well, increase their value.  Where can you purchase  stamp album pages that are alkaline buffered – you will have to stay tuned for that info.

Tip 1: verification of the current state of the acidic or alkaline content/nature of your stamp pages, philatelic storage container, matting material, etc., can be made via a PH pen, whose applied ink will change color based on the acidic or alkaline content of the paper product it is applied onto.

Tip 2: – PH pens will leave residues and marks and should not be used directly on your philatelic items.

Are you now willing to implement use of alkaline buffered paper with your collection? Your philatelic items, stamps, and art await your answer. 


Are “Acid-free” Stamp Album Pages and Storage Boxes and Containers Safe? Most Valuable Art? 1c British Guiana or Cezanne’s “The Card Players”
Are “Acid-free” Stamp Album Pages and Storage Boxes and Containers Safe?
Most Valuable Art? 1c British Guiana or Cezanne’s “The Card Players”


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