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The Woes Of Self-Adhesives

 
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Valued Member
United States
90 Posts
Posted 02/21/2012   2:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Scanstamps to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
It has been discussed quite a bit how tricky (or not) it can be to get self-adhesives off paper.

It seems some countries have done a MUCH better job of "keeping the collector in mind," when switching to self-adhesives.

My native Denmark (although I haven't lived there since 1981) was very late to switch to self-adhesives. I have to say that-- from a collector standpoint- I am very impressed with the results. The other day, I was soaking Danish stamps for the first time in YEARS, and there were self-adhesives in the mix. 5-6 minutes in warm water, and they separated neatly from the paper.

Actually... what happens is that the layer of adhesive remains as a "pad" on the envelope, and the stamp cleanly separates from the adhesive.

Whether this particular form of adhesive was developed/used with stamp collectors in mind, I do not know. But I sure wish other countries' self-adhesives were as easy to get off paper!

~Peter
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Valued Member
United States
164 Posts
Posted 02/22/2012   9:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Footballphilately to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Agreed! I try to stay away from self-adhesives.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
6745 Posts
Posted 02/23/2012   06:00 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add khj to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Actually... what happens is that the layer of adhesive remains as a "pad" on the envelope, and the stamp cleanly separates from the adhesive.

Good for them! It's a multi-layer adhesive. There is a water-soluble layer between the stamp paper and the actual self-adhesive layer. That's why it separates easily when you soak it.

USPS also used water-soluble layers on some issues. However, USPS no longer requires it -- so the result has been headaches for collectors of used modern stamps.

Can't say I blame USPS. The additional water soluble layer is an additional expense (yeah, they are hard up for money), and making the stamps hard to remove reduces the possibility that they can be successfully reused.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
673 Posts
Posted 02/23/2012   07:23 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add oldtriguy1960 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
khj,

Any idea if there is a list of the USA stamps that had the water soluble layer? I need that list!

Dave N.
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United States
76 Posts
Posted 02/23/2012   09:48 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Latinus to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
In 2008, Linns Stamp News published a list of stamps known to have problems soaking, and published an update recently.

There is an article in the January 19, 2009 edition (p.40) with a list of problem soakers through 2008. The list includes the Christmas precancels of 1974 (Scott # 1552), which were the first self-adhesives issued by the US.

There is a list of self-adhesive stamps issued after 2009 that WILL soak in the December 12, 2011 issue (p.16).

I hope this helps.
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