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Has The Non-Water Soluble Era Changed Your Approach For Collecting Used?

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United States
216 Posts
Posted 07/08/2018   6:32 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add amccleaf1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I think the topic of how to remove US used non-water soluble adhesive stamps has been well-discussed elsewhere, but I wanted to bring up a discussion of how this has changed my collecting approach and hear what has changed for others.

To remove US used stamps on piece where I believe the adhesive is non-water-soluble, I use a product called Bestine applied to the back of the piece, then peel the stamp (and the adhesive) from the front of the piece. After waving dry, in order to deal with the remaining adhesive, I use a small modeler's paintbrush to apply talcum powder to the back without getting it all over. Then I put the stamps in a manila-type stock sheet and press them flat overnight before mounting.

It works well enough, but as you might imagine, it is FAR MORE WORK than soaking stamps with water-soluble adhesive. This has caused several changes in my approach to collecting US used.

1. When I get new US used on paper, I immediately separate them into two groups, based on soakability (or non-soakability). I occasionally make some errors...does anyone know of a good source list for which stamps are soakable and which aren't? I treat most new ones as non-water soluble, but I think there was a transition era in there somewhere.
2. I put new acquisitions in a stock book grouped by design and make sure I have a few good copies to choose from before processing the issue for mounting. I then choose the best copy to process and leave the rest on piece for someone else to process.
3. I used to soak everything I acquired off the paper (barring any interesting cancellations, mailer's postmark permits, etc) as that minimized the bulk of storing any duplicates. I still do that for soakable issues. But the unsoakable issues just get close trimmed and stored for one of my trading partners to do the work. This takes up more space.
4. The fact the non-water soluble stamps have to be 'peeled' from the backing paper makes the flattening process more important. I used to only flatten the stamps that curled when drying; now all of these are curled and need attention.
5. I often look for used issues (the unsoakable ones) as singles from a few sources I have. I used to buy lots or kiloware to acquire these, but because of the work and the duplicate storage, I have changed my behavior here.
6. I only process a few stamps at a time, due to the work involved and the potential hazards of working with solvents like Bestine or Orange-Clean. I no longer process batches of new US issues, like I do older issues or world issues, but rather deal with 10-15 at a time.
7. I know a lot of US collectors that either collect new issues on-piece or have given up collecting new issues in used condition. I can't quite give it up, but I do wonder if it will make my collection which has these issues in it more desirable.

So, bottom line, the USPS's decision regard adhesives has changed my collecting methods for moder US used. How has it changed yours? I would love you heard your experiences.
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United States
1189 Posts
Posted 07/08/2018   6:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Stampman2002 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
FOr U.S. stamps, the Scott U.S. Specialized Catalog has an "S" in a red circle for stamps which are not soakable. This icon is next to the title of the stamp, usually either just above the image or below it.

How has this changed how I collect used? Not much, because I began retaining the entire cover for any commemorative used in period. Somewhere down the line, someone is going to have an "ah-hah" moment and realize there are very, very few people who have been keeping those. We're starting to get some indication of that even with the mint U.S. in the last two decades as dealers who traditionally stocked quantities could no longer do so, and are now scrambling to find these stamps when a customer expresses a desire to have some for their collection.

If it is already removed from the cover and is just on a piece, I will trim it so that there is an even margin around the stamps and save it that way.
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Posted 07/08/2018   6:54 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Here is how I solved this issue...
I throw all modern stamps on paper into a box and then give them away so they are someone else's problem.

Don
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Posted 07/08/2018   7:31 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
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United States
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Posted 07/08/2018   8:22 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Petert4522 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I am in the same boat with 51 Studebaker. I quit saving modern stamps and now concentrate on some of my older area's of interest. All of the new stuff goes into a box for a future lucky person.

Peter
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Posted 07/08/2018   8:23 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add oldguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I pretty much stopped my active collection of new US with the advent of non-soakable stamps. Besides being non-soakable, they are 'forever' with no denomination, and mostly junk or trivial subject matter.
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Posted 07/08/2018   8:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"changed my approach?"

Not at all,
in fact more enjoyable, I can lift a modern self stick in seconds, it's dry and into some talcum powder in another minute or so.
Note: another benefit of use and mastery of the long nose pointy tongs/tweezers.

I only lift the stamps I am going to mount, the rest ........

Quote:
I throw all modern stamps on paper into a box and then give them away so they are someone else's problem.
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Edited by rod222 - 07/08/2018 8:32 pm
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United States
507 Posts
Posted 07/08/2018   9:45 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dkabq8 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I am in the 51studebaker/Petert4522/oldguy camp. I have limited my US used collection to 19th and 20th century -- and done the same with my WW used collection. YMMV.
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United States
216 Posts
Posted 07/08/2018   10:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add amccleaf1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The 'S' in the red circle must have started after the 2013 edition of the US Specialized, which is the one I am using.

As I suspected, some have given up collecting these issues. I am glad to see at least someone else is successfully using the 'lift and powder' method, and leaving most for someone else to deal with.

Thanks to all for the replies!
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United States
637 Posts
Posted 07/09/2018   06:03 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wkusau to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I still try to find one of each US in used condition. I keep them on covers initially, remove a few from damaged or duplicate covers, choose one to remove from the paper and put in the album. So I guess I am still doing what I always did.
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Posted 07/09/2018   08:15 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add funcitypapa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I generally leave stamp on piece, especially if high value. The paper is too fragile to deal with and the adhesive a pain to try and peel away
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United States
578 Posts
Posted 07/09/2018   11:32 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add eligies to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Change... Why are we so adverse to change... Really!! Self-adhesives which are non-soluable (sic) should not be something that is angst over. The easy solution is to carefully trim the stamp as one would a 'cut square'. The time, effort & frustration of soaking is not worth the angst. The universe we enjoy is likened to a series 'big bang' events. Adapting to the philatelic changes will bring back the joy & reduce the angst or frustration. Don't be a dinosaur, survive through adaptation. (Yeah, we slowly embrace the digital world, & it's taking a long time to catch-up)
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United States
319 Posts
Posted 07/09/2018   11:32 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ddreisba to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I've pretty much given up on new used stamps. I try to keep up with new issues from the Post Office. Those I fail to get I buy from a dealer the following year.

Don
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6529 Posts
Posted 07/09/2018   11:35 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bookbndrbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I collect computer-vended stamps and self-adhesive machins, but generally avoid just about everything else that has been issued after the year 1999. With the self-adhesive issues, I remove all of that material from a stamp, if it is good enough to put in my collection.
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United States
507 Posts
Posted 07/09/2018   1:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dkabq8 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My not collecting 21st century stamps is not simply driven by the switch to self-adhesives. It is also a result of the explosion of the issues, which given the drop in stamp usage, is simply a transparent attempt to gouge collectors. YMMV.
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United States
657 Posts
Posted 07/09/2018   2:39 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add alub to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The biggest difference is that I can no longer get used coil strips or used booklet panes. This stuff is only available when stamp collectors purposly create them.
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