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Collecting Unused Self-Adhesive Stamps From USPS

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United States
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Posted 07/10/2020   2:00 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add khanicollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Greetings,

If a thread already exists with this answer and I somehow missed it (I did try searching), I do apologize in advance and would appreciate it if someone can link me. If it hasn't been answered yet, I have a question regarding collecting unused self-adhesive stamps that I buy from USPS. What is the best way to remove the sticky adhesive from the back of a self-adhesive stamp when it's removed from the stamp sheet panel?

Thank you in advance.



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United States
648 Posts
Posted 07/10/2020   3:45 pm  Show Profile Check docgfd's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add docgfd to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There are several threads on this topic. You can use the search button near the top right of the page to do a search (eg orange solvent). Here's one of the threads:

http://goscf.com/t/70317

Personally, I would suggest selecting a stamp to save and then using all the ones around it for postage. Then you can neatly trim around the stamp, leaving the original backing in place, and you won't have to deal with removing the adhesive from hell. Also, I think the Scott catalogue considers SA stamps as MNH only if they're on their backing paper.

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Edited by docgfd - 07/10/2020 3:47 pm
Valued Member
Canada
57 Posts
Posted 07/10/2020   3:49 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add PMStamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I guess the question is why would you want to do that? I believe most collectors now mount the unused self adhesive stamps in their albums with the backing paper attached.

Where the problem really shows up is with self adhesive stamps that are used. They usually do not come off of the envelope/paper by soaking and you need to use a method of using a chemical (citrus based or Bestine) to get them off of the paper and some people then add baby powder to the sticky glue in order to mount them, or reattach them to some form of backing paper.

So in summary the unused self adhesive stamps with their backing paper on should be kept that way in my opinion. In Canada the Philatelic Service in their quarterly packs die-cuts the self adhesive stamps c/w backing/booklet paper in order to make it look like a normal MNH stamp.
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United States
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Posted 07/10/2020   5:25 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DV75 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I keep the backing attached. I think that is the way they are usually collected and removing the adhesive from the stamp, if possible, makes it a less desirable stamp in my opinion.
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Posted 07/10/2020   5:48 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I do not think that anyone really knows how the self adhesive stamps (in there various iterations) will age over time. From an archival perspective, not having adhesive and backing material is a lower risk (fewer things to go bad). But of course removing adhesive and backing material changes the stamp from mint to 'something else'.

If the self adhesive stamps with adhesive and backing material age well over 50+ years then removing them is probably not worth the time and effort. But if removing the adhesive and backing paper turns out to be the correct thing to do to properly preserve the stamps, you will look like a genius in 40-50+ years.
Don

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Posted 07/10/2020   5:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hoosierboy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I am a cover collector and collect these stamps on cover as they were used. This presents another possible challenge. How will covers with self adhesive stamps hold up over time? This question is related to the early days of SA stamps and discussions as to the long term survivability of the stamp itself.
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Posted 07/10/2020   5:57 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Has the USPS made any claims about the long term viability or archival characteristics of self adhesive stamps?
Don
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Posted 07/10/2020   6:20 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
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Posted 07/10/2020   6:33 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DV75 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Modern self adhesive stamps have now been used for over 25 years and I haven't seen any change in how they look or that they are peeling. The adhesive has probably changed over the years as recent forever stamps are usually not soakable. There's no guarantee that there won't be issues in a hundred years but until there are indications of a problem I would keep the adhesive (and I don't know how to remove it anyway from the latest self adhesive stamps). Didn't some collectors in the 1800s soak the gum off of classic stamps to "preserve them"? Sometimes it is best to leave things alone.

There was a historical problem with self adhesive with the 1974 Christmas Peace On Earth Issue Self Adhesive Precanceled 10 Cent Scott #1552. The adhesive ruined the face of some of the stamps but that showed up within 20 years.
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Edited by DV75 - 07/10/2020 6:33 pm
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Posted 07/10/2020   6:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If you read the links you would see that there are issues with the acrylic adhesive "oozing" with time and without pressure applied.
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Posted 07/10/2020   7:04 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As the links that rogdcam reveals, self adhesive stamps are not considered archival. The USPS is more concerned about stamp performance on mail, recycling characteristics, and reducing the environmental impact of the stamp materials than archival properties.

No one knows what will happen, as far as I know there have been few (if any) accelerated aging testing done on self adhesive stamps. USPS is not interest in spending money on accelerated aging testing, it is expensive.
Don
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Posted 07/10/2020   7:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DV75 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Some of those links are the definition of TL;DR nor do I think a 1999 article is relevant in 2020 because of who wrote it. The one link that was useful and didn't take a science degree to read said this:

"The introduction of the Forever Stamp has kept researchers busy developing improved performance and accelerated aging tests to ensure that the stamps indeed remain useful, if not forever, at least close enough to qualify for the name."

I don't know why people who don't collect modern self adhesive stamps even care.
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Posted 07/10/2020   7:08 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
...I don't know why people who don't collect modern self adhesive stamps even care....


Just because you do not agree with others does not mean that you need to take this to a personal level.
Don
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Posted 07/10/2020   7:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DV75 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"Just because you do not agree with others does not mean that you need to take this to a personal level.
Don"

I took the following comment as a scolding for not reading a comment with three links that wasn't even there when I was composing my comment. I felt that was an unnecessary personal comment directed at me:

"If you read the links you would see that there are issues with the acrylic adhesive "oozing" with time and without pressure applied."
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Edited by DV75 - 07/10/2020 7:31 pm
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Posted 07/10/2020   7:54 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The OP started the thread with some very legitimate questions about preserving self adhesive stamps. The science on this is not settled but everyone has opinions. Disagreeing with others is fine as long as it does not deteriorate to personal levels. In my opinion rogdcam post was not personal and made no assumptions.
Don
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Posted 07/10/2020   8:00 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DV75 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Ok. Can you please delete my account or let me know how to do it? I can't participate in a forum where a member can take a gratuitous shot at me when I was only trying to help the OP. It's easy to feel something wasn't personal when it wasn't directed at you.
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