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Collecting In The Tropics

 
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89 Posts
Posted 07/03/2021   05:02 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add STTScott to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I'm not sure anyone here is in the Caribbean or Belize or anything where the humidity is way worse than South Florida since I am, but I'll ask anyway:

What's the best way to have your OG's to not stick to anything? An old reference material on the topic from the late '50s/early '60s suggested corn starch or unscented talcum powder, altho it also said "We do not recommend this procedure but pass it on ..."

So yeah OK then ...

I had to trash a chunk of my collection from the 1950s/60s -- common stuff, but still -- because they stuck to the glassines because the humidity here is dreadful. No major deal, but still AAAAUUUGGGGH!!!! (And they were in glassines with no other protection because stuff from the late '50s/1960s are disposable and worth diddly, hear told on this forum.)

Anyway, I ciecumvented the whole thing by sending my whole unstuck collection to my daughter in a more decent humidity area who would get my collection when I'm dead and gone anyway.

So -- just a little question here and jusr a vent.

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Edited by STTScott - 07/03/2021 05:08 am

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United Kingdom
5836 Posts
Posted 07/03/2021   05:05 am  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Soaking the gum from mint stamps is what collectors used to do.
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Posted 07/03/2021   06:32 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I lived in Thailand for many years,
A crisp, ironed white shirt, worn from home,
by the time I got to the bus at the end of the Soi,
I'd be a wringing wet mess.

Collection was impossible for me.

Then there was the season, the farmers burnt the rice chaff,
a black rain of confetti landed on everything.

Washing the gum off sounds like a good idea.
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United States
166 Posts
Posted 07/03/2021   07:16 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jossanders52 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I do live in Thailand for many years (since 1983).
Most of those years I collect stamps. Our house is quite well ventilated.
Most stamps with gum are OK after many years, but some particular sets have gum more sensitive for humidity.
There are 2 things I am very conscious about.
1. Never work on my stamps directly after a rainstorm when the relative humidity can be 100%
2. Never bring stamps from an airconditioned room into a non airconditioned room. You see stamps wrinkle up when doing that and they easily stick to pages or each other. I hear some people use stamp fridges to keep their stamps cool, but I think they are a disaster by water condensation on the stamps after taken out of the fridge.
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Posted 07/03/2021   09:05 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
One solution may be to find a facet of philately which better matches the weather, or the other conditions which present themselves.
That may mean collecting used stamps, rather than mint in a tropical environment.
I have a friend who is color blind, he found great satisfaction in the single-color U.S. transportation coil series.
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United States
334 Posts
Posted 07/03/2021   11:04 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add classic_paper to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It's difficult, no doubt. The only sure way is air conditioning, which gets expensive in the places where it's most useful.

Perhaps as John Becker pointed to, avoid anything gummed. Cancelations, covers, proofs/essays, etc can all be collected with as much depth and/or breadth as patience and money allow.
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Posted 07/03/2021   4:46 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add redwoodrandy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
One reason why I chose U.S. Beer stamps. No gum.
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Posted 07/03/2021   8:22 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hy-brasil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
That's all good advice. Opting for full-time air conditioning, you will need a dehumidifier.

You could collect used instead (horrors!). A friend worked on a US Navy ship (icebreaker?) that was cork-lined to help repel the cold when it delivered supplies, among other things, to Antarctic science bases. They would of course have to pass back and forth through the tropics. When he started this duty, he was collecting mint US classics and had the problems you have. Switching to used did the trick and it had kept its value so that when he retired, it helped pay for his house.

A Singaporean told me that they preferred to collect new issues on first day covers. You got complete sets and clean cancellations that way.
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Posted 07/03/2021   8:47 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
An interesting take from Stanley Gibbons:

https://www.stanleygibbons.com/coll...p-collection
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Canada
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Posted 07/04/2021   3:25 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Brad905 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have central air conditioning but in the summer I still have a dehumidifier hooked up to maintain 55% humidity level. In the winter I have a humidifier on the furnace and set it to maintain that same humidity level during the very dry winter months. Granted, most homes in Canada have central air conditioning, where as in some countries it's not necessarily a standard practice. It can get so dry here in the winter that when you touch anything metal you get a shock.

So I've never had any problems except when one of my daughters at the age of five dumped a glass of water into a red box full of Karsh and Cameo Canadian definitive plate blocks. There was no saving those.
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Thailand
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Posted 07/05/2021   02:52 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add PhuketMark to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have lived in southern Thailand for more than 16 years now and collect mint as well as used and covers. I have not had air-conditioning in my home for the past 10 years.

I have had very few problems other than occasional stamp wanting to stick to a stock page. I have almost always managed to remove these without much damage, just very patiently working at it with a pair of tongs (and with fingers crossed). I had one or two overseas orders damaged by rain while travelling during the monsoon season; my solution is to limit such orders during those three or four months of heavy rain.

But... This year I have had several instances where my supply of stamp hinges have become stuck together. I have perhaps a 75 percent success rate in peeling them apart but it really slows down the mounting process! I do check the mint stamps in mounts rather frequently to assure they are not sticking to the backing material.

The other real difficulty is adjusting the floor fan to just the right angle to keep me relatively cool while not blowing stamps all over creation. I don't work on the stamps at all during the hottest months (usually January and February, sometimes into March) as sweat begins dripping off of my nose before too much time has elapsed.

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Posted 07/05/2021   03:18 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
One solution may be to find a facet of philately which better matches the weather

PSA (Pressure sensitive adhesive stamps)
Would take a lot of fun out of it though.
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Edited by rod222 - 07/05/2021 03:19 am
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United States
396 Posts
Posted 07/10/2021   10:55 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add tikithindi to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
from 1974 to end of 1999 or 2000 I was almost hoarder. India, USA, Canada, UNO and some Pakistan. As I hoarded Mint, Blocks, Plate blocks,
Sheets. stopped around 2000.

Cheers
tikithindi
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Posted 09/21/2021   7:26 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add chris s to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Although the New York City metropolitan area does not match say Thailand for the duration of intense humidity and heat we do have alternating periods of high humidity and moderate heat that require one to be careful. Also New York City has a sizable amount of older buildings without central air and some are built--- especially on the upper floors for a cooler climate so that in the summer that can be an oven once you leave your air-conditioned room.

I take the precautions of PhuketMark and keep my stamps in my air conditioned bedroom. Some days when I am out much I will keep the windows closed and shades drawn to retain the cooler and drier air gained from air conditioning. I also keep the albums in a wood cabinet with doors that close securely and away from direct sunlight. It seems to work but I do notice that one or two stamps have a tiny bit of stickiness to their gum. The Vario sheets I store stamps seems to prevent the stamps from sticking firmly to surfaces. So I would recommend getting Vario stock sheets. Also I learned from a coin shop dealer there are metal encased silica crystals that are great at controlling humidity and reusable. They start the color of dark blue and when they have absorbed enough water they can no longer do their job the crystals turn pink. All you need to do is have them in the over for 3 hours or less at 350F to reuse them.

I think in tropical climates the combination of stocksheets, the reusable metal encased silica and a proper cabinet the helps reduce humidity and protects from direct light may be a tenable and good solution.
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Posted 09/21/2021   7:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I used the silica tins in my gun safe. What a pain in the butt. Constantly drying things out. There are plug in dehumidifier tubes that are plug-and-play. have not tried them though.
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