Encyclopedia of Stamps

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AJ's Encyclopedia of Stamps and Philatelic Links


Topical or Thematic Collecting

First Things First

Characteristics Of Stamps

Examining The Backs of Your Stamps - from Stamps.net magazine
Jim's Tip #001 - Hinging and How to Determine It

and from: http://www.stingraystamps.com/tips.htm

Mint stamps sometimes have hinge remnants on them. They can be easily removed. Some early hinges are very stubborn and can't be removed, but the majority of hinges can. First you will need a nice quality artist's brush. Turn the stamp over, gum side up. With a small amount of saliva, wet the brush and keep "painting" over and over the hinge on the back of the stamp. Do not over wet the hinge, be patient. You use saliva over water because you can control the amount of saliva and not the amount of water. Eventually, you will see the hinge start to buckle in some places. Carefully using tongs start pulling up the hinge from the stamp. If the hinge sticks, stop pulling with the tongs at once and apply more brush strokes to the hinge where the tongs stuck. Wait a few more seconds and slowly remove the hinge. Take a piece of clear pliable plastic and place to the side. After the hinge is removed, grasp it with your tongs and hold it in front of your mouth. Breath on the stamp with your hot breath. Say the word Hah! the same way you would if you were about to clean your eyeglasses. Take the plastic and cover the spot where the hinge was. Take the back of your tongs near the top and rub it back and forth over the area where the hinge was, but covered by the plastic. Wiggle the plastic back and forth until it comes easily away from the stamp. If you notice the gum will have a lightly hinged appearance instead of an unsightly hinge remnant.
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AND: (THIS ONE IS DANGEROUS-CAREFULL !
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Unfortunately we collectors sometimes find someone has made a notation on the gum side of an unused stamp. When you take a conventional pink eraser and attempt to remove the pencil marking, you take some of the gum away leaving a small area of disturbed gum on the stamp. There is a way to alleviate this.
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Buy a vinyl eraser in an art supply store. They are white in color and cost about a dollar. With the white eraser, you can safely remove pencil marks from the stamp without disturbing the gum. First lay the stamp face down. Take a piece of clear pliable plastic and hold down with your finger the plastic over he area you are not working on. This will hold the stamp in place. Gently erase with the eraser the pencil mark. It is very important that you erase in one direction only. Erase toward the perfs of the stamp and away from you. Eventually, the pencil mark will disappear unless it is a deep ground in pencil mark. It is very important you erase in one direction only or you will have two pieces of one stamp!
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.A MUST READ Book Review:"How to Detect Regummed Stamps" by Rev. Philip de Rochambeau, M.A., D.D.
note: regumming, done right, can protect some stamps (like U.S. Columbian classics) that have a dangerous original gum! - well worth knowing!
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.Color variations on stamps - FAQ 25.4
"...So what does all this mean? First, there is an accepted methodology for determining the colour of any stamp. Second, you can use the Stanley Gibbons 1979 Colour Key to approximate the correct name to the colour of any stamp. There does not seem to be any published relationship between the correct colour name and that listed in Scott's catalogue.
How do I address the issue of shades and different colour names by catalogue? I try to focus on the lower value stamps. They were the ones that were most often re-printed and so open to shade variations. They are often the cheapest as well. I get as many copies of the stamps as I can and put them side by side. Hopefully I can then see the variations. I now keep the shades in my stock books or on my exhibit pages without too much explanation as to which they are according to any catalogue.
Some varieties are easy to pick out others are much harder and I keep looking for examples that will be different.
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...For those of you who are also searching for those elusive shades, good hunting. Maybe the articles I've mentioned will help you.... - FAQ 25.4
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.Paper - stamp paper in general and it's preservation - FAQ 25.1
"Two pamphlets were published by the Collectors Club of Chicago in the last year or so and are available free for a SASE...."
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.All watermarks found on stamps - stampguyz.com
3.12
and from: http://www.stingraystamps.com/tips.htm
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Sometimes you have a block or plate block of stamps that you want to check with watermark fluid for defects or watermarks. Unfortunately, they don't fit in the normal sized watermark tray. What I use is a shiny black plastic tipping tray you find in a restaurant when they present you the bill at meal's end. Offer to pay no more than two dollars for the tray. Most of the time, they will give it to you for free and it's just perfect for large sized multiples of stamps.

Paraphernalia

Random notes:
UV lamps
These are used for detecting phosphor tagging on stamps. ...
There are two kind of lamps, differing in the wave-length used. Not all phosphor tagging can be detected with both kinds. (More info needed here) FAQ 24.1

.Don Black Stamps - Stamp Mount information
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.Don Black Stamps - the internet's first downloadable stamp mount gauge
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.Don Black Stamps " the internet's first downloadable perf gauge."
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Catalogs and Articles

.Phildex - in English - a volunteer cross-checking service for Scott, Stanley Gibbons and Yvert & Tellier catalogs
Richard Babin email: rbabin@altavista.net
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.Billig's Philatelic Handbooks - Specialized catalogues FAQ 5.2
A table of contents for the 44 volumes.
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.Rainbow Online World Wide Philatelic Literature - article reprints
Proudly introduces it's Online Philatelic Literature Catalog. You can search by Article, Country, Author, and Classification (When available other than General) with immediate results. We have a great selection of magazine articles that date back to the early 1900's.
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These articles have been meticulously preserved and are now digitized for reproduction at unbelievable prices. You will receive a full reproduction of the article.
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Value

.Is my stamp worth anything
spitzerp@supernet.net
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.DETERMINING VALUE - The Railroad Postmark Pricing Project - R. Kunz
Fascinating and WELL researched example. of determining values: rkunz@eskimo.com
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.SCV: Beginner's Tips: Appraisals
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.Investing In Stamps - from Stamps.net magazine
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Amazon.com - Query Results: Postage Stamps as an investment

Miscellaneous

.Computer Aided Philately - FAQ 6 all
Chapter 6 CAP --- Computer Aided Philately
6.1 Intro
6.2 PCSG - Philatelic Computing Study Group
6.3 On-line resources
6.3.1 FTP sites
6.3.2 File servers
6.3.3 Gophers
6.3.4 Reading Usenet News
6.3.5 WWW
6.3.5.1 General & Pages that list a list of sites
6.3.5.2 Images
6.3.5.3 Postal authorities
6.3.5.4 Organized by topic
6.3.5.5 Collector's Home Pages
6.3.5.6 Commercial Offerings
6.3.6 BBS's
6.3.6.1 USPS RIBBS
6.3.6.2 Stampline BBS
6.3.7 Commercial services
6.3.8 Other
6.4 Making your own album pages
6.5 Stamp databases
6.6 CD-ROMs
6.7 Scanning (see below - aj)
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.Tips on Scanning by Peter G. Aitken
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.U.S. Census Bureau Tiger Map Service Home Page
Try out TMS Version 2.5, now with additional layers! (requires table support)
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If your browser doesn't support tables, you can still use TMS Version 1.3.1, which draws good maps as well.
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The main purpose of the TIGER Map Service project is to provide a good-quality, national scale, street-level map to users of the World Wide Web. This service is freely accessible to the public, and based on an open architecture that allows other Web developers and publishers to use public domain maps generated by this service in their own applications and documents. We planned to provide high-quality street maps, with simple GIS capabilities such as point display (by lat/lon or address) and statistical choropleth mapping.
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A brief feature list (as of TMS version 2.1): .
Street-level detail for the entire United States.
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Counties and States for the entire United States
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Cartographic design, including color, fills, and line styles, all able to be altered by the arbitrary scale.
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Users can turn individual layers on and off. This is not yet integrated into the map browser, though.
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Open interface to images (through mapgen script), allowing any user to request maps directly to inline in other documents.
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Map Browser interface, allowing users to view and browse the map database.
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Markers can be placed on the map by geographic coordinates (lat/lon). In fact, if a Web publisher has a series of points to display, this can be done with a marker file Creation of a legend/scale box, as a separate image.
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Reverse Coordinate Decoding, allowing a user to send a pixel coordinate (x,y) from the map and get the associated real-world coordinate. This makes interactive map-based applications using this service viable.
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Integration of a US Gazetteer, allowing users to search for a place, county, or zip code to display.
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Basic labelling of places, using a unique formula to determine relative importance of cities for selection. (v1.3)
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Creation of thematic maps based on 1990 Census Statistical data. (v2.0)
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Please email comments and suggestions to: TMS@Census.GOV
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Suggestions
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