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General Philatelic/Newcomer Cnr : Stamps stuck in old packs. SOLVED

  
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Martin
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19 May 2013
03:36:32am
After nearly 35 years it was decided for me that I should get back into stamp collecting when I was given an old stamp collection.
This collection was mostly made up of unopened stamp packets from about 1965 (like seven sea's).
My problem is that some of these packs contain multiple mint issues that have during nearly 50 years have stuck together, How do I separate these without causing any damage ?
some of these are marked scarce, some are bogus, some Cinderella's in all an interesting mixture which I hope to be able to share on this site to gain info and maybe sell or swap.
Any help would be grateful.
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snowy12
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19 May 2013
05:33:08am
re: Stamps stuck in old packs. SOLVED

Hi Martin
Welcome fellow Aussie,we are way outnumbered here.As to your question
I was in the same boat I bought a large lot and it contained numerous MNH blocks of four US stamps .They had been in someones garage for over 20 years and were one solid block .
I just put them in warm water and waited till they all separated.Then dried them off on blotting paper and into a magic drying book under a few stamp catalogues for a few days.
Brian

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads; auctioneer, SOR
19 May 2013
07:55:49am
re: Stamps stuck in old packs. SOLVED

Brian's response is correct; just immerse in warm water, dry almost completely, then flatten. there are other ways, too, but far more expensive and time consuming and given the likely nature of your packets, not a good use of time or money.

welcome back to philately


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bobby1948
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They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -Benjamin Franklin
19 May 2013
08:45:38am
re: Stamps stuck in old packs. SOLVED

The responses above are correct (unfortunately). Any collector of many years will have encountered this same scenario numerous times over the years (decades in my case) and anguished over the loss of the "mint" stamps, continually seeking ways of separating them without damage to the gum.

You can separate the stamps with a "sweat box" (search for that term on this board for discussions of same) and sometimes you can preserve some or all of the gum, but it will be so disturbed that the stamp can hardly be described as "mint."

There is also the "freezer" method, which sometimes works for stamps that are stuck due to pressure (as opposed to humidity). Place the stamps in a freezer for a couple of hours (or if in Maine during January, set 'em outside for awhile). Then remove them and gently manipulate or massage them back and forth - sometimes they will separate with minimal damage.

But in the long run, for the types of stamps usually found in the packets you described (very collectible but probably very common), the soaking method is the best way.

Regardless, have fun, because, everything else aside, it is part of the process and the joy of philately!

-bobby-

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cdj1122
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19 May 2013
10:35:55am
re: Stamps stuck in old packs. SOLVED

I's dump the whole lot in a try of mildly warm water and be glad to be rid of the gum.
As Bobby mentioned, small minimal value packets from fifty years ago are very likely to still contain only minimal value stamps.
I am sure that over the years I have seen tabulations by collectors of such stamp packets that sold for 50ยข or a dollar from mail order companies such as Kenmore, Harris or Mystic are hardly worth the effort to catalog them individually today.
I'll look through my files and see if I can find the article that explains the tabulating.

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bobby1948
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They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -Benjamin Franklin
27 May 2013
11:09:45am
re: Stamps stuck in old packs. SOLVED

Martin

I just recently stumbled upon a set of the Russian Famine Relief stamps. The story behind them is interesting and you can find out more here: Famine Relief stamps(on the left side of the page, scroll down to "Russia 1922 Odessa Famine Fantasies")

Bobby

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