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General Philatelic/Newcomer Cnr : Newbie Question - How do you tell if a stamp is Self Adhesive or not

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lisagrant87
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17 Mar 2012
10:01:29pm
Hi everyone,

I sincerely hope this is NOT the stupidest question that you all have had. I'm wondering how to tell the difference between a regular stamp and a self adhesive stamp?

I know the self adhesives came out a certain year in the US but is that for every type of stamp? When did they come out in every other country?

Any help is appreciated!!
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snowy12
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17 Mar 2012
10:11:32pm

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re: Newbie Question - How do you tell if a stamp is Self Adhesive or not

Hi
Don't hold me to this ,but I think the first Australian S/A stamp was the 41c cycling issued 23 Aug 1989
Brian

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amsd
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17 Mar 2012
10:28:12pm

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re: Newbie Question - How do you tell if a stamp is Self Adhesive or not

I think the first US SAs were in 1974 (10c weathervane), then not another until the 25c plastic flag about 20 years later

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pre1940classics
17 Mar 2012
11:02:50pm
re: Newbie Question - How do you tell if a stamp is Self Adhesive or not

In my opinion, with a few exceptions, US stamps were never the same after we went to self adhesive and computer generated designs. The only plus is that I don't feel compelled to soak the new issues, because some are very difficult to soak.

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michael78651
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18 Mar 2012
01:02:15am
re: Newbie Question - How do you tell if a stamp is Self Adhesive or not

Not every country uses self-adhesive stamps. As far as when countries started using them, there is no set date. Some countries use self-adhesive and regular water activated gum stamps. It's all over the map, so to speak.

Don't be afraid to ask a question. It's the only way to learn.

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George
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18 Mar 2012
03:09:55am
re: Newbie Question - How do you tell if a stamp is Self Adhesive or not

how to tell the difference between a regular stamp and a self adhesive stamp?

If the stamp still has its original adhesive, then the a self-adhesive stamp will attach itself to an envelope merely by contact. It does not need water to make it sticky.

A gummed stamp requires the use of moisture to make it sticky.

Incidentally, there is yet one more type of stamp... can anyone guess what it is?

is that for every type of stamp?

I have no idea if the USA still issues gummed stamps. I presume they do.

When did they come out in every other country?

I can't say whether or not every single country in the whole world issues self-adhesives, but they are becoming increasingly common.

In Australia, we also have the annoying problem that many issues have both gummed and self-adhesive varieties. The gummed ones are not in high demand from the general population so they are not produced in large numbers, so they are pretty scarce. One reason why I've lost interest in collecting my own country's stamps.

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lisagrant87
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It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. - Aristotle Onassis
18 Mar 2012
09:48:26am
re: Newbie Question - How do you tell if a stamp is Self Adhesive or not

This is all very valuable information. I should have added in my original post that I was asking because I have about 3 lb of paper kiloware. I am highly allergic to all scents and dyes so I want to go the traditional soaking route but I don't want to lose too many stamps. I was hoping there was a relatively easy way to tell so I keep the appropriate stamps on the paper and soak stamps that will give me a good yield. The dates of different countries moving to SA are very helpful and I am now prepared to sort at least some of the many stamps I have in my collection.

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roy
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18 Mar 2012
10:23:42am
re: Newbie Question - How do you tell if a stamp is Self Adhesive or not

In most cases, regular stamps will still show round perforation holes. Self-adhesives are die-cut. They may have straight sides, or straight sides with a couple of "jags" in them (Canada Rose issue comes to mind), or "teeth", but they will be like rouletted stamps, "toothy" but not made by punching round holes through the paper.

Roy

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cornerpost
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19 Mar 2012
09:45:20am
re: Newbie Question - How do you tell if a stamp is Self Adhesive or not

Lisa,

As a quick check, since a SA stamp is die cut it will have clean perforations i.e. no paper hairs on the perfs. A gummed stamp has to be torn from its sheet and the edges of the perforations with have little flecks of paper 'hair' around them. This is often visible to the naked eye and is easily seen with a magnifying glass.

I have seen pictures showing the difference and will try to find one late today to upload.

Merv

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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
19 Mar 2012
08:28:01pm
re: Newbie Question - How do you tell if a stamp is Self Adhesive or not

The simple answer, Lisa, is that Lickies in most all cases have preforations that need to be torn apart (with a few exceptions that were cut) while most Stickies have die cut serpentine edges that mimic the look of perforations, again with a few exceptions that may have been die cut straight.

The important thing is that many recent US, UK and Aussie stickies use a gum that is not soluble in water, so you will have to divide the stamps in the kiloware into the two groups. That will be hard at first but becomes easier as you see the differences.
I would recomend starting with a quick sort through the lot and pick out a few of the most common stamps that have messy postmarks and would be otherwise floor sweepings.
Dump a small group of them into warm water and see what floats off and what doesn't. By experimentation you will gain the experience to sort out the nicer stamps easily.

Now we, and many other stamp groups, have devoted pages and pages to discussions about how to remove most Stickies using some form of hydrocarbon solution, (I use rubbing alcohol) so once you have some apparently uncooperative Stickies you can try the methods others have explained.

Now finally a comment directed to your first remark;
" ... I sincerely hope this is NOT the stupidest question that you all have had. ..."

The only STUPID question is the UNASKED question !
That is a rule I learned many years ago and used to drive professors and instructors crazy, but found that the best teachers actually appreciated questions and that every time I asked something be explained in clearer detail there were three or four onlookers who were even more puzzled than I was. So feel free to ask away.


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auldstampguy
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Just one more small cover .....
19 Mar 2012
09:55:01pm
re: Newbie Question - How do you tell if a stamp is Self Adhesive or not

An excellent discussion. While a question that might have been considered straight forward on first reading, has generated a number of very insightful comments. Well done Lisa !

Regards ... Tim.

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lisagrant87
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It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. - Aristotle Onassis
20 Mar 2012
07:17:11am
re: Newbie Question - How do you tell if a stamp is Self Adhesive or not

Thank you all for your responses! I have studied the perfs on Lickies and Stickies (I LOVE those terms ) and I can tell the difference but hopefully with time I will be able to do it faster. The straight edges on some SAs make things so much easier!
I watched several YouTube videos about soaking before I posted this comment. One of them showed a gentleman taking an SA that had been soaked and sliding it off with his thumb. From my experience so far it is NOT that easy!


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lisagrant87
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It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. - Aristotle Onassis
21 Mar 2012
07:31:44am
re: Newbie Question - How do you tell if a stamp is Self Adhesive or not

@cdj1122 - what is your procedure with rubbing alcohol? Do you make a "fume jar"? Do you put some on the back of the stamp? Does it make the stamp colors run?
Thank you!
Lisa

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"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou"

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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
22 Mar 2012
12:24:58pm
re: Newbie Question - How do you tell if a stamp is Self Adhesive or not

I sent you a note Lisa

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George
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23 Mar 2012
05:30:02am
re: Newbie Question - How do you tell if a stamp is Self Adhesive or not

About Austraila... actually the recent stamps, like 2010+, are much easier to remove in cold water and I hardly have any problems. It was the 2008-09 era that was notoriously difficult.

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DaSaintFan
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13 Apr 2012
09:11:50am
re: Newbie Question - How do you tell if a stamp is Self Adhesive or not

Heck.. I'm still trying to figure out what this white "gum/glue" circle is on the back of some of my collection... it's almost like pure super-glue that was dropped on an envelope and the stamp put on it..

I've had it on a couple i'd been trying to soak the last week, and I NEVER got this gunk off... I lost about 15 (fortunately duplicate/heavily cancelled) stamps, because of how long I had these soaking (I had one soaking for 5 frickin' DAYS.... and it still never came off.... ) It basically ruined the stamps so bad, that by the time I gave up, I couldn't read anything on the original stamp.

I'm not even going to try one of my (non-dupe) Austrian stamps that I have, and I know it has the same junk on the back of it. (If I hold up to the light and look through the back I can see this "circle" of whatever this mess is.).

I've been told the lighter fluid soaking might work.. but I haven't tried that yet... which brings me to a quickie question in regards to using lighter fluid... Do they mean zippo cigarette lighter fluid or charcoal lighter fluid?

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pre1940classics
13 Apr 2012
10:37:06pm
re: Newbie Question - How do you tell if a stamp is Self Adhesive or not

Not that this has anything to do with your topic, but Mark, you look exactly like I did 10 years ago. Interesting. How's that working for ya?

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DaSaintFan
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13 Apr 2012
11:07:57pm
re: Newbie Question - How do you tell if a stamp is Self Adhesive or not

lol.. that pic is about 12 years old... i can't get in front of a camera anymore or I break 'em

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pre1940classics
14 Apr 2012
08:54:36pm
re: Newbie Question - How do you tell if a stamp is Self Adhesive or not

Well, if you looked that good then, it can't be bad. I'll be the first to say that you may be the 2nd best looking guy on here. When I get around to it I will share my mug on this site.

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DRYER
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15 Apr 2012
08:15:08pm
re: Newbie Question - How do you tell if a stamp is Self Adhesive or not

Hope that's a threat, Tom, and not a promise.

John

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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
15 Apr 2012
08:19:19pm
re: Newbie Question - How do you tell if a stamp is Self Adhesive or not

Perhaps a Treat, and not a Threat at all.

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Les
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16 Apr 2012
03:20:52pm
re: Newbie Question - How do you tell if a stamp is Self Adhesive or not

The best stuff to use for removing a self adhesive stamp from an envelope is Pure Citrus Orange air freshener available from Home Depot. Cut the stamp from the envelope spray the back with air freshener and peel the stamp from the paper. Coat the stamp with talcum powder or try removing the adhesive with a solvent. Article is on the APS website at www.stamps.org. It works!

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dani20
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05 Sep 2012
01:09:13pm
re: Newbie Question - How do you tell if a stamp is Self Adhesive or not

FOR NEWBIES ONLY

Welcome all, and FYI there are some freebies you might wish to check out:


http://stvincentstamps.webs.com/freestuff.htm

Enjoy!
Dan C.


(Modified by Moderator on 2012-09-08 09:42:14)

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