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General Philatelic/Newcomer Cnr : Curled up mint stamps - how to repair?

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tameeker
29 Dec 2014
05:56:48pm
I'm new to Stamporama and I'll appreciate any advice anyone can offer. I have some Spanish stamps from the 1950's and some earlier Spanish Morocco stamps that were poorly stored and have "curled up". Has anyone successfully overcome this or a similar problem? I was tempted to soak the gum off the stamps but I hate to damage them if I can avoid it. They are not extremely valuable or rare, but every stamp has value to some collector and I'm sure there is some collector who could could happily fill their album "holes" with these. I look forward to any help you can offer.
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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
29 Dec 2014
06:03:30pm
re: Curled up mint stamps - how to repair?

If you soak the gum off the stamps, they won't be unused/mint any more.

How badly curled are they? Often you can put them in a stock page, stock book or a mount and close the album or binder, and the stamps will flatten out over time. Just be careful not to crease the stamp when putting it in the sleeve or mount. I have done this many times with stamps that are not badly curled.

If the stamps are badly curled, you just might have to soak them to soften the paper to avoid damaging the stamp. If you have any cheap stamps in the bunch that are not in the best of condition other than the curl, try experimenting to see if you can find a way that works best to flatten the stamps.

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Bobstamp
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29 Dec 2014
07:09:13pm
re: Curled up mint stamps - how to repair?

Ah yes, "curled up" Spanish stamps!

Several years ago I obtained a short set (Just the triangular stamps) of the 1930 Christopher Columbus Tribute issue, which were privately produced but allowed for postal use for just three days. However, my copies were so tightly curled that they had formed little stamp-sized tubes about half a centimetre in diameter. It was clear that trying to uncurl them could damage them, so I decided to soak the gum off. Sure. No prolem. Except that…

The gum was virtually impervious to water. After multiple soakings, the stamps had uncurled, but the gum was still thick and very sticky, and would simply not wash off. Sterner measures were required. Sterner measures took the form of a sharp paring knife.

I removed a stamp from the water, placed it face down on the (wet) palm of my hand, and began to gently scrape the gum off with the paring knife blade, holding it at 90 degrees to the plane of the stamp, staring in the centre of the stamp and scraping towards the edges, rotating the stamp as needed. Eventually, after at least 50 passes, the gum appeared to be gone, and I proceeded as usual to rinse it, place it in a paperback book (my favourite method of drying and flattening stamps — ink never transfers to the stamp, in case you were wondering), and start on the next stamp. The process was much like shaving with a straight razor (which is not the same as a gay razor).

It worked, the stamps were flat as flounders when I took them out of the paperback book. They were no longer MNH, but at least they could be displayed. Here's the page I created for them:

Image Not Found


Bob


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Philatarium
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APS #187980
29 Dec 2014
08:39:58pm
re: Curled up mint stamps - how to repair?

I have had luck flattening stamps that wouldn't flatten by other means by placing them between 2 sheets of glass (like the size for picture frames) and then lots of heavy weight on top (like all 6 Scott catalogs), leaving them alone for a few weeks. It usually works when no other method would.

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cocollectibles
30 Dec 2014
06:30:52am
re: Curled up mint stamps - how to repair?

I can vouch for Dave's approach, but I used a Vario type page large enough to cover the entire 12 block I had. It had curled into a tube! Mint Queen Victoria stamps, so no way I was going to soak these. I put the block on the souvenir sheet sized page and sandwiched it between volumes of Scott Catalogues on both sides. I left it on my shelf and checked it weekly. It worked but it took a while to complete flatten.

Peter

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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod, Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Hi Tech Consultant
30 Dec 2014
06:00:35pm
re: Curled up mint stamps - how to repair?

I use Peter's approach, with a heavy duty Lindner sleeve, but then I use a stack of 4 or 5 Scott catalogs on top. What better use for the older Catalogs I still have, than as a stamp press?
I have now taken this route with all the stamps I soak as well.
rrr....

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TuskenRaider
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30 Dec 2014
09:16:31pm
re: Curled up mint stamps - how to repair?

Hi Everyone;

THREE FOUR STEP PROCESS:

1) stuff with weed

2) light up

3) inhale deeply

4) pass to the person to your right

Party til ya puke....happy New Year Party
TuskenRaider

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HungaryForStamps
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30 Dec 2014
10:11:17pm
re: Curled up mint stamps - how to repair?

Yeah. now that's the solution. Sure wouldn't care about curled up stamps after smokin a few.

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cocollectibles
31 Dec 2014
06:58:56am
re: Curled up mint stamps - how to repair?

Like, totally dude, but make sure you roll with a sheet of these stamps.

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
31 Dec 2014
12:26:06pm
re: Curled up mint stamps - how to repair?

And you can get these too:

http://terrefhosting.net/gerry/marijuanastamps/texas.htm

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BobbyBarnhart
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31 Dec 2014
12:27:19pm
re: Curled up mint stamps - how to repair?

Topic: "Curled up mint stamps - how to repair?" please open a new thread for other topics (even those in jest)

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tameeker
01 Jan 2015
02:38:37pm
re: Curled up mint stamps - how to repair?

Thanks to all of you for your advice.

I've spread the curled Spanish stamps (1960's and 1970's) in glassine envelopes, put them between cook book pages, and put weight on top of that. I'll check them periodically and see how they are doing.

The affected Spanish Morocco stamps are in worse shape... curled into tight "tubes" and somewhat brittle. I'm going to try to moisten them a little bit to ease the uncurling and then use the same "glassine, book, weight" press system on then.

Fortunately (or unfortunately) none of these stamps are particularly valuable... except to a collector who doesn't have them. I'd hate to spoil, destroy, or trash them if there is even a chance that some collector will preserve them.

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cocollectibles
01 Jan 2015
04:20:44pm
re: Curled up mint stamps - how to repair?

Here's a thought; not sure if it will work but you might experiment on one curled stamp. Try Stamp Lift fluid. Many here don't like it as it leaves a residue (I personally don't find this when I use it). I have applied them to mint stamps stuck together, and they separate as if soaked, but with gum intact. You can get a bottle of it at most philatelic dealers.

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Peter

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TuskenRaider
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02 Jan 2015
10:18:51am
re: Curled up mint stamps - how to repair?

Hi Everyone;

I also have many Spanish stamps, and also Romanian, Russian and many others that will curl
and there is really nothing that can be done. The cause is the gum. The paper absorbs mois-
ture much more so than the gum. Only solution is soak gum off!!

All of the CTOs that I keep for my own collection, I soak off the gum. If I intend to list and sell,
I leave the gum on and let the buyer decide what to do. Those CTOs from Russia and Eastern
Europe will probably never be worth anything anyway. I'll probably take my collection to the
grave so don't really care. Those same countries I avoid buying mint copies of them for the
same reason.

If you mount thousands of them in your album closing the dang thing to put on shelf will re-
semble the comedy gag where the vacationer has 200% of what the suitcase will hold and is
trying by sitting on it to get it closed!!

This is also a problem with used stamps that are steamed off by beginners and the gum left
on the stamp. The stamp will never resemble anything but a potato chip. I Clean and soak all
used stamps, so my buyers know that they are receiving used stamps with no gum, hinge re-
sidue or hinge goop, or other gook on their backs. Also they are very flat with nice bright col-
or, without any chemical treatment. Just clean water washes, and several changes of that
water, until the water is crystal clear.

Keep on stampin'
TuskenRaider

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TuskenRaider
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02 Jan 2015
10:48:15am
re: Curled up mint stamps - how to repair?

Hi Everyone;

Here is another idea. Put the stamps in a sweat box but remove before they get sticky.
Unroll and place on a desert magic release sheet gum side down. Use a mister to spray
a super fine mist of clean water on front side only, not on gum. Press flat as usual. After-
wards keep flat until mounted or sold. So not store in glassines unless they can be tight-
ly stored in a box, or they will just curl up again.

I remember this tip of misting the front only, from a thread on here but can't remember
the author.

Keep on stampin'
TuskenRaider

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
02 Jan 2015
01:00:08pm
re: Curled up mint stamps - how to repair?

Just remember that if you do any of the tips on an unused or a mint, never hinged stamp, the gum will have a high percentage chance of being disturbed, damaged or dissolved from the stamp. Try it with cheapo stamps before trying this on a stamp with any value.

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TuskenRaider
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02 Jan 2015
09:34:38pm
re: Curled up mint stamps - how to repair?

Hi Everyone;

@ tameeker & Everyone;

Michael is correct. Never try anyones suggested methods that are new to you, until it is tested
and proven out first on el-cheep-o stuff by you. If you do try, and get disappointing results,
post a reply to the author's thread, describing as best you can what happened. There may be
something you accidentally discovered that the author didn't think of that could happen.

Nowadays with the internet, when a scientist makes a discovery (like cold fusion), other scien-
tists rush to try to duplicate the results, to see for themselves, and to give validity to the origi-
nal scientist's work of discovery.

Even us so called experts who have collected for decades, don't always get it 100% correct
every time.

Just thinkin'
TuskenRaider

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
03 Jan 2015
03:40:49pm
re: Curled up mint stamps - how to repair?

I have always wondered about this, and may one day give it a try, but has anyone tried to "iron" out the curl by using an iron on low setting (no mist) to press out the curl? I was thinking of placing the stamp between two pieces of cardstock and using a hard surface, pressing the iron down on it for a few seconds.

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BobbyBarnhart
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They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -Benjamin Franklin
03 Jan 2015
03:44:53pm
re: Curled up mint stamps - how to repair?

Michael

I would really be interested in your results if you do try it (on an inexpensive stamp, of course). If I can find my iron (I am single and retired from dress shirts or pressed pants), I might give it a whirl myself if someone doesn't beat me to it. I would be most interested to see the effect on different types of gum.

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
03 Jan 2015
05:26:49pm
re: Curled up mint stamps - how to repair?

I'll give it a try, but I don't have any curled stamps to work with right now.

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earthmover21
03 Jan 2015
08:22:46pm
re: Curled up mint stamps - how to repair?

i tried it on some really wrinkled paper money.Laid it on the ironing board did not take out all the wrinkles but they looked a lot nicer in there protective sleeves

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philatelia
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04 Jan 2015
09:27:29am
re: Curled up mint stamps - how to repair?

Paper money has a lot of fibers and would require a higher heat setting to flatten out the wrinkles - much higher than stamp paper, so be careful!

LOL is that considered a type of money laundering????

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TinMan
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10 Jan 2015
07:05:26pm
re: Curled up mint stamps - how to repair?

This is just an Idea to try. If you can uncurl them and put them flat in between two Heavy Objects, Put them in the freezer and leave them at least overnight. When mint stamps are stuck together you can separate them without damaging the gum by putting them in a freezer and leaving them about ten minuets. The stamps become very brittle. Then put them in a flat press like a drying book or between some heavy catalogs and leave them for a while.

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
10 Jan 2015
09:52:15pm
re: Curled up mint stamps - how to repair?

I have heard that of that "trick". I would say to be careful if the stamp has gum. If you "defrost" the stamp in humid air, the gum could become activated and stick to whatever it is on.

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