Lesson 9

Philatelic Tools

All stamp collectors need to have a few tools to work well with stamps. The two tools that every stamp collector needs, no matter what your collecting area are; a good magnifying glass and a pair of stamp tongs. Everyone knows what a magnifying glass is, and its obvious why you would want one to examine stamps, but stamp tongs may be new to neophyte collectors. Stamp tongs are used like tweezers to handle stamps. Tongs look alot like tweezers, but they have specially made smooth flat tips that won’t damage delicate stamps when handled. Never use dime store tweezers in place of tongs, you’ll damage the stamps!

Other tools specific to the hobby include perf gauges, watermark detectors, UV lamps to detect tagging, and of course the computer! Depending on what you collect you might not need any of these other items. Postal History collectors may never need perf gauges, watermark detectors or UV lamps. But a specialist in a particular stamp issue may need all of them!