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How do I start collecting stamps?
Will it cost me a lot to start a collection?
What kinds of stamps are there?
How do I remove stamps from envelopes?
How should I organize my stamps?
What kind of stamp albums can I buy?
How do I put a stamp in the album?
Is there anything else I need?
How can I tell what a stamp is worth?
How should I judge the condition of a stamp?
Where else can I find stamps?
What other stamp materials can I collect?
Other philatelic collectibles
Are there any stamp groups I can join?
About Stamp Collecting
How do I remove stamps from envelopes?

If you wish, you can save whole envelopes with stamps on them and store them anywhere -- from shoe boxes to special albums. But if you want to remove stamps from envelopes, it pays to be careful. The best way to remove stamps from envelopes is to soak them. Here's how:

1. Tear or cut off the upper right-hand corner of the envelope.

2. Place it, stamp side down, in a small pan of warm water. After a few minutes, the stamp will sink to the bottom.

3. Wait a few more minutes for any remaining gum to dislodge from the stamp.

4. Lift the stamp out with tongs (a metal tool, like tweezers) if you have a pair. It's better to handle stamps with tongs because oil from your skin can damage stamps.

5. Place the stamp between two paper towels and put a heavy object, such as a book, on top. This will keep the stamp from curling as it dries. Leave the stamp there overnight.

6. If the stamp is a newer one with "invisible" gum, dry it face down with nothing touching the back and flatten it later if necessary. Otherwise, it may stick to the paper towel when drying.