How to Use Hinges, Mounts and Tongs

These are known as the tools of stamp collecting.

Stamp hinges are available at every stamp store or through mail order catalogs. They were invented years ago so that collectors can affix their stamps to a page and peel it off years later with no damage to the stamp. However, be careful when using hinges so that you wet only the hinge and not the stamp. This happens when you use a lot of moisture on the hinge. Then you have licked the stamp to the album page. The best way to wet the hinge is to lick the tip of your finger and then touch the finger to the hinge. This prevents too much wetness on the hinge, but will still be plenty wet to attach the stamp firmly to the page.

A stamp mount works in much the same way as a hinge in keeping the stamp in the album but without damage to the back of the stamp. Mounts are actually small plastic sleeves to which stamps are inserted and then the mount is affixed to the page by wetting the glue on the back of the mount.

Tongs are similar to cosmetic tweezers, but without sharp edges that could damage the stamp. Do not use drugstore tweezers on your stamps! Stamp tongs are very inexpensive. The logic of the tongs is that your fingers may damage a valuable stamp, either with moisture or by pulling it when placing the stamp in the correct position.