How to Buy Stamp Tongs

Many collectors incorrectly call tongs "tweezers." Tweezers are usually used in beauty parlors and if you use serrated tip tweezers on postage stamps, there is a very strong likelihood of damaging the stamp.

Tongs are available in a number of shapes and sizes; some have pointed tips, others are called spade-ended. Each type will do an effective job, once you have become accustomed to using them. The choice is yours.

Care must be used in either type. A pointed tip is easier to slide under a stamp, but it can also damage or even slice the item if not used properly. A spade end may push the perforations aside and bend them, as you are trying to get under the stamp.

Every so often plan on sanding the edges of the tongs so that your finger does not feel any sharp hooks. Do not sharpen the edges, only the point of the tongs.

It takes practice to get used to tongs, but they should be used if you plan to keep your stamps a long time. Moisture from your fingers can adhere to the stamps and eventually discolor or even wet the stamp enough to stick to the album page.