Chapter 25
Supplies, Newspapers and Books

This is a reference chapter. You should read it if you are interested in obtaining any stamp supplies or additional reading materials.

Depending on how you decide to sell your collection, you may need some, all or none of the items listed below. I have used most of them while selling stamps.

Before you buy anything, check to see which supplies you already have. Most collectors already have magnifying glasses, stamp tongs, empty glassine envelopes and the like. You may also have a set of Scott catalogs.



25.1 Books and newspapers

Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue - This is discussed in many other chapters, especially chapter 22. It’s available from most stamp stores, from ads in Linn’s (see below), on eBay, and directly from Scott’s. The price is about $100 per volume, but you can find companies which sell them at a discount. Many public libraries have this catalog, also.

Scott Publishing Company
911 Vandemark Road
P.O. Box 828
Sidney, Ohio 45365-0828
Voice: [1] (800) 572-6885 for product information, ordering or a catalog.

Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps - See chapter 22. This one volume covers USA stamps, USA possessions and United Nations stamps. It is available from most stamp stores, from ads in Linn’s and directly from Scott’s. The price is about $80. Many public libraries have this catalog.

The Postal Service Guide to U.S. Stamps - This book contains color pictures of all USA stamps as well as the Scott catalog numbers and prices. It is available for $19.95 at some post offices. Some libraries also stock this volume.  You may also purchase it online: under the "For Collecting" link.

Linn’s Stamp News - Linn’s is the largest weekly stamp newspaper. Check out the ads for dealers and auction houses. Also check the want ads in the back. Write for a free, sample copy. They also have a 26-week trial subscription for about $24. If you don’t wish to subscribe, many public libraries carry this paper.

Linn’s Stamp News
911 Vandemark Road
P.O. Box 29
Sidney OH 45365
Voice: [1] (800) 448-7293 to subscribe


25.2 Stamp Supplies

Stamp tongs. These are essential if you are handling individual stamps. They are also great for slicing open stamp mounts if you need to get the stamp out of the mount! Tongs are available from your local stamp store, from Scott’s or from a mail-order stamp supply company such as Subway. Do not use eyebrow tweezers and other such things. They often have features that can actually damage stamps.

Subway Stamp Shop
2121 Beale Avenue
Altoona PA 16601
Voice: [1] (800) 221-9960 to place an order. \

Magnifying glass. A glass is a necessity. Try to get a 10-power magnifier with a round glass lens. These can be obtained from an office supply store, from a local stamp shop, from Scott’s or from Subway.

UV Lamp - An ultra-violet lamp is used to detect stamps that are tagged with a phosphor coating. This is available from Scott’s and costs about $65. You probably should wait until later to buy one of these. There is a good chance you won’t need it since only a few countries have used tagging. Those that did began using it as early as the 1960s. You can buy short wave lamps, long wave lamps or a combination of the two. Be very careful to follow the directions as improper use can damage your eyes. Short wave light is used to see the tagging on a stamp. Long wave light is used to see paper brightness and to spot repairs or alterations to a stamp.

If you have a question about a stamp’s tagging, you might simply take it to a dealer and ask him/her to check it for you. This will save you the cost of the lamp. The Scott catalog will tell you which stamps are valuable due to uncommon tagging. If the dealer finds one in the stamps you present, chances are he/she will also make you an offer to buy it.

Perforation Gauge - The perforation gauge is used to measure perforations in stamps. They cost about $7. I like the Linn’s Multi-Gauge available from Linn’s and probably Scott’s. (Scott’s and Linn’s are in the adjoining buildings and are owned by the same parent company, in case you hadn’t guessed.)

Glassine envelopes - Start with a box of the 6 3/4 x 3 3/4 inch ones. They will hold most everything except full sheets and large souvenir sheets. They will also fit in a #10 envelope for mailing.



25.3 Shipping/mailing supplies

Most of these things are available from an office supply store, Walmart, or a private mail-box company.

Boxes to mail albums. (Use sturdy ones!)
Paper tape to seal registered-mail packages. (This is getting harder to find every year.  I found some on by typing in the phrase "paper tape registered mail".).
Mailing labels.
10 x 13 manila envelopes (preferably without the clasps).
Cellophane office tape (Scotch tape).

If you are mailing album pages, here is a trick. Put the pages in one or more 10 x 13 envelopes. Then obtain some Tyvek Priority Mail envelopes free at the post office. For about $5, you can mail up to two pounds.

Save any boxes which you receive from UPS deliveries. You will find that the boxes come in very handy for mailing things. Also, begin saving cardboard sheets such as the backer from a legal pad, cardboard in shirt packaging, etc. You can use the cardboard to “stiffen” a package and prevent damage to what’s inside. You can also buy cardboard stiffeners at a printing company or copy shop such as FedEx Office..